Summer brings the seventh annual Small Charity Week, but also the highly-anticipated launch of the Fundraising Preference Service, as developed by the Fundraising Regulator. Understandably, many smaller charities are nervous about the financial and administrative impact this will have on their resources. But the proportionate approach taken by the new service should hold no fears for any charity committed to good fundraising practice.
A service that is fit for purpose
The 2015 Cross-Party Review of fundraising regulation recommended both a single regulator for charitable fundraising, and the development of a service that would give more control to the public over the communications they receive from charities, both large and small.
That is what this service will deliver. The FPS has been designed to allow any member of the public to stop direct marketing communication from a specific charity of their choice.
An extended process of consultation and user testing has allowed us to develop a service that best meets the needs of both charities and the public. Individual meetings and user testing with stakeholder groups (including small charities and their database suppliers) have been supplemented by wider questions put to a self-selecting pool of charity workers and members of the public on a weekly basis. Through these methods we have received valuable insight that allowed us to shape the service accordingly.
Impact on small charities
While at this stage, there is no easy way of predicting how many people will use the new service, the impact for individual charities is likely to reflect the level of fundraising undertaken by the organisation and the strength of any pre-existing relationship between charity and donor. For this reason, we anticipate that smaller charities operating smaller and more localised campaigns will be less likely to be the subject of “stop” requests through the service than larger charities.
We are committed to taking a proportionate approach and minimising the administrative burden on smaller charities. For this reason, the Fundraising Regulator is only asking levy payers (those with a cost of generating voluntary income of above £100,000) to register on the FPS portal at this stage.
If you are a small charity below the £100k threshold, you will only be contacted by us if we receive a “stop” request from a member of the public. At this point, all of the information you need to take appropriate action in taking an individual off your communication list will be provided to you.
Action to take to prepare for FPS
If you do not hear from us to notify you of an FPS request to cease communication, you do not need to take any action, except to ensure that any contact informationthat you have registered with the Charity Commission is correct and up to date. These details will be used to make contact if an FPS request is received by us.
Charities large and small do vital work in fundraising for important causes across the UK. It is equally vital that the public can have trust and confidence in the sector by feeling in control of the fundraising relationship they have with charities. For this reason, we ask that you help us to spread word of the FPS launch by sharing the information we have on our website www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk.