Paul Farthing joins Aspinall Foundation as head of fundraising

The former director of fundraising at the NSPCC started his new job in September after a four-month break

Paul Farthing
Paul Farthing

Paul Farthing, former director of fundraising at the children's charity the NSPCC, has joined the animal charity the Aspinall Foundation as its new chief executive of fundraising.

Farthing, who left the NSPCC in April after three years at the charity, began the newly created role on 5 September after taking a four-month break in which he spent time with his young children, according to a spokeswoman for the Aspinall Foundation.

Farthing’s role at the charity will involve him developing a new fundraising strategy for the charity in collaboration with its chairman and managing director, according to an advert for the job that was posted in February.

He will also be expected to take charge of wider governance issues in the UK, a spokeswoman for the charity said.

The Aspinall Foundation, which aims to protect endangered animals through its work at two wildlife parks based in Kent as well as overseas, represents a change of direction for Farthing, who has previously worked only for household-name charities.

Before moving to the NSPCC, he was fundraising director at Age UK and, before that, director of legacy fundraising and then director of high-value relationships at Cancer Research UK. He has also been chair of the International Fundraising Congress and managing director of a direct marketing agency.

"Having worked in some of the UK’s largest charities, I was looking for a complete contrast, which I have found at the foundation," said Farthing. "Although relatively small, the foundation delivers some of the world’s leading conservation work, including projects in Gabon, Indonesia and Madagascar, and its parks in Kent attract hundreds of thousands of visitors a year."

He said the charity, which is run by the conservationist Damian Aspinall, son of the famous zoo owner and gambling club host John Aspinall, who set up the foundation in 1984, had ambitious plans to grow its work and diversify its fundraising.

According to figures on the Charity Commission’s online register, the charity’s income fell from just under £6m in 2011 to £2.7m in 2014, when it spent £5.2m.

The foundation employs 117 people, the register shows.

The Aspinall Foundation’s spokeswoman was unable to disclose Farthing’s salary.

Farthing’s departure from the NSPCC came shortly before the findings of the Fundraising Standards Board’s investigations into the charity’s fundraising practices were made public. The FRSB concluded that the NSPCC and several other large charities had failed to adequately monitor an agency’s fundraising activities.

A second investigation, launched by the Information Commissioner’s Office last year, into the NSPCC and several other charities’ adherence to Telephone Preference Service rules was due to be completed last month, but the findings are yet to be released.

Nigel Spencer, a brand strategist who owns TamRos Strategic Marketing, an agency that supplies interim resourcing for businesses, has been interim director of fundraising at the NSPCC for the past six months. A spokesman for the charity said that no decision had been taken about who Farthing’s permanent replacement would be.

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