The stupid and thoughtless actions of a few charities have now made it harder for all to fundraise.

The Fundraising Preference Service allows any and every member of the public to block phone calls, texts, letters and emails from specific charities they do not wish to support. Charities that ignore the wishes of the public can be fined by the Information Commissioner.

The imposition of these important new controls was sparked by the tragic case of 92-year-old Olive Cooke, who killed herself after receiving more than 200 written requests a month from charities for donations, as well as numerous telephone calls.

The day after the service was introduced more than 100 people per hour signed up. A poll by Pro Bono Economics has found that trust in charities is at an all-time low with 45% trusting their hairdressers against only 26% trusting charities.

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