Monday, July 16

Canadian charities respond to Star article

Sick Kids Foundation has published this response:

The article stated that SickKids Foundation was involved in commission-based fundraising. As a registered adherent to the Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code of Imagine Canada, SickKids Foundation is staunchly opposed to commission-based fundraising. That’s why we were disappointed to learn that one of our suppliers had breached the terms of our written agreement when a third party paid a commission to a small group of their employees. As soon as we became aware of the facts, we suspended all activity and are currently undertaking a full review.
World Vision Canada was out with a similar apology:
As mentioned in the article, a portion of the door-to-door fundraising done on World Vision's behalf was paid on a commission basis, despite our contracts with fundraising companies that prohibited this. We have made sure this practice has stopped because it is not consistent with our commitment to ethical fundraising.
I'm disappointed both groups issued such weak responses without using this as an educational moment to discuss the need for cost effective member acquisition programs... however, they are both probably embarrassed, scared, and looking to put this behind them as fast as possible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that perhaps the Toronto Star has done Canadian fundraisers a huge favour by putting this in the forefont. It may just be time for a healthy debate on the issue.

But its time to get Canadian donors input as well. I've know of charities who have blown hundreds of thousands of dollars on acquisiton programs with little or no results to show for it - "how can that be considered ethical or proper use of donor dollars?"

Commission based fundraising lessens the risk and therefore the amount of donor funds that are wasted on programs that just don't deliver.