Charities aiming to escape the Fundraising Preference Service could be in for a nasty shock after new boss George Kidd said the scheme is likely to take an all or nothing approach, meaning consumers will not be able to pick which charities they want to receive marketing from.
Organisations will also not be able to use existing relationships with supporters to avoid sanctions; once a consumer has signed up to the FPS, they should be removed from all lists.
This would bring the FPS in line with the Telephone Preference Service. Under the EU Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations, it is now mandatory for charities to run all of their databases – including exisiting supporters – against the TPS before they embark on marketing campaigns.
Speaking to delegates at a recent fundraising regulation forum, hosted by the Institute of Fundraising and the Small Charities Coalition, Kidd said: “If someone has come to the preference service and registered their preference and the preference is a complete reset, then whatever opt-ins went on before are frozen,” he said. “That person has said: ‘From this point forward I do not want to do certain things.’”
Kidd, who is also chair of the DM Commission, said that if someone wanted to support a charity after signing up with the service, the charity in question would be able to communicate with them as long as they could prove to the regulator that they had obtained consent.
Charities would only be able to communicate with existing supporters (such as those who have set up direct debits) who have signed up to the FPS, for administrative purposes.
Kidd said the working group was still considering ways to publicise the new service, with one option being that charities would have to include details in their communications, similar to the way utilities flag up their ombudsman service on bills and invoices.
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