EU data plans could have a damaging effect on fundraising, says IoF

The Institute of Fundraising has called for a re-think of European data plans, believing that the new legislation will act as an obstacle to direct mail fundraising.

| 5th Apr 13
Will changes to data protection effect charitable donations?
Will changes to data protection effect charitable donations?
Will changes to data protection affect charitable donations?

European Union’s proposals to change data-protection rules could have a damaging effect on charities, it has been reported. The proposals, which aim to strengthen online privacy rights, state that a potential donor will have to opt-in for their data to be used in marketing, even if they are already giving money to a charity.

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has called for a re-think, believing that the new legislation will act as an obstacle to direct mail fundraising. Instead of needing explicit consent, the IoF has called for a ‘soft opt-in’ extension, which would let charities acknowledge a person’s donation as assent.

Chair of the IoF, Peter Lewis, says making it ‘soft opt-in’ would “strike a balance, respecting the rights of individuals, while allowing charities to undertake relevant direct marketing activities. Charities know that establishing and maintaining a relationship with the public based on trust and confidence is a prerequisite of successful fundraising. However, as currently drafted, the regulations do not strike a fair balance – they are disproportionate, limiting and likely to increase costs to charities.”