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Charities worldwide: Boycott Appco Group and their fundraising fraud

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For more than 30 years, the Appco Group – a multinational, multi-million dollar face-to-face marketing company – has engineered a systematic con game worldwide, ripping off thousands of poorly paid workers and taking advantage of the public’s trust in 29 countries across 5 continents. Appco’s largest share of profit comes from fundraising for renowned charities like Unicef, WWF, and the British Red Cross. Charities that espouse the values of human rights must not allow their good names to be associated with Appco’s scheme.

On June 18th, Australian news program Sunday Night aired a bombshell exposé on the Appco Group, publicly revealing Appco’s unconscionable practices. Appco’s fundraisers are trained to mislead the unsuspecting public into believing that 100% of their donations will benefit noble causes like the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation and the Special Olympics, but Appco’s arrangements with these organizations are set so that, unless a donor chooses not to cancel his subscription with the charity within three years, only 7% will go the cause, while 93% goes to Appco, fueling the lavish lifestyles of their “vice presidents”. This is not morally defensible.

Appco’s working conditions are cruel and exploitative, where humiliating, sexualized hazing rituals are common and fundraisers are punished for failing to hit sales targets. On top of the abuse, fundraisers routinely work more than 80 hours a week struggling to get by on an average $6 an hour, with Appco labeling them “self-employed contractors” to shun all liability while banking millions. This is ethically disgraceful.

News coverage as far back as 2005 has shown that exploitation and fundraising fraud are not isolated incidents limited to Australia but rather widespread and worldwide. In the United Kingdom, in Canada, and even in Malaysia, charities are misrepresented and the public’s trust is betrayed.

When you realize that Appco comes from a long line of direct sales companies offering bogus “management training program” opportunities to people looking for an honest wage (this short documentary uncovered a scheme called Credico with the exact same marketing model, with a clip showing an employee of Chinese descent being forced into giving a foot massage and singing for not hitting his sales target), it becomes all too clear that depravity and dishonesty are a staple in Appco’s world.

We recognize the important impact that charity has on a multitude of causes; but Appco’s waste, abuse, and social irresponsibility is a cause for concern. The solution is clear: Charities worldwide must restore the public’s faith in giving and reassure the public that their donations go to noble causes like cancer research, environmental protection, helping veterans, saving children, etc. – not into the pockets of greedy con men. Greenpeace Australia, the Royal British Legion, and others have boldly disavowed themselves from Appco’s practices. Let's urge countless others whom Appco represents to do the same.

Let’s urge charities everywhere to abandon Appco.   #AbandonAppco

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