Elsewhere online
May 19, 2015

Britain Eyes Role of Charity Appeals in Pensioner's Death

The agency that regulates fundraising in Britain has launched an investigation into groups' solicitation strategies following the apparent suicide of a 92-year-old woman who had complained of being overwhelmed by charity appeals, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.

Friends and relatives of Olive Cooke, who was found dead earlier this month beneath a bridge in Bristol, England, said she was "exhausted" by a daily deluge of letters and phone calls from charity fundraisers.

Ms. Cooke sold poppies for more than 70 years to raise money for the Royal British Legion, a British veterans group. Following her death, "lots of people have come forward to give examples of their loved ones being under duress [from charities], and that is something that must be looked at," said Alistair McLean, chief executive of the Fundraising Standards Board. The inquiry will also look at data sharing among charities, facilitated by firms that sell phone numbers and addresses at low cost, according to Britain's Sunday Express.