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DMA speaker's top tips for regulation insight

By Mark Higgitt | August 9, 2016

The afternoon Preferences & Compliance Masterclass that opens donorflex User Conference 2016 on Wednesday, September 21, has been moulded to deliver up-to-the-minute insights for those senior managers within our client organisations whose necks – to put it bluntly – are on the legal line when it comes to ensuring their charities meet their statutory responsibilities on fundraising compliance.

As the six-week countdown to DUC 2016 begins, the clear sign is that the opportunity to be involved in the Q&A session has captured the attention of many. At the time of writing, just 25 seats remain.

You can read elsewhere in the DUC 2016 section our full perspective on the thoughts and advice offered by sector leading lights on the progress made by the start of July on the reshaping of fundraising regulation in the UK.

In short, let’s give you a reminder of the stark and simple headlines that emerged in our minds from IOF Convention 2016:

  • Anxiety among some charities about what’s coming, and how they will have to rise to the challenge of adopting and adapting the way they manage their communications with supporters, is high
  • Many trustees have yet to wake up to the fact that they now shoulder the legal responsibility for meeting their organisation’s statutory obligations
  • Although some of the rules governing the new era are still taking shape, the new requirements aren’t greatly different from the existing rules that govern the way that communications should be managed

Masterclass speaker John Mitchison – the Direct Marketing Association’s Head of Preference Services, Compliance and Legal – will share the Masterclass platform with Gerald Oppenheim (Fundraising Regulator’s Head of Policy), Richard Marbrow (Information Commissioner’s Office senior policy officer) and Karen McKenzie (Douglas Macmillan Hospice’s Director of Income Generation).

We’ve taken a moment to contemplate that final point above and ask John some key questions to help focus your thoughts ahead of the big event. Here they are:

By the conference, what progress will have been made, and which aspects of the new era of regulation will be in place and ready to deliver as certainties to delegates?

By the time of the conference, I was hoping that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) would have started issuing some solid guidance on the EU GDPR. This has been stalled slightly by our decision to leave the EU. Information on this can be found via this link.

Recommendations have now been presented to the Fundraising Regulator by the Fundraising Preference Service (FRPS) working party. The proposed plan is likely to go to consultation by September.

What other aspects of the subject that are currently in flux will be ripe for updating, detailing or confirming by the time we gather at the Masterclass?

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Brexit, FRPS, the new Information Commissioner, guidance from the ICO, EPrivacy (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations), and the Code under the new Fundraising Regulator (FR). All will all have moved forward but it’s unlikely that any of these subjects will have reached a conclusion.

Here and now – at this distance from the Masterclass – what practical, operational procedures should our delegates be prioritising in order to meet both their existing and their future legal obligations?

These are the main areas of focus:

For current legislation, the DMA Code and its associated guides  and the ICO DM Guidance offer the best support.

For updates on how Brexit will affect UK data protection, there are various updates on the DMA website.

For EU GDPR information, I would point people to the DMA GDPR guidance, as well as the articles and webinars.

In addition to the ICO’s guidance (see the link above), I’d also suggest that their most helpful document is their 12-step guide.

Also Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing – the Brussels-based, pan-European association representing 21 national DMA’s and corporate members – has published some useful guidance.

For information on the Fax Preference Service (FPS) and the Fundraising Regulator, their new website is now up and running.

If you haven’t yet booked to hear the inside track from John Mitchison, Gerald Oppenheim, Richard Marbrow and Karen McKenzie at the Masterclass, we think the limited seats remaining makes a compelling reason to click this DUC 2016 link and follow the instructions you’ll find for securing your place in the audience.