How the Audit Came About
During the pandemic, face to face and event fundraising experienced significant declines due to the various restrictions imposed by lockdowns and social distancing measures. As fundraisers sought alternative ways to generate much-needed revenue for their causes, one fundraising technique emerged as a clear winner: telephone fundraising!
Charities began hiring telephone fundraisers to conduct campaigns but also to reach out and check on supporters’ well-being during those challenging times. Whilst the rise in telephone fundraising was a positive development, there were concerns about the growing number of agencies entering the sector without a clear understanding of best practices and adherence to ethical standards.
This posed a risk to the entire fundraising community as poor practices can lead to a loss of donor trust and confidence. To address these concerns FIA took proactive steps to mitigate potential risk. It engaged in discussions with its member telephone agencies who shared the concerns and the concept of a ‘tick approval’ scheme was born.
The voluntary audit of telephone fundraising calls by member agencies was established as a collaborative approach to ensure compliance. An independent auditor was hired to assess the agencies’ practices and benchmark them against the ACMA regulars and the FIA Code. The audit covered areas like raffles, cash appeals, lead generation, donor upgrades and complaint handling with a focus on vulnerable donor identification and management. Overall the results were positive and, whilst there were some areas for improvement, the agencies welcomed the feedback and committed to providing additional training and support for their telephone fundraisers.
The audit launched in late 2022, with nine of the 14 member agencies participating and providing randomly selected call data for the exercise. The participants were Adflex Marketing, Apple Marketing, Clever Contacts, Cornucopia Consulting, GiveTel, MonDial Fundraising Communications, Pareto Phone Pty Ltd, Public Outreach Consultancy Australia Pty Ltd and Smart Health Australia.
The results of the audit will be shared with the regulators to showcase the effectiveness of the self-regulatory framework. As legislative landscapes may change, FIA remains committed to monitoring member compliance and encouraging non-members to abide by the Code.
We hope all FIA supplier members who do telephone fundraising will consider participating in the audit program in the future. We will also be reaching out to non-member agencies to get them to consider joining FIA to become part of the fundraising best practice community.
To express your interest in the annual audit please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2022 Audit Compliant Telemarketing Organisations
MonDial Fundraising Communications
Pareto Phone Pty Ltd
Public Outreach Consultancy Australia Pty Ltd
Smart Health Australia