I have been concerned over the last 6 months to read and hear the media headlining the inappropriate fundraising methods some charities have been using to raise funds. The stories in the press represent a huge betrayal of trust by a minority of charities towards their donors.

If I was a donor, I would be wondering if any charity I supported was behaving properly. So, I feel that as the Chief Executive at Friends of the Lake District I have a responsibility to reassure all of you who invest so much of your time and money into our organisation that we have always been concerned to conduct fundraising according to the highest possible ethical standards. Specifically:

  • We never engage in selling or buying personal data. Everyone on our records has freely chosen to engage with our charity and share their information with us. This information is always kept securely and confidentially and we will never sell it to anyone.
  • We do not bombard those who are potentially vulnerable – in fact we don’t bombard anyone. We take people’s communication preferences very seriously. We keep records identifying how everyone would like to be contacted, and we respect this. We also allow you to opt out of communications with us altogether in every email and every fundraising or campaigning letter you receive from us. If you are unhappy with how we are currently contacting you please call us on 01539 720788 or email [email protected] at any time to update your communications preferences.
  • We never use fundraising agencies to make fundraising calls. We do not routinely use the telephone to make any ask of our members or supporters, be it for their time, money or for campaigning purposes. Generally we will only phone people for administrative reasons and where we do need to make a phone call we do it ourselves because we like talking to you!

These are just some of the ways we make sure we work to the highest possible standards in fundraising, which you, our members, would expect from us. Our aim is to fundraise ethically and responsibly, and to spend the money in ways which will have the greatest impact possible in protecting the landscapes we all love.

We will be conducting a membership survey in the September issue of our member publication, Conserving Lakeland. This will include an opportunity for members to update us on how they would like us to communicate with them.

Recent catastrophic flooding in Cumbria has reminded us that the Lake District is fragile and needs our help more than ever in the coming months and years. We can only do this with your support and we hope that you will continue to enable us to do this vital work.

If you do have any questions about our work or our fundraising practices, I would be more than happy to speak or write to you.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Lake District,

Douglas Chalmers - Chief Executive

This message from Douglas was sent by letter to every member of Friends of the Lake District. Our decision to write to members and to reassure them of our commitment to conduct fundraising according to the highest possible ethical standards has attracted some wider attention. We've been featured in an article written by Stephen Cook, Editor of the Third Sector Magazine. Click on the image to read it.