NCVO responds to reports of Presidents Club Dinner

By agency reporter
January 25, 2018

Commenting on reports of the Presidents Club Charitable Trust’s annual fundraising dinner, Elizabeth Chamberlain, head of policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which represents charities, said,

"We are grateful to the Financial Times investigation for uncovering such shameful behaviour. These revelations have left all of us across the sector in a state of shock, and in many cases disgust.

"Any reputable charity would be horrified to be associated with an event like this. Sexual abuse at an event that claims fundraising for children's charities as its aim is particularly deplorable."

 On accepting the donations, Ms Chamberlain said, "This is an important reminder for all charities is to ensure they have the necessary systems in place to check how donations are raised, and clear policies on whether to accept or refuse them.

"Charities should think carefully about whether it's worth damaging their own reputation over accepting a donation. This could suggest they approved of how the money was raised. I doubt many charities would want to take the money now they have become aware of what has gone on.

"Charities are committed to reflecting their values in everything they do, including in their fundraising. They should only accept donations that have been raised in accordance with their own ethos and values.

"Accepting a single donation is rarely going to have a substantial impact on the charity's ability to provide for its beneficiaries, but one tainted donation can have a huge impact on the charity's reputation. Trustees should think carefully about the long term, and how they ensure that they maintain the public's trust and confidence. This is a clear example of where an immediate financial benefit is not going to be in the best interests of the charity.

"For charities that have already received a donation, the situation is likely to be less clear cut: some may have already spent the money to help children in need. But there may still be ways for trustees to ensure they are not associated with such deplorable practices."



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