A number of changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice were announced in September following criticism of the old regulations and the activities of several charities in the UK. Many of the changes were implemented in November following the review. Two more requirements were introduced in December concerning font sizes on printed communications and opt-out. These come into effect immediately, albeit with a six month transitional period. This means charities will have until 10th July 2016 to make the necessary changes.
The first change concerns the minimum font sizes for permission statements on printed communications, whether it is direct mail or adverts in newspapers of magazines. Section 5.2 of the Code of Fundraising Practice now states that permission statements (whether for opt-in or opt-out) must be the same size as text asking for personal details and donation amounts. If these details are not asked for the permission statement must be a minimum font size of 10 so the information is clearly visible.
The second change will ensure that all communications for fundraising addressed to individuals will include a clear message to inform the person how they can opt out of receiving messages in the future. Section 6.6 will change to accommodate this, now stating that opting out should only take a single step. The section will also reaffirm the changes to minimum font sizes.
Although the changes deal directly with printed materials there will be an impact on telephone fundraising as these operations can include sending direct print messages. Organisations need to ensure they follow the guidelines closely and always consider the best interests of the general public.
The idea behind the review and adaptations to the Code of Fundraising Practice is to protect donors and ensure charities and people working on their behalf behave in an acceptable manner.
As a professional telephone fundraising agency, we have monitored the recent changes in our industry and taken steps to ensure we can advise the charities we represent. We are passionate about our role and strive to continue to offer the very best services we can, both for our clients and members of the public.