Paul Farthing leaves NSPCC after three years leading fundraising

Nigel Spencer, head of individual giving, will cover the role until a permanent replacement is found

Paul Farthing
Paul Farthing

Paul Farthing, director of fundraising at the NSPCC, has left the charity after three years.

A spokesman for the charity would not say what Farthing planned to do next and Farthing himself could not be reached for comment.

Nigel Spencer, the NSPCC’s head of individual giving, will cover the fundraising director role on an interim basis until a permanent replacement for Farthing was found, the spokesman said.

Spencer’s LinkedIn profile says he was "asked to cover the vacant fundraising director position" at the charity and he started the role this month.

Farthing, who joined the NSPCC from Age UK in April 2013, left the role in April, the spokesman confirmed. His LinkedIn profile suggests his main role is now his trusteeship at the Fairtrade Foundation, which he has held since 2014.

His departure comes as the NSPCC remains under investigation by both the Fundraising Standards Board and the Information Commissioner’s Office after the Daily Mail newspaper alleged in July 2015 that one of the charity’s fundraising agencies had exploited loopholes in the Telephone Preference Service while working on its behalf.

Ben Swart, head of new business at the NSPCC, posted a goodbye message to Farthing on Twitter on 29 April. "Over the last three years @NSPCC income has risen year on year," it said. "Thank you Paul Farthing. You changed the world for children. Good luck."

Stephen George, a fundraising consultant and friend of Farthing’s, told Third Sector that an email was recently sent to NSPCC staff announcing Farthing’s departure, and he left his position shortly after.

Asked why Farthing had left, an NSPCC spokesman said: "As we embark on our new five-year strategy, we are strategically realigning some of our marketing and fundraising activity. As such, our current fundraising director has decided to move on after three years with the NSPCC to pursue new opportunities."

He declined to say whether Farthing was on paid leave or whether he had received a pay-off from the NSPCC on his departure.

The NSPCC has come under scrutiny for its fundraising practices over the past year.

In July, Farthing was criticised in the Daily Mail for earning £130,000 a year and for having talked in media interviews about the importance of repeatedly pushing a charity’s message to potential donors.

The newspaper also reported that Farthing was a director of his partner Pippa Carte’s fundraising consultancy – Pippa Carte Consulting – which it said was registered to their £800,000 house in Surrey.

The NSPCC’s chief executive and chair were both called to give evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into charity fundraising last autumn.

Farthing, who spoke at Third Sector’s Fundraising Week conference last month, previously spent three years as the fundraising director at Age UK. He was also chair of the International Fundraising Congress for six years until October 2013.

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