ImpACT abandons £3,000 joining fee for charities

The group of senior voluntary sector personnel spearheading the initiative to boost public confidence in the sector has backed away from a proposal to charge charities up to £3,000 each to join the coalition.

ImpACT - an acronym of the aim to "improve accountability, clarity and transparency" across the sector - was launched at the Institute of Fundraising's National Convention on Monday.

ImpACT has been led by Shelter fundraising director Alan Gosschalk in conjunction with the NCVO, the Institute and charities including the Red Cross, NSPCC and Cancer Research UK. The NCVO will act as a secretariat in signing charities up to the coalition without payment. It hopes to have 100 on board by the year-end.

ImpACT exists to improve public understanding of charities and the benefits they bring to society by promoting their work and co-ordinating responses to negative publicity about fundraising.

In February, Gosschalk said charities might be asked to pay up to £3,000 each to fund a sector-wide press officer to be based at one of the umbrella bodies. But this has now been ruled out.

Gosschalk urged the sector to embrace the initiative, saying: "You can't rely on some ethereal coalition to do it for you."

The coalition also launched a document to help organisations answer press inquiries.

- See Fundraising News, page 7 and Editorial, page 22.

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