Positive changes can benefit charities and donors

Charity rules 'ludicrous' say agenciesOne of these key changes is the way in which personal data is handled, particularly with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws that will come into force in May 2018.
These sector-wide changes are unavoidable and may cause confusion for many charities as well as affect the way they conduct their fundraising efforts. While it may not be a simple process for all charities, these changes will also mean a more sustainable future that befits the noble aims of the third sector.
Fundraisers and marketers need to keep one step ahead of the GDPR changes to ensure their teams are up to speed, as well as having the right skills in place to benefit from the data they have. But what do marketers working within the third sector need to know?
This is where education and training come into play, learning how GDPR will affect the fundraising sector will help create a sustainable future. Those working within charity will need to know:

How will the law affect marketing and the importance of consent?
* Staff will need to know how the changes differ from the Data Protection Act 1998
* Be up to date on the revised European Commission consultation on the Privacy & Electronic Communications Directive, which was implemented into UK law by the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations 2003
* Each and every one of these changes will affect the way in which marketers ask for consent, whether it is opt-out, soft opt-in, opt-in or double opt-in
* Encouraging charities to implement the correct systems to manage the variety of consents as well as deal with any changes which the donor may request in a timely fashion is another challenge

Why does data protection matter to fundraising and what effect does it have on legislation?
* Breaking the rules on data protection could lead to higher fines under the new GDPR and new fundraising regulation, not to mention enforcement action from the Information Commissioner’s Office
* Charities risk damaging their reputation and the relationships they have in place with their supporters if their personal data is not used correctly

How to analyse and use the data?
* Once the new laws have been implemented and understood, charities will still need to make sure they’re able to effectively use the insight from their customer data within their campaign efforts
Jane Cave - MD at the IDM* Understanding how to evaluate the metrics from marketing campaigns will enable charities to fully understand the value of their supporters, as well as the success of their fundraising programmes
The existing data charities have on their donors and supporters is vital to the long-term success of future fundraising and marketing campaigns. Charities must be respectful and diligent when it comes to handling their supporter’s data, be honest and fair and take the utmost responsibility for this data.
Ultimately, supporters should be at the heart of everything charities do, their data is a charity’s most valuable commodity and should be treated in that way.

Jane Cave is managing director at the IDM

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