The young people’s cancer charity with a rip-off professional fundraiser

  1. Youth Cancer Trust (UK) Limited is a national charity that provides “support and free, activity-based holidays” in Bournemouth for young people with cancer in the UK and Irish Republic (registered charity number: 1064736). Here I show that YCT has excessive fundraising costs. The official professional fundraiser retains for itself a staggering 83 per cent (yes, 83 per cent) of the money it raises in the name of the charity.
  2. I first came across YCT on 8 April 2018, when I saw a man collecting on its behalf, with an eye-catching stand, at a supermarket in Manchester. Because it was the Asda store in Longsight, I was immediately wary of the charity and its fundraising (see four-part investigation into questionable charity collections at Asda Longsight, published on 11 March 2015). Examination of the charity accounts for the last five years proves I was right to be wary.
  3. Commercial company YCT Trading Ltd is the official professional fundraiser (registered company number: 05814008). It makes collections across the UK at supermarkets and other sites, according to the charity website (screen shot in Figure 1). How many shoppers, if any, are aware the collectors are actually working for a third-party firm? I wasn’t. In other words, the commercial company collects donations from the public in a misleading way. What’s worse, the accounts show YCT Trading is a rip-off professional fundraiser.

    Figure 1. YCT Trading Ltd: official professional fundraiser for charity Youth Cancer Trust (UK) Limited at 25 April 2018

  4. The latest accounts for YCT are made up to 30 June 2017, and report income of £181.8k – of which £95.9k came from YCT Trading. But as the accounts make clear, the income from the professional fundraiser is shown as the net amount it raised. So we simply have no idea how much the firm keeps for itself. For that we need the gross amount, which isn’t disclosed. Similarly, the accounts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 all show net amount only. The 2016 accounts, however, reveal both gross and net amount – and the difference is shocking.
  5. In 2016, YCT Trading raised £706.7k – but with “costs” £573.8k and “expenses” £14.0k. Thus only £118.9k actually went to the charity – a shameful 17 per cent of the amount raised.
  6. Meanwhile, 2015 was just as bad (the 2016 accounts restate the previous year’s results with both gross and net amount). Then YCT Trading raised £919.6k – but with “costs” £728.0k and “expenses” £22.1k. Thus just £169.5k in fact reached YCT – a discreditable 18 per cent of the amount raised.
  7. The excessive fundraising costs and business model are strongly reminiscent of the many dubious military charity/professional fundraiser combos I’ve exclusively exposed (see blog, passim ad nauseam). Another similarity is the amount of goodwill that surely exists around YCT because of the nature of the cause.
  8. Perhaps YCT is a new charity, as these can have high fundraising costs? Er, no. Registered on 7 October 1997, it’s a mature, long-established one.
  9. YCT doesn’t deserve support, with unreasonable fundraising costs, especially for such a popular cause. It’s not enough, therefore, to check a charity is registered before donating money at the supermarket or elsewhere. Yes, collectors may be unpaid volunteers. Or they may be working for a linked professional fundraiser, one with rip-off costs.
  10. Both YCT and YCT Trading didn’t respond to requests for comment.

RGSB now publishes the minutes for its meetings – at last

  1. On 14 May 2018, I received an email from Sarah Webster of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) secretariat informing me that RGSB had finally resumed publication on its website of the minutes for its meetings. (For the background on RGSB, see 20 March 2018 post.)
  2. This was after I revealed on 20 March this year RGSB‘s failure to publish the minutes for its meetings in a timely fashion. Then the latest minutes on the website were for the meeting on 18 July 2016!

Private Eye reports Fiona Phillips exposé

  1. The current issue of Private Eye (1469) reports my Fiona Phillips exposé (see 25 April 2018 post).
  2. Private Eye is the UK’s number one best-selling news and current affairs magazine.
  3. You won’t find the report – or much else from the magazine – on the Eye website because the online presence is minimal. Here’s a scanned copy of the page from my subscription copy – see top of page: Private Eye 1469.