Fundraising: Jobs to go after 'lottery fatigue'

Nick Cater

A charity for visually impaired people is consulting staff about abandoning its lottery and cutting fundraising staff after income from its three annual lotteries collapsed, one by up to 90 per cent.

The National Blind Children's Society, which has a turnover of £1.6m, blames market conditions following the Asian tsunami, the impact of the telephone preference service blocking sales calls and the failure of an attempt to double ticket prices to £1 to arrest the fall in income.

Charity sweepstakes also face tougher competition from the National Lottery and monday, the new charity-backed draw. The charity says up to 35 telephone fundraising jobs are at risk.

"We are the victims of lottery fatigue," said chief executive Carolyn Fullard. "Our lottery and similar forms of fundraising were producing an income of up to £500,000 two years ago.

"Now that's down to £150,000 a year with the same costs. So we're having to consider this as a business decision."

The charity, based in Highbridge, Somerset, has begun attempts to build alternative income streams. Over the past year it has boosted income from events and is now raising £100,000 a year from grant-making trusts.

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