Military charity changes fundraising after ban from Norwich’s Castle Mall

Collectors for Pro-Fundraising Ltd acting on behalf of the 1st Knight Military Charity. Picture: Sup

Collectors for Pro-Fundraising Ltd acting on behalf of the 1st Knight Military Charity. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

An investigation by the Evening News and EDP has led a military charity to change the way it collects donations from the public.

Andy Linihan (centre), trustee of 1st Knight Charity with a donation for Lyn Rigby, mother of Lee Ri

Andy Linihan (centre), trustee of 1st Knight Charity with a donation for Lyn Rigby, mother of Lee Rigby. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The 1st Knight Military Charity has brought all fundraising in-house after its contractors were asked to stop collecting money for army veterans in Norwich's Castle Mall in December last year when this newspaper revealed that just 20pc of their takings were going to charity.

The Blackpool-based charity, which offers holidays for injured veterans, hired a firm called Pro-Fundraising Ltd to collect donations in the shopping centre by asking people to take part in a prize-draw.

But just 20pc of the £2.50 ticket money raised was going to the charity. The only mention of this was in a folder on a stall in the mall.

The charity's fundraising manager Christopher Wilkinson said they had stopped using firms such as Pro-Fundraising Ltd and had brought fundraising in-house so that 100pc of income would go to the charity.

He said: 'Whilst the use of professional fundraisers is common practice within the charity sector, the Charity Commission have confirmed there is a large misconception on the public's part as to just how beneficial these services can be to charities.


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'The use of a professional fundraiser offered us financially risk free fundraising activities leaving us to enjoy weekly payments.

'With this in mind, we naturally assumed this made perfect sense and offered the contract to Pro Fundraising Ltd.'

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Mr Wilkinson said the charity's trustees had an emergency meeting after the ban and employed their own fundraising manager in December.

But he said some of the charity's fundraisers had suffered abuse because the public still thought they were using a private firm to fundraise.

•Do you have a story for the Investigations Unit? Email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk or call 01603772834

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