Olive Cooke’s family launch memorial appeal to benefit charities
Olive Cooke’s family launch memorial appeal to benefit charities Out of this investigation and campaign arose the Etherington Commission on fundraising self-regulation, and its recommendations to create a different fundraising regulatory body, the Fundraising Regulator, together with a new ‘Fundraising Preference Service’.Indeed, Mrs Cooke’s name is still, two years later, used as shorthand by some newspapers to criticise charities and fundraising methods, implying that charities’ direct mail and telephone fundraising activities did have a direct role in her death.For example, as recently as 6 April 2017 in Mail victory as charities are fined for snooping: Cancer Research, the NSPCC and Guide Dogs for the Blind are among 11 hit after paying investigators for details on supporters the Daily Mail referred to “the death of 92-year-old poppy seller Olive Cooke, who killed herself after becoming ‘overwhelmed’ by charity begging letters.”The use of the word ‘after’ is key. Some will understand it as indicating ‘as a result of’ the direct mail appeals of charities. Yet this causative link can plausibly be denied in that it can be claimed to refer simply to the passage of time: she had once felt overwhelmed by charity appeals (in an interview with a Bristol newspaper) and then, at a later date, she took her own life.Of course, the coroner ruled that she had taken her own life because of depression, sleeping problems and breast cancer. There was no reference to charities and fundraising methods as a cause.This had already been stated by her family, who rejected the notion that charities had any involvement at all in her death.The fundraising appeal therefore offers the family a chance to highlight the remarkable charitable support and generosity of Olive Cooke and rescue the scurrilous and continuing abuse of her name and reputation as a charity supporter.What donors to the Olive Cooke appeal saidSome donors to the appeal explained why they gave. Here are just some of them.“This is a wonderful thing to do for a woman who was so generous”.“As someone who has worked and volunteered for charities all my life, a token of thanks.”“I know you’ve hit target Jessica but its three great charities and as a charity worker I am humbled by Olives contribution to charity and society.You are doing her proud. Long may her memory live.”“On behalf of all the charities that she did so much for I feel honoured to be giving the opportunity to remember this remarkable woman”.Thank youThe Olive Cooke memorial appeal page ends with a polite and measured thank you and request for support that any fundraiser would be proud of:“Thank you for reading this and if you would like to donate any small amount it would be gratefully received”. If Mrs Cooke passed on this sincere and effective method of asking for support to her family then her true positive impact on fundraising is even greater. 153 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis8 Howard Lake | 22 April 2017 | News Tagged with: ethics Fundraising Regulator Law / policy regulation The Prime Minister thanks The Daily Mail (7 July 2015) Mrs Cooke’s death in May 2015 was used by some national newspapers to mount the first stage of a sustained attack on charities and fundraising methods. Front page headlines declared, before the coroner had ruled on the causes of her death, that she had been “hounded to death” by charity fundraisers.In this way the name of Britain’s longest-serving poppy collector was used in death to further a campaign to tar all charities and fundraisers with the same brush and to demand rapid and greater charity sector regulation. It worked.This led to five consecutive days of front page headlines on the Daily Mail, criticising charities, their fundraisers and their agencies. At the end of this tirade, when world events were knocked off the newspaper’s front page by a week of allegations against some charities, Prime Minister David Cameron joined in the crusade by welcoming the newspaper’s self-declared ‘Victory!’ and promising legislation to affect the whole charity fundraising sector. There was no discussion of a targeted investigation that would take to task only the individual charities and agencies that had been criticised. 154 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis8 The family of lifelong charity supporter and volunteer fundraiser Olive Cooke has launched a fundraising appeal to create a memorial to her.The target of the appeal, launched on 18 April, was £600. It has been reached quickly, and continues to grow.The family wanted to erect a “a lasting memorial to remember our Mother, Nan, and Great-Nan… or ‘Big-Nanny’ as her Great Granddaughter calls her!” The memorial bench will be placed in the gardens of Bristol Cathedral, and will serve as a place “for anyone who wishes to pay their respects and wants to remember her”.The grounds of the Cathedral are an appropriate venue because Mrs Cooke was a familiar face there, selling poppies in aid of the Royal British Legion for more than 70 years to mark Remembrance Sunday . Her father served in the First World War and her first husband was killed in the Second World War.The appeal was launched by her grand-daughter Jessica Dunne. On JustGiving’s crowdfunding page she wrote: “Weʼre raising £600 to fund a memorial and a donation to commemorate the life of our beloved Olive Cooke.”She proudly explains that “Olive touched the lives of so many with her tireless fundraising, her stories, humour and determination”.Donations to three favourite charitiesIn keeping with her grandmother’s long commitment to supporting many charities, Ms Dunne explains that, should the funds raised exceed the cost of the bench, they will be donated to charity.Specifically it will be split between three charities. Ms Dunne explained her grandmother’s interest in and support for each charity, so the appeal will ensure that further donations are made to some of her favourite charities.Amnesty International was “one of Olive’s favourite charities”. Her interest in humanitarian issues was not limited to those in the UK.Age UK is “a wonderful charity”. Mrs Cooke “would visit elder friends less able bodied than herself and help however she could”.The Royal British Legion “is a charity that was very close to her heart”. Mrs Cooke would collect for the charity “come rain or shine”.How Olive Cooke’s name was hijacked About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.