Richard Taylor, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, pulled out of a move to the consumer charity Which? because of a conflict over the way the consumer charity responded to a Daily Mail investigation into fundraising practice.
It is understood that Taylor disagreed with the decision by Which? to respond to a story about fundraising malpractice, published in the Mail today, with a call from its executive director, Richard Lloyd, for the government to carry out a full review of fundraising rules and regulations. This would put an end to bad practice and save the sector’s reputation, Lloyd told the newspaper.
There are fears among fundraisers that such a review could lead to increasing oversight of the sector by the government and an end to the existing system of self-regulation.
Taylor has been a strong advocate of self-regulation, throwing his weight behind many of the recommendations in the PwC review of fundraising self-regulation that was published last July.
The front-page Mail story today alleges that the agency GoGen was making calls to households registered with the Telephone Preference Service on behalf of charities including the British Red Cross, the NSPCC, Oxfam and Macmillan.
In a reference to this, Taylor said during his welcome speech at the IoF’s annual convention in London yesterday that a story due to break this week might help to explain his decision not to join Which?, which he was due to do next month after serving a six-month notice period at CRUK.
A statement from the IoF last Friday said that Taylor pulled out of the move to Which? in order to remain chair of the IoF. Taylor had told Third Sector in April that the IoF board had unanimously agreed he would be able to remain chair despite his job move.
A spokesman for Which? said the charity informed Taylor two weeks ago that it had been asked to comment for the story being prepared by the Mail.
He said Taylor first spoke to his colleagues at the IoF about the situation and then informed Which? that he would continue to work at CRUK because it would now be untenable for him to him to complete the job move.
He said Taylor discussed his decision with the Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, whom he had known for decades, and that he imagined the two men would continue to socialise in future.
The spokesman said there were "no issues at all" relating to Taylor’s contract, which had been signed.
Lloyd said in a statement: "Richard Taylor will not be joining Which? later this summer as originally planned.
"At a time when fundraising is increasingly under the spotlight, he has decided that it is untenable to make the move to Which? and will instead remain at Cancer Research UK in the short-term and will continue to chair the Institute of Fundraising. We wish him well with his future career."
Taylor declined to comment when approached by Third Sector.