The build-up to the new era of fundraising regulation that will govern UK charities relationships with supporters has been challenging, to say the least.
A number of organisations have taken centre stage in the debate during the past couple of years.
As you continue to focus on meeting your legal obligations, and you put your protocols in place for managing supporter communication preferences for the years to come, here are the key players with a brief explanation of the differing roles they play in your working lives.
The ICO is the UKs independent authority with responsibility for upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
In short, the ICO polices the statutory requirements of the UKs data protection laws.
With the European General Data Protection Regulation due to become law in the UK in May, 2018, charities are increasingly focussing on the issue of best practice.
We believe its wise to stay up-to-date with the ICOs advice, in tandem with keeping abreast of the thoughts of the charity-specific Institute of Fundraising. Here are some useful links:
The Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising in England and Wales.
It was established, following the 2015 Etherington review of fundraising self-regulation, to strengthen the system of charity regulation and restore public trust in fundraising. Its role is to:
Each of the donorflex Regional Training Days in March, 2017, included a healthy and informative debate on the question of preferences and compliance.
Like you, its a topic thats increasingly gained our focus over the past two years as weve contemplated the shape and form of new donorflexs enhanced functionality for managing preferences.
The donorflex teams close talks with the Fundraising Regulators FPS project team, and the database developers at Syrenis, are continuing.
At the time of writing (March 14), this is the timeline that were following. Its dictated by the Ministers instruction that the FRP database has to be operating by the start of June.
For the very latest, wed suggest you keep a regular eye on the Fundraising Regulators news feed, and register for news updates while youre there.
The Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising in England and Wales. Charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland are regulated differently.
Fundraising by charities only registered in Scotland is subject to Scottish charity law and the Scottish system of self-regulated fundraising through the Independent Panel.
Fundraising undertaken by charities registered in England and Wales and in Scotland, but where the lead regulator for the charity is the Charity Commission in England and Wales, is regulated by the Fundraising Regulator.
These arrangements follow the lead regulator model used by the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) with cross-border charities.
The deciding factor as to which regulatory system will be used is the place where the charity is primarily registered, rather than where the fundraising takes place.
The Fundraising Regulator and the Independent Panel in Scotland will work closely together in proposing and considering amendments to the Code of Fundraising Practice.
For more information on OSCR, click the link.
At the time of writing, discussions on arrangements for fundraising regulation in Northern Ireland were expected to be taken in March, 2017.
At the heart of the new era of fundraising regulation is the question of consent do you have an individuals permission to send them your direct marketing communications?
The Direct Marketing Association is a membership organisation that gives best-practice guidelines, legal updates and a code that puts the customer at the heart.
Its important for you to be aware of the Direct Marketing Associations advice on best practice. These two links will help:
The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. It supports fundraisers through:
The Institute of Fundraisings website is a treasure trove of advice and guidance on the issues of regulation, compliance and best practice.
If you havent already done so, wed strongly recommend that you visit the IOF website and consider closening your ties by taking out membership, if you havent already done so. Heres where wed suggest you start: