The Fundraising Regulator has turned one year old this month and, to mark the occasion, has launched the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS).
Available both online and by phone, the service will enable individuals to block direct marketing communications from named charities. The FPS will be managed by the Fundraising Regulator, who will contact charities on behalf of the user and request that the selected methods of communication are halted. In addition, individuals will be able to use the service on behalf of a friend or relative.
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:
“The setup of the Fundraising Regulator and the FPS show that charities have taken concerns about fundraising seriously and worked together to turn things round.”
It is anticipated that the FPS will work well in ensuring individuals have genuine choice in any communications and the new requirements in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will strengthen donor control mechanisms even further.
In advance of the launch of the FPS on 6th July 2017, the Fundraising Regulator added new requirements to the Code of Fundraising Practice. Additional legal requirements are included such as;
Organisations must either cease within a reasonable period (not exceeding 28 days) or not begin to process an individual’s personal data for the purpose of direct marketing where they receive notice from or on behalf of an individual to do so. This may include: notice in writing from (or on behalf of) an individual, whether or not described as a formal section 11 request (under the Data Protection Act 1998) or through notice from (or on behalf of) an individual submitted through the FPS or notice from the FPS that such a request has been made.
Organisations must not send unsolicited marketing communications to consumers if explicit consent is required and has not been obtained.
Stephen Service, Policy Manager at the Fundraising Regulator explains that;
“Despite these other changes, the new service remains the missing piece in the regulatory jigsaw”.
Any fundraising organisations needing assistance in preparing for the FPS and/or GDPR please do not hesitate to contact David Gibson – Head of Charities Fundraising Regulation at Short, Richardson & Forth on 0191 211 1524 or Andrew Swan – Head of Regulation and Financial Crime on 0191 211 1503.