The Fundraising Preference Service will be unworkable for the majority of charities, because they will not be able to gain the technical capability to fully screen their data against the scheme under the regulator’s planned five-month timeframe.
That is the stark warning which has been issued by John Bird, managing director of charity software provider Blackbaud Europe, in an interview with Third Sector magazine.
“Forget the ethical debate,” he said. “I have grave technical concerns about its viability and the sector is being dragged into it. It is my view that with the best will in the world, a combination of technical and logical barriers will prevent all but a small handful of organisations being able to fully screen their data against the FPS list, as the proposal currently stands.”
Blackbaud was one the many companies which has submitted its response to the FPS consultation, although as it does not close until later this week, the firm’s view are not yet in the public domain.
Bird’s main concern is that the regulator’s proposed lead-time of five months for charities to become compliant is far too tight.
He explained that if only 0.5% of the population were to sign up to the service, charities would have to screen their data against a list of 250,000 external contacts, which he insists would require technological know-how to fully understand how to move data and keep it secure. “This is no small challenge for many charities, even of a medium size,” Bird claimed.
He believes the regulator should give the sector at least of 12 months from the publication of the FPS interface details before forcing charities to comply.
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