IoF criticises Fundraising Regulator for ‘shifting goalposts’ on MPS

02 Nov 2017 News

The Institute of Fundraising’s draft response to the Fundraising Regulator’s consultation on data protection has accused the watchdog of a “fundamental shift of the goalposts” on direct mail.

The IoF published a draft response to the Fundraising Regulator’s data protection consultation on Tuesday, and called upon its members to give “comments and feedback” which will inform its “final submitted response” to the regulator.

Within the document, the IoF said the “significant change proposed” by the Fundraising Regulator to the Code of Fundraising Practice about the Mailing Preference Service was tantamount to “a fundamental shift of the goalposts to what was in the Code before”.

The Mailing Preference Service is run by the Direct Marketing Association and enables consumers to opt out of receiving addressed direct mail. 

The IoF also the proposed changes would mean that those people “signing up to the MPS are clearly told one thing, and sign up on that basis, but actually receive a different experience in reality”.

The IoF called for the proposed change in relation to the MPS be “reviewed to be clear on the basis of how the MPS works and that it does not stop a charity contacting a supporter where there is a previous relationship”.

The Fundraising Regulator opened its Code consultation on 5 October, which will run until early December. Amongst a raft of changes proposed to the existing Code as pertains to existing data protection legislation, it added a provisional legal requirement for charities about sending direct marketing mailings to individuals registered on the MPS.

The proposed change for Code 7.1.1 reads: “Organisations MUST NOT send direct marketing mailings to individuals registered on the Mailing Preference Service unless the person who registered their address has notified the organisation specifically that they consent to receiving direct marketing mailings from them.”

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the IoF, told Civil Society News the draft guidance represented the Institute’s “early thoughts” on the issue. He said it was about “making sure everything is joined up” and “consistent” between the Fundraising Regulator’s proposed changes to the Code and the “text of the GDPR legislation and the Information Commissioner’s Office guidance” on the issue.

Fluskey also authored a blog on the subject, which can be read in full on the IoF’s website


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