Data protection legislation affects many areas of fundraising. Fundraisers need to ensure they comply with the regulations.
The regulations may appear daunting at first but it is helpful to remember a few rules of thumb which are often centred on having the correct permissions for using the data:
- ensure you have the necessary permissions to contact supporters;
- do not retain any information on a supporter or prospect that you would not be comfortable sharing with them;
- do not use information in a manner that the supporter would not wish; and
- do not share data in a manner that a supporter would not wish.
- In short, it is helpful to think about how you would like your details used by another organisation.
Requirements vary depending on how you are communicating with donors and what information is being processed. For example, supporters need to opt-in to receiving electronic marketing communicatons whereas direct mail can be sent with an opt-out.
Marketing communications are considered those that promote an organisation's aims and ideals in addition to promoting goods and services.
Code of Fundraising Practice and Guidance
The Data Protection section of the Code's Legal Appendices identifies key regulatory and best practice standards.
The Code and guidance set out the law and best practice for a range of fundraising techniques. Of particular note in relation to data protection are the Digital Media, Telephone Fundraising and Direct Marketing sections of the Code.
- Read the Digital Media section of the Code.
- Read the Telephone Fundraising section of the Code.
- Read the Telephone Fundraising guidance.
- Read the Direct Marketing section of the Code.
- Read the Direct Mail guidance.
The Information Commissioner's Office regulates data protection and provides a wealth of information on its website. The Data Protection Good Practice Note: Charities and Marketing will be of particular use for fundraisers.
For indepth advice, the Information Commissioner's Office helpline can be reached on: 08456 30 60 60.