Charities urged to check fundraisers’ credentials due to Pudsey scammer


Charities have been in the news this week, due to the unscrupulous acts of a fraudster who recently scammed Children in Need out of £500,000.

The Fundraising Regulator in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, (of which Reverse Rett is a member) has urged charities to make sure that the fundraisers supporting their organisations are legitimate.

But how does any charity ensure that people out there using their name are genuine? Can smaller charities be expected to have the same ‘robust oversight’ of all fundraisers as charity giants like Children in Need or Cancer Research, both of which have extensive resources and levels of policy and bureaucracy aimed at protecting them from fundraising fraud. Are smaller charities therefore more likely to be represented by these sorts of fake fundraisers who plan to keep funds for themselves?

At Reverse Rett, we think not. We believe this is one area where we have an advantage over bigger charities with more anonymous fundraisers. We are a small charity driven by parents of affected children and adults with Rett syndrome. Our cause is deeply personal and due to Rett syndrome being a rare disease which isn’t well known, the cause is deeply personal to most of the people who fundraise for us too.

Nonetheless, we work hard to ensure that people raising money in the name of Reverse Rett are delivering 100% of what is given to the charity to help us in our work accelerating treatments for Rett syndrome. Here are some of the things we do to make sure that happens:

We require all Reverse Rett fundraisers to fundraise through a Reverse Rett Just Giving charity page (where funds are sent to the charity bank account) rather than through various self-funding platforms where funds go straight to an individual’s bank account.

When someone sets up their Just Giving charity Page, we email them directly to find out their personal connection to Rett syndrome and or their reasons for fundraising and supporting the work we do.

When fundraisers have had cash donated, we encourage them to donate it on their Just Giving charity Page for transparency, so that they can show their friends, family and community that the funds that have been handed to them in good faith have been donated to Reverse Rett.

We only send Reverse Rett fundraising merchandise, i.e. T-shirts or collection parts out to bona fide fundraisers with whom we have an established relationship. 

When an event or challenge takes place, we have a record of it and we ensure that fundraisers and pay up in full.

We have robust fundraising policies in place regarding split fundraising. Here are some of the key elements of those policies:

a. When split fundraising, fundraisers must declare the split on all event/challenge materials, ie 50% to Reverse Rett, 50% to a personal cause. The split must be minimum 50% Reverse Rett.

b. Trustees and staff members at Reverse Rett are not permitted to fundraise for personal causes, ie for equipment, therapy costs etc., even if they have their own child with Rett syndrome.

At Reverse Rett, we do not receive any statutory funding. Community fundraising is absolutely essential to the work we do. We cannot keep our work going without the income that comes in from our dedicated fundraisers throughout every day of the year. We know our fundraisers well and if we don’t know them, we get to know them. And because we know them, we know that they are some of the most brilliant, kindest and driven people in the world. 

We are grateful to each of them and to all you who support them. We want everyone who supports Reverse Rett to feel confident that the funds you give are helping us reach our ultimate goal. 

Thank you for your continued support.

If you have any questions about fundraising for Reverse Rett, our policies and procedures or about any of our fundraisers, please get in touch: [email protected] or message us through any of the socials.