Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, has written to the charity’s supporters in a bid to reassure them about its fundraising practices and telling them that it has suspended activity with the under-fire telephone fundraising agency GoGen.
His move comes after several other charities said they had suspended their work with GoGen after a reporter from the Daily Mail newspaper spent two weeks working for it.
Under the headline "Shamed: Charity cold call sharks", the paper said the agency was exploiting loopholes in Telephone Preference Service rules to call people who were registered with the service.
The paper claimed that people were asked to donate even after revealing they had dementia and that fundraisers told donors half of their donations would go GoGen itself only after they had handed over their bank details.
The agency said it refuted many of the allegations made in the article and would be taking legal advice as well as considering making a complaint to the press regulator IPSO.
"At no time do we make calls to any TPS-registered supporter without the full support and permission of the charity in question," it said on Monday.
Kumar’s message, sent on Monday, says he wants to get in touch to reassure supporters that the charity "insists on the highest possible standards in our fundraising".
He says that giving to the charity should be a great experience and donors should be assured that it will not share their details with anyone else, that if they want to opt out from future communications they just need to say and that the charity is "especially careful and sensitive when engaging with vulnerable people, the elderly or those affected by cancer".
He says the charity always asks people when it telephones them if they are happy to receive the calls.
On suspending its work with GoGen, he says: "These allegations are about a service they don’t provide to us, but we have suspended activity with them just as we suspended our contract with another agency, Listen, in light of allegations made against it. We expect the highest standards of our suppliers and take any allegations very seriously."