New Code bans financial guilt direct mail campaigns 21/05/08

The Institute of Fundraising has launched a new Code of Fundraising Practice, banning the use of enclosures in direct mail packs which aim to motivate donations through the inducement of financial guilt.

The Institute said evidence has shown that the inclusion of enclosures such as pens or badges help to generate higher responses in direct mail campaigns. However, packs which include coins or expensive umbrellas, for example, aim to generate donations through financial guilt, and will no longer be allowed.

The Code also addresses the use of shock tactics in campaigns, saying that charities must be able to justify the use of potentially offensive material, and must accurately portray the truth of the situation they are highlighting.

Megan Pacey, director of policy and campaigns at the Institute, said: “All charity fundraising needs to be thoughtful, relevant, ethical and sensitive and direct mail is no exception.

“Banning enclosures in charity direct mail packs where the sole reason for their inclusion is to motivate a donation through the inducement of financial guilt will help to raise standards in fundraisers’ use of direct mail and promote its responsible use in the future.”

The Institute is also calling for feedback on its draft Face-to-Face Activity Code of Fundraising Practice. The consultation closes on 8 August.


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