The Fundraising Regulator published yesterday its final report on what the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) will actually look like. Suffice to say, I’m sure many of us rushed to read the full report in its gripping entirety.
I did actually manage to make my way through the whole thing (all 76 pages), and I was both pleasantly surprised and mildly annoyed. Overall, some of what’s proposed does make sense – factoring in that the data the FPS will hold will be sensitive in nature so there needs to be a significant role for data security measures. The data will need to be held in easily accessible formats so that charities can run their files for FPS suppression efficiently. The sign-up process needs to be clear, simple and transparent for those who want to stop receiving communications.
All good stuff, in my eyes. However, there’s much in here that just…. doesn’t seem properly thought-out.
Here’s my take on some of the key points (text in brackets for when I said”wuh?” or something similar out loud):
- FPS won’t apply to communications whose main purpose is fundraising so thank you letters are good, as long as there’s no additional ask
- A definition of this for FPS is definitely needed asap (otherwise don’t we run the risk that the whole thing collapses before it even gets going?)
- Charities can contact newly registered folks who’ve given in the past 2 years to clarify the ongoing relationship (ok great, but there’s a time limit after which charities can’t contact them at all)
- There’ll be a “small red button” to stop communications from particular charities, or a “large red button” to stop all charity communications (I admit I do like how Sesame Street that sounds)
- Anyone registering should be notified that this will include HEIs and the DEC – which actually seems like a good thing to me, given that HEIs are often not seen as charities anyway
Look, I get it. We’re getting this thing, let’s make the best of it. But, as the IG Manager points out on their (excellent) blog, this is far from an ideal set-up. There’s still rather a lot of detail to be ironed out – I would especially like to have a bit more clarity on how and where FPS applies, given that the Scottish sector has opted for improved self-regulation and more powers for OSCR instead.
There’s still time to give feedback on these proposals and we fundraisers definitely should point out our agreement and concerns. You can read the whole report here – make sure to submit your comments before 30 September.
So we’ve moved a few steps forward, but we’re still a bit wobbly – like a puppy who’s not quite got control of their limbs yet.