Consent-only fundraising under GDPR ‘very dangerous’ for legacies

10 Oct 2017 News

It would be “very dangerous” for legacy fundraising if charities were to adopt consent-only fundraising strategies under GDPR, fundraisers were warned yesterday.

Speaking at the Institute of Fundraising’s Legacy Conference in London yesterday, Colin Kemp, a strategic fundraising consultant and former legacy fundraiser, said that despite the dangers, many charities are not including legacy fundraisers in the conversation.

"Consent versus legitimate interest is at the heart of this," he said. "A consent-only fundraising model, which many organisations have gone for, for well documented reasons, does feel very dangerous for legacy fundraising. Especially when you layer into it the idea that consent is only for a limited time frame and the discussions about how long consent may last."

Kemp was speaking on a panel along with Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the IoF, and Hannah Lyons, a solicitor and data protection expert with Bates Wells Brathwaite, about the possible effects of GDPR on legacy fundraising.

He also said he was concerned that legacy fundraisers “are not going to be writing the answers” for how the sector responds to the incoming legislation.

“We as legacy fundraisers are probably not going to be writing the answers for how we respond to GDPR for our organisations. But we need to make sure that are particular needs and concerns are heard by those making the decisions,” he said.

Kemp said that most gifts in wills come many years after a donor has stopped giving or even being contacted by a charity. He said that legacy teams need to hang on to donor’s information in case they do leave a legacy which is subsequently contested.

He urged legacy fundraisers to ensure that they are a part of any wider strategic conversations being held within their individual organisations regarding the future of GDPR.  

“We know as legacy fundraisers, as people move through their donor journey that people may talk to us less as they get into older age. Actually, fundamentally, they don’t need to talk us at all about legacies, they can have made a decision and be very interested in our legacy proposition, but they don’t need to talk to us. So we don’t necessarily have evidence of continuing engagement, so there’s something there for legacy fundraisers to communicate when wider organisational policies are being set.“


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