Confusion Over Heart Research Fundraising Campaign

The Heart Research In­stitute in Australia has defended its policy of raising funding for research purposes in Ireland. Find out more...

In June, the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) received numerous complaints from the public who received door-to-door calls from a company called Support Direct asking them to sign up to donate by direct debit to the Australian-based Heart Research Institute.

To clarify the situation, the IHF contacted the gardaí and put a notice on its website stating that it had nothing to do with the scheme and did not endorse it.

A spokesperson for the IHF said as far as it was aware, the fundraising conducted by the group was legitimate, but that there was “huge confusion” in the public who largely assume the money goes to the Irish-based charity.

IMN contacted the Heart Research Institute in Australia which confirmed some of its fundraising programmes are conducted by outside companies, including Support Direct.

According to Fundraising Executive with the Institute, Ms Valerie Froome, “Support Direct representatives are highly professional and extremely well trained and would definitely not have misrepresented themselves. Any misunderstanding or confusion by the public between the Heart Research Institute and the Irish Heart Foundation is purely that – public confusion.”

Furthermore, Ms Froome claimed that representatives from Support Direct have met with the IHF to inform them of this fundraising campaign. However, the IHF said that while Support Direct recently contacted it to solicit future business, it was not connected to concerns surrounding the campaign for the Heart Research Institute. Due to the current economic climate, Irish charities have expressed concern about fundraising sufficient money to keep their services running.

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