INDEPENDENT NEWS

Blind Trust Is Not Part Of Royal Blind Foundation

Published: Thu 5 Jul 2001 11:49 AM
Blind Trust Is Not Part Of The Royal New Zealand Foundation For The Blind
The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind is asking media to help it get the message out to the community that when people give to the Blind Trust they are NOT supporting the Foundation.
The Foundation has received several complaints from the public about the way in which the Blind Trust telemarketers have approached them.
"Initially members of the public who have been contacted by the Blind Trust, call us to complain about the telemarketer's manner. They ring us because they think the Blind Trust is the Foundation. This impression is reinforced by the telemarketer's comments that the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind endorses their activities. This is not the case at all and we have asked them on several occasions to stop creating this impression," says Jeanette Manson, RNZFB Fundraising Division National Manager.
"It is deeply disturbing because we pride ourselves in the highly professional approach we take to our fundraising activities. We also have highly transparent processes for all our financial transactions with fully audited accounts every year.
"The Blind Trust is placing our good name at risk and undermining all the years of effort we have put into making sure donors can trust us when we say we put their donations into services for blind and sight-impaired people.
"The Blind Trust is an entirely different and separate organisation," says Jeanette Manson.
The Blind Trust says it is raising money for glasses for school students and for mobile phones for adults.
"These are both things we do not provide because they are not part of the Foundation's core rehabilitation/habilitation service. If anyone asks for a donation to fund either of these activities people need to be aware that these are not part of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for Blind's programme."
The Blind Trust is raising money in Gisborne, Hastings and Wellington at present.
"However, they seem to be moving down the country so could turn up in any other centre. We are not making any comment about the legitimacy of their activities but we do need people to know they are not supporting the Foundation whenever they donate to the Blind Trust."
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