CHRISTIAN AID IS USING FUND RAISERS
Today a fund-raiser employed by Christian Aid phoned me looking to get me make a direct debit commitment.
Perhaps that will seem a routine matter to many people.
My experience of Christian Aid over 40 years or so, is that it was the world justice arm of the church, working through the world-wide church to channel aid directly to communities who needed it. It raised money through Christian Aid week and other special campaigns while also encouraging individual giving. It had the lowest figure for all charities for the proportion of income spent on administration, fund-raising and advertising, because it trusted churches to do these things voluntarily.
Not so very long ago a new director in Scotland tried to move the charity away from the churches towards corporate givers. This caused much resentment among people who had given years of voluntary effort. I understood that this change would be reconsidered and believe it has been-at least in Scotland.
I think the call I received today came from London.
When I asked about the cost of the fund-raising, the not-very-well-informed agent told me that it cost only a small proportion of the money raised. I thought however that this method of fund-raising changes the whole basis of the charity in a way which discourages me from giving it my wholehearted support.
I am not resistant to change, nor am I unrealistic about the need to efficiency in charities, but I consider that this charity which started out as a way of making real the commitment of the world church to social justice, and therefore had a strong voluntary and communal base is in danger of becoming, like other charities, professionalised and individualised. I get the sense that perhaps Christian Aid doesn’t really believe any more in its supporter churches.
I would be interested in what others think about this issue. Perhaps I’m just getting old and cranky and need transferred to the recycling bin.