Name and type of organisation: Cash for Kids (registered charity no. 1122062)
Fundraising methods: Corporate and events
Code themes examined: Fundraising communications and complaint handling
Code breach? Yes
A ‘Drop the Boss’ campaign by the charity Cash for Kids invited employees to nominate their manager to take part in a bungee jump. The complainant was concerned that the campaign could promote bullying and affect the wellbeing of those nominated.
The Drop the Boss campaign run by Cash for Kids in 2019 included the following wording.
- “DO YOU WANT TO GET YOUR OWN BACK ON YOUR BOSS? Now it’s time to get your revenge!”
- “Oh, and it might be a good idea to ask your boss first… because they’ll need to sign up to these terms and conditions.”
- “They’ll take on a terrifying 160ft bungee jump – it’s the ultimate chance to see your boss feeling the fear!”
In September 2019 the complainant raised concerns with the charity about people facing unnecessary pressure to take part in the bungee jump and the risk of workplace bullying, particularly for people with an undisclosed mental health condition. In response to the complaint, the charity set out the checks it used to confirm that people were willing to make the bungee jump. It also told the complainant that a Mental Health First Aider would be at the jump to ensure that people felt able to withdraw from it if they wished.
The complainant recognised that the wording of the campaign was light-hearted but was concerned that the charity’s actions to mitigate possible adverse effects on wellbeing were insufficient. In October 2019 the complainant put the concerns to us.
The charity’s terms and conditions signed by nominees included an error. Its effect was that the person nominated to jump also accepted responsibility for raising the minimum amount of £200.
We found no breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice (the code) in the way the charity had acted to ensure the health and safety of those affected by this particular event and its campaign. However, we acknowledged the complainant’s concern about the potential impact of being nominated on the mental health of nominees, and the risk that the campaign could promote bullying.
We found that the charity thoroughly investigated the complaint and responded appropriately to the concerns raised. Therefore, the charity had not breached the code in the way it handled and investigated the complaint.
Yet we found that the charity had breached the code by failing to clearly identify the fundraiser within the campaign and who was expected to meet the fundraising target.
We recommended that the charity should:
- establish who the fundraiser is in any future fundraising campaigns before they are advertised and that it should communicate that information clearly in all its fundraising materials; and
- think carefully about the wording used in relation to future campaigns and events and the impact they may have on others, to avoid concerns such as those raised in this complaint.
We asked that the charity write to us within two months of our final decision with an update on the action taken in response to our findings and recommendations.