'We did not intend to mislead our donors', says Milton Keynes charity over money controversy

The Milton Keynes-based Brain Tumour Research charity has come under fire for not making it clear that less than half its funds are actually spent on research.

Thursday, 14th June 2018, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:48 pm

On its Facebook page the charity stated it was “dedicated to granting 100 per cenof its funds to continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours.”

In fact, out of the £3.6m raised last year, only around £1.6m went to the charity’s four research centres.

The remaining money was spent on generating funds, governence, campaigning and raising awareness, administration and education.

Meanwhile the bill for staff costs was £1.02m.

Research into brain tumours has become highly topical since the death of Labour cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell last month.

Following a complaint from members of the public, the national Fundraising Regulator launched an investigation into the MK charity.

His report has now found part of the Code of Fundraising Practice was breached.

The code states that fundraising communications must not be likely to mislead by “inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration or omission”.

The regulator also said the charity had not been “sufficiently open”, though accepted it did not intend to mislead people .

Brain Tumour Research director of fundraising Robin Meltzer told the Citizen: “ The Brain Tumour Research Charity was the subject of a sole, one-off complaint to the Fundraising Regulator regarding some of our marketing communications. We are delighted that the Regulator found that there was no intention to mislead donors and note that some of our historic messaging about which charitable projects are being funded was unintentionally ambiguous so we have already taken steps to rectify this

.”Mr Meltzer added: “The charity, which is based at Shenley Wood, has raised £15m since it was founded in 2009. Our vision is to find a cure for brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer … yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“We are determined to change this and are funding a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.