Oxfam charity sign
Oxfam was among big-name charities criticised for its fundraising practices Reuters

Some of the UK's biggest charities have been given their last chance "to put their house in order" and stop hounding their donors, a damning report by MPs has found.

The Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee said that Oxfam, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Macmillan Cancer Support are among those that have damaged the reputation of charities.

The report slammed them for making it difficult for donors to block further communication from them or other charities while Oxfam was singled out for making it difficult for donors to opt out of text fundraising requests.

It criticised how personal information would be sold on by charities to scamming companies, leaving vulnerable and elderly people being seen as "fair targets".

An undercover investigation by the Daily Mail found that telephone fundraising contractor GoGen ignored the telephone preference service that allows customers to opt out of receiving unsolicited calls. This meant that fundraisers continued to press for a donation even if they found that individual was confused or had dementia.

The paper described how the NSPCC, the British Red Cross, Oxfam and Macmillan were using "boiler room" tactics to raise cash.

Fundraising practices of charities made the headlines in 2015 after the death of 92-year-old Olive Cooke, one of Britain's oldest and longest-serving poppy sellers. Her family said she had been pestered by charities and received up to 267 letters a month asking for money.

The government-commissioned review, chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington, has put forward plans to tackle the problems, including proposals for a new regulator to be convened by the industry.

The report said it put at risk public trust in the many charities that did not engage in such high-pressure tactics. Civil Society Magazine reported a poll of charity professionals that showed 80 per cent were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the ethics of their charities' fundraising.

Rob Wilson, the minister for civil society, told the Mail: "The sector has one last chance to prove that self-regulation can work, but I am willing to step in and impose statutory regulation if necessary."