Directors of defunct fundraising agency GoGen register new business with Companies House

Giuseppe Iantosca and Bob Metrebian have set up Still Fundraising and say it will impose a rule of only two asks per call; GoGen went under after newspaper allegations, with the loss of more than 400 jobs

Telephone fundraising: new agency incorporated
Telephone fundraising: new agency incorporated

The two directors of the collapsed fundraising agency GoGen have registered with Companies House a new telephone fundraising agency called Still Fundraising.

They said it would not be launched before the publication of the review of fundraising self-regulation and would impose a rule of no more than two asks per call.

Giuseppe Iantosca, who is a major shareholder and director, told Third Sector that he and Bob Metrebian were "assessing the viability of running a fundraising agency that will do things differently" from GoGen.

Still Fundraising was incorporated on 13 August, Companies House records show.

GoGen went into administration on 28 July, having ceased trading with the loss of 485 jobs. At the time, Iantosca blamed a "reduction in business resulting from misleading media coverage".

The agency had been at the centre of an undercover investigation by the Daily Mail newspaper, a report on which appeared on its front page under the headline "Shamed: Charity cold call sharks". This led to several charities suspending their work with GoGen.

Iantosca said he was unable to speak about GoGen, which is still in the administration process and is the subject of investigations by the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Fundraising Standards Board.

But he said that Still Fundraising was not intended to be similar to GoGen and there were no plans to buy any former GoGen assets. "The only thing I carry forward from GoGen is 15 years of fundraising experience," he said.

He added that in conceiving the new venture he had been listening to the concerns of the public and the industry and would be taking into account the conclusions of Sir Stuart Etherington’s review of the self-regulation of fundraising.

Iantosca said that the rule at Still Fundraising would be no more than two asks per call. At GoGen, he said, there would be anywhere between one and three asks for donations per call depending on the wishes of its charity clients.

In some circumstances, he said, it would be better to work on a "one ask per call" basis – for example, when a prospect sounded vulnerable or issued a strong refusal.

"An agency needs to be able to inspire potential donors to give, not to pressure them," he said.

Iantosca and Metrebian each own 45 per cent of Still Fundraising. The third shareholder, with 10 per cent, is named as Michael Allison. Four days after the company’s incorporation, Allison’s appointment as a director was terminated.

According to Iantosca, Allison is an IT specialist who worked for GoGen and his appointment as a director was unintended. Iantosca said that Allison remained a 10 per cent shareholder and also remained, amicably, with the new company.

No other staff had yet been taken on, according to Iantosca.

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