6.0 Direct Marketing

KEY: * denotes legal requirement

 

6.1 Definition

“Direct marketing” is defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 as the communication of advertising or marketing materials to particular individuals, and includes the sale of goods and services and the promotion of an organisation's aims and ideals.

“Direct Mail” is a form of direct marketing. It is any print-based fundraising material delivered primarily through the letterbox and encompasses mail (both solicited and unsolicited), door-drops and inserts delivered within a third-party publication.

 

6.2 Preparation

a) Organisations MUST ensure cold mailing lists have been run through the Mailing Preference Service to ensure they are not sending mail to those who have requested not to receive it.

 

6.3 Enclosures in Direct Mail Packs

Enclosures can include incentives to encourage donations, inserts that demonstrate the work of the organisation or thank you gifts.

a) Fundraising organisations MUST consider the safety of any enclosures.

b) Fundraising organisations MUST be able to demonstrate that the purpose of an enclosure was to enhance the message and/or the emotional engagement in the cause and not to generate a donation primarily because of financial guilt or to cause embarrassment.

c) Fundraising organisations MUST NOT use enclosures that might cause inconvenience in achieving delivery, unless the donor knows or has requested it. 

 

6.4 Chain Letters

a) The promotion of chain letters MUST be discouraged. 

 

6.5 Selling/renting marketing lists

a) Organisations MUST NOT share personal data for payment with any other organisation for that organisation’s marketing or fundraising purposes*.

6.5 a) does not apply to the sharing of personal data between organisations which are within a federated structure and/or where one controls the other or both are under common control.

b) Even if not for payment, organisations MUST NOT share the personal data of an individual with any other organisation for that organisation’s marketing or fundraising purposes without the explicit consent of that individual to the sharing of the personal data with that other organisation or other specified types of organisation.*

6.5 b) does not apply to the sharing of personal data between organisations which are within a federated structure and/or where one controls the other or both are under common control.  Subparagraph 6.5 b) does not apply where the personal data are being shared with a data processor (organisations that are, under written contract, acting on behalf of another organisation e.g. professional fundraisers, data cleansers, printing houses etc.) and where the requirements with regard to data processing under the Data Protection Act 1998 (including the written contract setting requirements as to security) are also met

“Explicit consent” under subparagraph 6.5 b) means that an individual must have provided a positive indication that they agree to their personal data being shared. This could take the form of ticking an opt-in box, or another action that signifies agreement, such as oral confirmation, or the provision of contact details where the individual has been clearly informed that by giving these details they agree to their data being shared.

For further information on the legal requirements relating to data protection please see the legal appendix on Data Protection and the guidance available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

6.6 Managing communication preferences

a) Organisations MUST include on all fundraising communications sent to a named individual, clearly displayed details of how the recipient can, by a single step, opt-out of receiving such communications from the charity on whose behalf the communication was sent. This MUST be at least the same font size as the larger of (i) any text asking for the recipient’s personal details, or (ii) any text specifying the donation amount. If there is no text asking for personal details or specifying donation amount, this information MUST be in the minimum font size of 10.

Click here to read our FAQs on this.

There is more information about Direct Mail in the Direct Mail guidance