For many people simply creating a page on a donation platform is enough. Often these are individuals or small groups with a single final outcome in mind and who do not need to meet stringent auditing requirements.
There are some areas of fundraising that have to measure up to extraordinary scrutiny. The areas that we cover in this regard are fundraising for legal fees, international contentious causes and charities that are exclusive within their cause. In some cases the validity of these fundraisers are challenged and we have supported people and organisations that have been denied access to fundraising platforms because the platform owners themselves have submitted to popular opinion and not the law. This is very challenging and we work with partners that understand the rule of law and our auditing process in order to meet the due diligence requirements under UK law.
To resolve these issues we build the Fundraising pages ourselves and use services and companies that value our work in terms of providing equal access to all our clients to fundraising. Our strategies also include educating the public around the democratic process of innocent until proven guilty and the right to fair representation. Not a single case that we have supported has failed outright. In fact we have supported charities and individuals that have as a result of their fundraisers managed to achieve recognition of their work and been allowed to continue in their primary function of the communities that they serve.
One of the most difficult things to control is the response of those that disagree with or choose to demonise the thoughts, words and actions of our clients. Before we take on a client that has a contentious public profile, we undertake a considerable due diligence process to ensure that we are not in fact providing a service to a client or organisation that has in fact been convicted (by a jury – not trial by media) of an offence contrary to their fundraising project. We then communicate with any company or organisation that refuses to provide a service to our clients based on hearsay and for reasons that my find them in hot water, particularly under the Equality Act 2010 in the United Kingdom.
Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook take very little responsibility for the libellous information that is published on their platforms in respect of our clients and we often find that we have to write to them directly requesting removal of offending or illegal posts. This is usually successful.
The law and refusal of service
Probably one of the most difficult areas to work in, is the decision by most fundraising platforms to take the easy money and not to provide access to their platforms by lesbian and gay organisations and women’s rights activists, who are in fact protected under the Equality Act 2010. Even worse, many of these decisions are made without consideration of the Human rights Act or even that they are empowering the abuse from opponents under the Malicious Communications Act.
Our Management team are currently building a project to take these companies to task. Free speech is enshrined in our law and the refusal to allow a disabled , gay or lesbian person or a woman to seek funding to defend their free speech speaks volumes of these companies.
Building a positive outcome
We all know that there is never a guaranteed outcome for a case. We choose to support fundraisers for people whose case we believe will either set a precedent in law (whether they win the case or not). We also support fundraisers for activities by community and charitable organisations provided that there is a definable group that will benefit from the activities of this group.
We do however publicise the reasons for supporting a client that has approached us, as long as our reasons are not sub judice and would be detrimental to the clients case. This situation would however be very unusual.