A review of fundraising regulations found that a major frustration among the general public is that they have no control over whether they are contacted by charities. There is no system in place for them to opt out of communications before they receive a phone call or mail, whether it is through the post or electronic. The only option they currently have is to contact each organisation and ask them not to contact them. This issue can lead to general dissatisfaction with the charity sector.
The review proposes that a Fundraising Preference Service be put in place so that people have greater control over whether they are contacted by charities and who they hear from. Members of the public would be able to completely opt out so they receive no communications at all. It would also put restrictions in place on charities contacting existing donors purely to encourage them to donate more. The idea is to provide an extra layer of protection.
The Preference Service would limit organisations in their telephone fundraising campaigns, restricting them from simply obtaining lists of phone numbers and calling each one. They would need to consult a list of opt outs to ensure they don’t contact any of those people. It is hoped that this would result in less dissatisfaction amongst the public. Those people who are contacted when they expressly state they don’t want to be would be able to complain to the Fundraising Regulator and know that action will be taken.
An opt out option may be difficult to implement but the benefits of it are clear. It would offer vital protection for elderly and vulnerable people, preventing them from being chased by charities.
As a professional and experienced telephone fundraising agency, we always prioritise the wellbeing and interests of supporters. We understand how important they are to charities and aim to build a great relationship with every single person we contact on behalf of a charity. We are respectful at all times and don’t believe in cold calling or intruding on people.