Charities hit with astronomical direct mail costs, says Charity Commission

A new study conducted by the Charity Commission has found that a number of charities are spending up to a staggering 90 per cent of their fundraising income on direct mail.

The study, which scrutinised the accounts of charities such as Gandhi World Hunger and The Hungry Children Project, found that charities were spending on average anywhere between 63 per cent and 90 per cent on their direct mail costs.

The Commission’s comprehensive study identified ten registered charities which used direct mail as their primary method of fundraising – and found that the Hungry Children Project, the charity worst hit by direct mail bills, raised £430,950, yet spent £385,822 on mailing – representative of 90 per cent of its fundraising revenue.

Gandhi World Hunger was found to have spent 88 per cent of its £734,718 voluntary income on direct mail costs, and a number of other charities didn’t fare much better, according to their accounts.

David Holdsworth, chief operating officer at the Charity Commission, said: “The Commission undertook a review in 2015 focusing on charities using direct mailing as their principal source of fundraising.

“We identified several concerns and where necessary issued action plans for making improvements and we are actively monitoring these.”

Charities concerned that they could be spending too much on direct mail are advised to contact the relevant accounts specialists for advice.

Posted in Charities.