Fundraising Preference Service Update

August 29, 2016

Fundraising Preference Service Update

The Fundraising Preference Service working group has now released its set of final recommendations on how the new scheme should run. The industry also has a last chance to provide feedback, and views need to be submitted to the working group by 30 September 2016.

The full report can be accessed here, but below is a brief summary.

First of all, it is very clear that the working group has listened to previous feedback received and has addressed many of the concerns of many of us in the industry. In particular, it is good to see that individuals can now list those charities that they do not wish to hear from, as well as stop fundraising contact from all charities. Previously, it was suggested that those individuals should list the charities that they did want to hear from. This would have run the risk of individuals having to remember a long list of charity names and forgetting about some (or not even knowing about certain charities, including any new ones).

Secondly, if an FPS registrant has donated in the past two years, the charity can contact the individual once to confirm the intention. This provides a good opportunity to reach out to the donor and identify what went wrong, with the aim of mending bridges. This is a welcome addition, particularly for those individuals who registered to stop all fundraising contact from any charity.

In summary, the other main points are: (updates or new items are highlighted in bold).

  • The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) will work in conjunction with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and the Mail Preference Service (MPS).
  • FPS relates to individuals rather than households and covers addressed mail, telephone, email and SMS.
  • It will now be a two-tier system allowing individuals to either opt out of all fundraising communications (called the large red button or reset) or just those from specific charities (called the small red button).
  • Charities and fundraising organisations that have received a donation from an individual that has now registered with FPS are allowed to ‘check in’ to clarify the situation.
  • Social media and door calling will not be covered, since both can be readily opted out of.
  • Unaddressed mail is not covered, but this could be reviewed in the future if this starts to cause problems.
  • Only third-party members who have power of attorney or the equivalent can register someone else on the FPS.
  • FPS registrants will receive a confirmation.
  • FPS registrants can still engage with the charity and provide appropriate consent for further consent directly with the charity.
  • FPS registration should be time-capped and expire after two years. Individuals will be reminded three months before expiry to remind them to refresh their registration if still required.
  • Charities can access a single FPS file to screen against their data. It is suggested that only charities and fundraising organisations should be able to access this file. In other words, third parties and agencies acting on behalf of a charity would not be able to undertake such a screening.
  • Once screened, charities have four months to stop contacting those registered individuals by mail and 28 days to stop contact by email, phone and SMS.
  • Charities spending over £100,000 on fundraising a year have to screen their data against FPS, although smaller charities should be encouraged to do so, too.
  • Those charities spending over £100,000 have to pay a levy of £150 per year. The levy then increases in bands, with those spending £1m paying £2,500 a year. Those spending over £20m per year will have to pay £12,000 per year while the highest fees will be paid by those spending over £50m, paying £15,000 per year.

Don’t forget, you have until 30 September 2016 to let the working group know of your views on the FPS scheme. The new Fundraising Levy, however, will apply from 1 September 2016 and will be reviewed in three years’ time.

– Christian Propper, Senior Consultant

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