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A complaint about event fundraising: Mr P

The complaint

Mr P complained that a fundraising event he attended in aid of a charity was a “rip-off”.

Our findings

We found that the event organiser was a “commercial participator”. This means they were carrying out business and in the course of that business representing that they would make a donation to the charity.

We found that the charity had failed to recognise this and put in place appropriate systems to manage the relationship. We also found that the charity was not open with Mr P when dealing with his complaint.

Finally, we found that the charity did not escalate Mr P's concerns despite his dissatisfaction.

Our recommendations

We recommended that the charity tell Mr P how much money it received from the event.

We also recommended that the charity adopt a more open approach when answering queries about donations received from “in aid of” events and ensure that any commercial participator is aware of, and fulfils, its legal obligations.

Finally we recommended that the charity send Mr P a written apology for the breaches of the code that we’ve identified.

The charity accepted our findings and our recommendations.