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Fundraising – An Extraordinary Week for Change

This week has seen momentous announcements for the future of fundraising that all our fundraising clients will want to be aware of. Rapidata will be in touch with all our not for profit clients in due course regarding any implications you may need to consider, especially as regards any fulfilment services or online payment pages we provide to you.

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has announced imminent major changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice; and today’s headlines are dominated by the proposed changes to fundraising regulation recommended by Sir Stuart Etherington, CEO of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), in his independent review for the Government – not least the closure of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB).

IoF Code of Fundraising Practice to change

The IoF has announced a number of measures to strengthen the Code of Fundraising Practice in response to the FRSB Interim Report and as part of ongoing efforts to protect vulnerable donors and restore public trust in fundraising – IoF Fundraising Review: Putting Donors First.

The changes will raise the standards required of fundraising in the UK, helping put the donor back in control by prohibiting the selling of a supporter’s data, making sure that ‘opt-out’ boxes aren’t hidden away in the small print, and making it much easier for supporters to tell a charity that they don’t want to receive fundraising communications. New measures include:

  • Every addressed fundraising communication will be required to carry a clear message explaining how donors can easily ‘opt-out’ of receiving future communications
  • Minimum font sizes will be introduced for opt-in and opt-out statements on all printed communication (including newspaper adverts)
  • Charities will be banned from selling any individual’s data to a third party
  • Charities will only be able to share an individual’s data with third parties for fundraising communications if that individual has ‘opted in’ and provided express consent
  • A new clear requirement will be introduced to ensure fundraisers end a telephone call when asked
  • All fundraising calls from agencies and call centres will have to be made from an identifiable number
  • The current grey area around ‘reasonable persuasion’ in the Code will be replaced with a clear requirement prohibiting intrusive or persistent behaviour that places undue pressure on a person to donate.

The Future of Self-Regulation

In brief, Etherington’s report Review of Fundraising Self Regulation calls for a significant restructure of charity fundraising regulation, that includes recommending the closure of the current FRSB and the creation of a new and stronger Fundraising Regulator, the removal of the Code of Fundraising Practice from the Institute of Fundraising placing it with the new regulator, and the creation of a Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) that would sit alongside the current Mailing Preference Service (MPS) and Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, said in a statement that the recommendations represented a new approach to fundraising self-regulation. “Charities need to work together to make sure vulnerable people are protected,” he said. “I welcome the report as an important contribution and aim to consider fully before responding shortly.”

For now, the sector awaits further response from Government.

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