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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Major fundraising firm goes bust

This news post is almost 4 years old

16 regional offices of Home Fundraising, including one in Glasgow, have closed their doors and 600 staff will be made redundant

A major UK door-to-door fundraising company that has raised nearly £1 billion for charity has gone bust after 16 years.

Home fundraising, which counts Aberlour Childcare Trust, Children 1st and Barnardos as clients, has today suspended operations in 16 regional offices, including one on Glasgow’s West Regent Street, and announced it is making 600 employees redundant.

Administrators from H W Fisher & Company have been appointed and are seeking buyers for all or part of the business and assets.

Dominic Will, joint managing director of Home Fundraising Ltd, said: “We are deeply saddened that, after so many years in the sector, Home Fundraising must go into administration.

“In particular, we feel for our fundraisers and staff, who’ve been such passionate advocates for the charities we have worked with and have initiated so many long-standing donor relationships. Our staff have undoubtedly been Home's biggest asset.”

The fundraising sector has been under increasing scrutiny over the last few years, following a series of scandals that began with the death of Olive Cooke in Bristol in 2015.

It led to the collapse of voluntary fundraising regulatory bodies and the creation of the UK Fundraising Regultor and the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel in 2016.

Home's fundraising services were contracted on a payment by results model, minimising the risk of liability to charity clients.

Will added: “It’s been an extremely difficult time for fundraising agencies in recent years, with the need to adapt to a dramatically changing marketplace. There is also considerable uncertainty within the UK economy to which very few businesses will be immune, particularly those that carry significant staff and infrastructure costs.”

The organisation has raised nearly £1bn for a range of charities over the last few decades.

It was commended by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) for investing in training for staff and commitment to good-quality fundraising.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said: “This is really sad news for the whole team at Home and for the fundraising community. Since it was formed in 2002 Home Fundraising has engaged millions of people around the UK in supporting vital causes here and abroad.

“Under Dom and Neil’s leadership they have also been committed supporters of the wider fundraising community and of the Institute, for which we are incredibly grateful.

“We know that door-to-door fundraising is one of the hardest jobs in the profession, and that the team at Home took training and development very seriously, so we hope that all of their highly skilled and committed fundraisers find alternative jobs within the profession.”

Will ran the organsations alongside Neil Hope and said both were convinced there is still a place for good-quality face-to-face fundraising in the UK.

“The future can and should be a bright one for face-to-face activity, providing that agencies, charities and all stakeholders work together to realise the opportunities and take a few risks along the way," he said. "Essentially we remain strong believers in the importance of charities having face-to-face contact with supporters and the depth that can bring to ongoing relationships.”

Home Companies Ltd, continues to operate as parent company to HOME India and creative consultancy Wisdom Fish.



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