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October 4th, 2017ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Charity governance updates

Do you need to worry?

As a charity trustee, you have legal responsibility for your charity’s management and administration.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the Fundraising Preference Service could result in your charity being reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office and it could be fined up to £500,000.

So yes, you do need to make sure your charity’s fundraising is in the clear!

Large charity / small charity

If yours is a larger charity, spending over £100,000 on public fundraising per year, you should already have been invited to enrol with the FPS, before the launch of the service, which happened on 6th July 2017.

Smaller charities will be involved only if a member of the public initiates contact.

What it’s all about

The purpose of the FPS is to enable members of the public who donate to charities to opt out of fundraising communications – emails, phone calls, texts and addressed direct mail.

They can do this by going to the FPS website and making a Suppression Request.

So if yours is a smaller charity, your first involvement may be the FPS asking you to visit its on-line portal to view a Suppression Request, identifying the person wishing to opt out of hearing anything more from your charity.

How to react

It is at this point that you must know how to react. Your charity must identify the applicant in its records or database.

This should not be difficult because the Suppression Request includes the applicant’s title, name, postal address including postcode, email address and phone number(s).

Your charity must immediately put a stop on all direct marketing communications to that person.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Make sure all communication to that applicant stops. Although there is a period of grace of 28 days, the stop should be as immediate as possible.
  • Do not respond to the applicant, even to acknowledge the request or to offer thanks for past support. The FPS sends the applicant an acknowledgement of the Suppression Request and notes for further guidance
  • Familiarise yourself with the Code of Fundraising Practice
  • Consider registering your charity with the FPS

More information and help

Do contact me and I shall be very happy to assist you.

And if your charity is already completely on top of this one, congratulations!  You might do rather well in my charity governance quiz.

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Geoffrey Hand

Geoffrey Hand is a charity governance consultant, offering governance consultancy and training. He also provides legal services management, helping charities get better value for money from their lawyers. Geoffrey has extensive experience in the charity and legal worlds, and his mission is to help charities deliver good governance.

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