Sir Stuart Etherington’s review of fundraising self-regulation proposed a new kind of preference service, enabling consumers to better manage their preferences for fundraising contact by charities.
This proposal was accepted by the Government in October 2015 and George Kidd, chair of the Direct Marketing Commission, was appointed to lead the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) Working Group. He presented the model for the FPS to the regulator’s board on 13 July. The consultation period will run until the end of September.
So what do I need to know about FPS?
- It will cover charities based in England and Wales only
- It’s likely to apply only to charities that spend more than £100,000 a year on direct marketing.
- The Fundraising Regulator is yet to decide if a “two-tier pricing structure is merited” for smaller organisations who spend less on fundraising annually, but who do use regular communications as part of their fundraising campaigns.
- FPS is expected to launch Spring 2017
The FPS model has four different actions available to donors / consumers, depending upon their wishes.
- If a donor wishes to stop phone calls, the FPS will direct them to the existing TPS.
- Those wishing to stop direct mail will be directed to MPS.
- If a person wishes to stop specific charities from contacting them, but is happy to continue existing donations, they will be offered a “small red button”. This will allow the user to specify the charity or charities they do not want to hear from.
- There will be a ‘reset’ button, which was first proposed in the Etherington Review. This would stop a user from receiving all communications where the core purpose is fundraising. This is referred to as the ‘large red button’.
What about existing supporters who sign up to FPS?
In February George Kidd said: “If someone has come to the preference service, registered their preference and the preference is a complete reset, then whatever opt-ins went on before are frozen.” He said that he believed existing supporters who sign up to FPS would have clearly shown they did not want to be contacted from that point onwards.
However it has since emerged that, following a recommendation by the FPS Working Group, the Fundraising Regulator has recommended that charities should be allowed to contact people who sign up to the Fundraising Preference Service one last time to clarify their intentions. This will only be allowed within a specific period, yet to be defined.
Charities may not have to screen their lists
In August 2016 it was reported by Third Sector that charities may not have to screen their lists against FPS, as the Fundraising Regulator plans to regularly inform charities if any of their supporters have signed up to the Fundraising Preference Service.
The Working Group has also recommended that a donor will be registered to the FPS for a period that is limited to 2 years.
The information provided and the opinions expressed in this document represent the views of the Data Protection Network. They do not constitute legal advice and cannot be construed as offering comprehensive guidance on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or other statutory measures referred to.