One fifth of respondents to a joint survey by Charity Finance and Fundraising magazines, both published by Civil Society Media, said that the sector was “significantly unprepared” for the General Data Protection Regulation.
To gauge sector preparedness for the legislation, which comes into force in May 2018 and imposes stricter rules about contacting individuals and steeper sanctions for failing to follow them, the two magazines carried out an online survey, which received 360 responses.
Some 77 per cent said that they felt their charity was “somewhat” prepared, with just 9 per cent saying they felt “very” prepared and 14 per cent said they were “not at all” prepared.
Respondents said that they were confused by advice that had been produced by the regulators and others. One said: “There have been a lot of mixed communications with no clarity as to how the GDPR will be enforced and work in a practical charitable environment.”
Charities 'will suffer' from GDPR
Charities said they were worried that the changes will affect their charity, with 55 per cent saying that they think their charity will suffer as a result of GDPR.
The biggest concern was not being able to contact donors, with 60 per cent citing it as a worry. 49 per cent feared a loss of income and 41 per cent feared a loss of donors.
Charities are taking a range of measures to address the issue. More than 80 per cent are providing training to staff and 57 per cent are making changes to technology. Almost a quarter are employing consultants and 7 per cent are hiring new staff.