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Research shows supporters happy with BWBF's contact methods

Research carried out by BWBF has shown the majority of our supporters are happy with the way we make contact with them.

Research conducted by BWBF following negative publicity about the fundraising practices of some charities has shown most of our supporters are happy with the way we contact with them.

A report by MPs, which was made public earlier this year, found that unless the sector can clean itself up, the fundraising activities of UK charities could be controlled by law.

The report was prompted by the news in 2015 that elderly and vulnerable givers were being targeted and donors’ information sold on by some causes.

While MPs said they know most organisations do not engage in these practices, it can still damage the reputation of many charities which are working hard in their communities to make a difference to people who need them.

Following the news last year, we decided to carry out our own research with our supporters to ensure they are happy with how we make contact with them.

We conducted a survey with 3,559 of our current donors, asking what their preferred method of communication is and how often they would like to hear from us.

Although of the questionnaires sent out, only 13% (452) were returned, the data showed us that the majority of those (92% – 414) preferred to receive their communication in the post.

Less than 10% (43) of respondents were happy to take a phone call while 21% (93) wanted to receive email correspondence.

Of the people who replied, 77% (350) preferred to get no more than one to two communications a year, while 15% (69) were happy with three to four times.

Some of the people who replied to our questionnaires also wrote comments, with many of them very positive about BWBF and the way we conduct ourselves.

Any changes requested by our donors were immediately made to our database and we are confident in saying our communications are carried out in accordance with our supporters’ wishes.

We would like to assure all of our supporters that we do not, and never have, engaged in any form of unscrupulous fundraising.

We have never sold any details onto a third party, nor do we bombard donors with constant demands for money.

BWBF and its staff pride themselves on personal service and we all take our responsibilities to our donors very seriously.

Chief Executive Margaret Grainger said: “We were disappointed to see the news that, despite warnings, some charities are still engaging in these invasive fundraising practices.

“Unfortunately things like this can tar all organisations with the same brush.

“We are a small charity which relies on the generosity of our supporters and negative publicity like this can be very damaging.

“We are grateful to everyone who took the time to fill out the questionnaire and send it back to us.

“While we were pleased with the response, the fact that only 13% of people responded does show what a minefield the world of charity fundraising can be.

“We hope those who do support us will continue to do so and we would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you.

“Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to continue providing our vital service to visually impaired people.”