Be careful of News of the World offers, Institute of Fundraising warns

Charities should consult its code of practice, says IoF, before accepting offers of free advertising and donations from the last issue of the News International title

Institute of Fundraising
Institute of Fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising has advised charities to be cautious before accepting any offers of free advertising in the last edition of the News of the World.

In the wake of the phone hacking revelations, James Murdoch, chair of News International, which owns the News of the World, released a statement yesterday saying this Sunday’s edition would be the paper’s last.

He said all revenue from the issue's circulation and advertising would go to good causes.

A statement from the IoF said charities should consult the Acceptance or Refusal of Donations Code of Fundraising Practice before deciding whether to take up the paper’s offer. This says charities should have clear policies about which donations they would accept.

"Such a policy needs to be acceptable to all those associated with the charity and agreed formally by a charities’ trustees," said the institute statement. "The decision as to whether a charity ought to accept a donation or not should be grounded in its mission and policy objectives."

Murdoch said the paper would not be running any commercial advertising on Sunday.

"While we may never be able to make up for distress that has been caused, the right thing to do is for every penny of the circulation revenue we receive this weekend to go to organisations – many of whom are long-term friends and partners – that improve life in Britain and are devoted to treating others with dignity," he said.

"Any advertising space in this last edition will be donated to causes and charities that wish to expose their good works to our millions of readers."

A spokeswoman for Beatbullying, which suspended its partnership with the paper yesterday, said it would consider taking the paper up on any offer of free advertising.

On Twitter, Michelle Parker, regional forum manager for the environmental charity Green Space South East, said it would "love" some money from the News of the World because the charity had been struggling.

Other charities, including the Royal British Legion, Shelter and Oxfam, said they had not heard from the News of the World so they could not say whether they would take up any such offer.

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