Currently, fundraising is self-regulated, and there are a number of bodies involved, namely the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association - pretty confusing isn’t it?
Members of the IoF are obliged to comply with the IoF's Fundraising Code, and non-members are recommended to follow it. After Ms Cooke's death, David Cameron asked the FRSB to look into the matter. The FRSB published its interim report in June and its recommendations include:
- that the sector must take steps to ensure that the public who support charities are given more control over how often and in what ways a charity communicates with them;
- that the IoF's Code be amended to stipulate that “opt outs” must be made available in all marketing communications, be clearly presented and simply worded;
- that the IoF must review how charities currently communicate with older supporters and how those communications could be tailored to better reflect the needs of the audience;
- that the IoF considers stipulating how many times a fundraiser can request a donation during one individual approach;
- that the IoF make it a requirement of the Code that organisations engaging in data sharing must, at first point of contact, make it clear to donors that their personal contact information may be shared; and
- perhaps most significantly, that all of the references to charities being 'ought to' something or other in the Code be changed references to charities being required to do that thing i.e. such provisions should no longer be optional.
It remains to be seen if and when these recommendations will be incorporated into the Code but if you'd like to beat the crowd and would like to find out more about compliance with the Code, or data protection rules and what the difference is between opt-ins and opt-outs, please feel free to contact me on the details below.
To read the FRSB's report click here.