'Is that a wig?' - The oddest complaints noted by the Fundraising Standards Board

From brainwashing to shorts in the wrong colour, John Plummer unveils the weirdest complaints the regulatory body hears about

Hell toupee: Fundraisers' gaffes
Hell toupee: Fundraisers' gaffes

Since it was founded in 2006, the Fundraising Standards Board, which now has more than 1,300 members, has heard about thousands of complaints concerning the ways charities raise money. But some stand out as strange.

One person complained about a charity shop selling Halloween paraphernalia on the grounds that it was black magic. Another irate man got in touch after receiving a visit from a door-to-door fundraiser, who had opened the conversation by pointing at the man's hair and asking: "Is that a wig?" Alistair McLean, chief executive at the FRSB, says: "It probably wasn't the best opening line a fundraiser could use."

Another door-to-door fundraiser made a bad impression when he rang an elderly woman's doorbell at 9pm. She opened the door, expecting to see a neighbour, only to be confronted by "a young man, who was over-friendly", as she wrote in her complaint.

Seafaring charities seem to be a magnet for unusual criticism.

One donor told the FRSB they had withdrawn their support from a charity because they didn't like the appearance of some of the lifeboat men in a mailshot; another complained about the colour of a seafarer's shorts.

Perhaps the oddest complaint of all, though, was made by a woman who complained a charity was attempting to brainwash her.

 See our Fundraising Extra Big Issue for related articles


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