HomeInsightsFundraising Regulator announces plans for Fundraising Preference Service

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The Fundraising Regulator says that the Fundraising Preference Service will give members of the public greater control over the contact they receive from charities. It is set to be launched in spring/early summer 2017.

The service will enable individuals to select charities that they no longer want to receive any communications from. The Regulator says that this will provide a user-friendly and simple way for the public to manage their contacts with charities. At the same time, charities will be required to increase their compliance by seeking affirmative consent for contact on a regular basis from donors and supporters.

In summary:

  • the opt-out from specified charities will apply to all charities and all forms of communication with a named individual (email, text, telephone and addressed mail);
  • the FPS will be IT-based but with a telephone service to support those who are vulnerable or without IT;
  • the Regulator will notify specified charities of suppression (those people opting out) and monitor compliance, through a largely automated system;
  • there will be signposting to the Telephone and Mail Preference Services; and
  • accompanying guidance will explain how the public can best manage their contacts with charities.

Opt-out will have the statutory force of a Data Protection Act s 11 notice to cease direct marketing.

Lord Grade, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said:

The FPS will help give individuals control of their contacts with charities. In covering all charities and all forms of communication with a named individual, it will meet the aspirations for the FPS set out in the Cross-Party Review of fundraising practice.

“We will want to focus in particular on the needs of vulnerable donors and the support they require to opt out from unwanted contacts.

“There is a growing realisation in the sector that appropriate consents need to be put in place and that the wish to opt-out must be respected. We are committed to helping the sector work to the standards expected by the public.

“Once implemented, the FPS will be closely reviewed, including usage, value for money and donor feedback”.

The Fundraising Regulator is already in discussion with potential suppliers about the procurement of the database and telephone service through a tendering process. To read the Regulator’s press release in full, click here.

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