FRSB expels a member for the first time

Fundraising Standards Board upholds complaint about Sports 4 All, which failed to hand over proceeds of an event

Colin Lloyd, chair of the FRSB
Colin Lloyd, chair of the FRSB

The Fundraising Standards Board has expelled a company that organises school fundraising events after it failed to hand over the proceeds for an event it staged in January last year. The expulsion is the first in the FRSB's four-year history.

Its board upheld a complaint by Colchester High School in Essex that Sports 4 All had failed to hand over £882.14 owed by the company. Numerous attempts by a school staff member and the FRSB's compliance manager failed to produce the money.

The board ruled that Sports 4 All, which had promised to give the school 60 per cent of the proceeds of the event, was in breach of the Fundraising Promise, which all FRSB members must adhere to.

It said the company had failed to comply in two ways with the part of the promise that says "we are honest and open": it had exaggerated the quality of event, and had been dishonest by not providing the promised payment.

As a fundraising supplier for charities, Sports 4 All was a member of the FRSB until its membership lapsed in September 2010. The adjudication said Sports 4 All had not yet notified the FRSB that it no longer wished to be a member of the scheme.

The FRSB has also informed the Department for Education, the Youth Sport Trust and Surrey Trading Standards about the case.

Colin Lloyd, chair of the FRSB, said honesty was the keystone of charity fundraising."Every time these standards are contravened, it gives charities a bad name," he said.

"Thankfully, such poor practice is incredibly rare, but it is no less serious. Sports 4 All has left Colchester High School considerably out of pocket. This is inexcusable and the company can no longer be part of the FRSB's regulatory scheme."

Demetrios Bradshaw, director of Sports 4 All, told Third Sector he had sent payment to Colchester High School last week, but did not know if it had been banked yet.

"I can only apologise profusely to the school that it has not been handled sooner," he said. The late payment was caused by a series of internal mishaps, Bradshaw said.

However, Bradshaw said he did not agree with the board's decision that the event had not been of the quality promised. He added that the company organised events at 350 to 400 schools every year and "we rarely have a problem".

He said he would be interested in rejoining the FRSB in the future, if this was allowed.

Pete Meacham, compliance manager for the FRSB, said he had spoken to the school and, as of Friday, it had not yet received the payment.

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