Face-to-face fundraising pioneer Open Air Fundraising could repay £90,000 of debts owed to around 25 charities some two to three years earlier than expected after the agency's ongoing business was bought out by Open Air Global.
Open Air Fundraising went into administration in September last year (Third Sector, 11 September). The agency has continued to trade while setting aside 80 per cent of its profits to pay off debts. However, creditors have had to wait because the Inland Revenue has first priority.
Under Open Air Global, 50 per cent of profits will be paid into a new charitable trust, which will be used to pay the charities.
"We will make the first distribution of about £125,000 within five days of the trust being set up," said Andy Holliday, chairman of Fruitful Fundraising, which owns Open Air Global. "We hope all charities will receive full compensation for Open Air Fundraising's debts by December 2005."
When all the charities have been repaid, Open Air Global will continue to pay 25 per cent of its profits into the trust.
"We are reassured to hear that the new company has established a charitable trust," said Andrew Nebel, UK director of marketing and communications at Barnardo's, one of the charities owed money by Open Air Fundraising. "It's fortunate that the newly formed company is determined that no charity will lose out from the demise of the old organisation."