Four fundraising firms shut down

Helen Warrell

Four fundraising companies that kept more than £1m of charity donations for themselves have been wound up by the Department of Trade & Industry.

Drawtreat compiled a 60,000-page database of business donors that was used by its sister companies Fernchester and Nationwide Fundraisers. Drawtreat has been under long-term investigation by the DTI (Third Sector, 27 September).

Investigators found that Fernchester raised more than £1.24m for two charities, but kept nearly £875,000 for its own purposes. Nationwide Fundraisers handed over less than 10 per cent of £500,000 it collected in donations to a charitable cause.

The fourth firm, Help for All, was registered as a charity for disadvantaged children. It received £300,000 from Nationwide Fundraisers, but £200,000 was returned to the company under what it called an "informal agreement".

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