Oxfam says fundraising costs cited in Daily Mirror story are misleading

The paper claims that 51 per cent of the £1,452,000 it expected to raise over three years has been paid to telephone fundraising company GoGen,

Telephone fundraising
Telephone fundraising

Oxfam has said that claims in a national newspaper that it paid £737,000 to a telephone fundraising firm, equating to 51 per cent of donations, are misleading.

An article in the Daily Mirror today says that Oxfam paid £737,000 to the charity fundraising company GoGen for a telephone appeal to provide impoverished communities with clean water, which the paper said was 51 per cent of the £1,452,000 the charity expected to raise over three years.

The article also says that Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity paid £600,000, or 60 per cent of donations, to the company for a campaign last year. It says that the firm was paid £172,000, equal to 23 per cent of donations, from a campaign for Save the Children.

Oxfam said the figures "paint a misleading picture" because the campaign was still continuing and it was not yet known how much income it would bring in total. The total would depend in part how much new donors agreed to pay and how long they stayed with the charity.

Tim Hunter, Oxfam fundraising director, said: "Seventy per cent of regular donors stay with us for more than four years and almost a third carry on giving for more than a decade. Overall, Oxfam spends just 9 per cent of its income on fundraising."

A Gosh spokeswoman said the charity wanted to clarify that the £600,000 figure included all the costs for the campaign including VAT, data, fulfilment and attrition.  

She said that the charity expected to pay less to GoGen in this financial year.

"The amount we invest is based on calculations regarding the length of time a new donor is likely to choose to generously support our work. It also varies per year," she said. "Our latest figures for this financial year show we have forecasted to spend £293,800 with GoGen who will make 60,000 calls on the charity’s behalf. This is predicted to raise £727,500 over a five-year period, taking into account the number of donors who will cancel."

Both Oxfam and Gosh said that during every telephone call made on behalf of charity the donor is told that they are speaking to a professional fundraiser, paid by the charity for their work.

The Gosh spokeswoman said: "Telephone fundraising is very important to the charity, helping us reach a diverse range of supporters and bringing in regular donations that give us the long-term security to plan ahead and use our money as effectively as possible for our lifesaving work."

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