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Equine charities defend donation methods

Equine charities have been forced to defend their donation methods after a documentary revealed questionable practices being used by third-party fundraising organisations.

Dispatches, which aired on Channel 4 earlier this month (11 August), showed reporters going undercover with NTT Fundraising and Pell & Bales. The documentary revealed practices of lying and deliberately targeting the vulnerable.

World Horse Welfare has worked with one of the companies that featured in the show but said that it had a “positive response” to the campaign, which finished earlier this year and was used to contact existing donors.

“We do not engage in calling people that have not previously donated to our work and our team closely monitors calls that are made on our behalf,” said the charity’s John Blake.

“Although we have never received a complaint from any of our limited telephone work, it is not enough to do nothing in light of the concerns programme. We intend to fully review how we work in this area to maintain the confidence of those who choose to support our work.”

H&H’s charity of the year, SPANA, has not worked with the companies mentioned in the show but does undertake some telephone appeals for donations to new and existing supporters.

“All of our fundraising is closely monitored and reviewed to ensure that the highest standards are maintained,” said Jason Cater of SPANA.

“We do not contact supporters over the age of 65 and take steps to avoid contacting anyone who is elderly or vulnerable, as well as those who tell us that they do not want to be contacted in this way.”

First published in H&H magazine on Thursday 28 August, 2014.

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