5.0 Fundraising Communications and Techniques 5.0 Fundraising Communications and Techniques
<<back to Code of Fundraising Practice sections
Note: MUST* and MUST NOT* (with asterisk) denotes legal requirement
MUST and MUST NOT (without asterisk) denotes requirement of the Code of Fundraising Practice
5.1 Legal References in this Section:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Malicious Communications Act 1988
- Communications Act 2003 (s.127)
- Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988
- Companies Act 2006
- Charities Act 2011
- General law of Confidentiality
- Charitable Institutions (Fund-Raising) Regulations 1994
- Charities and Benevolent Fundraising (Scotland) Regulations 2009
- Charities Act 1992
- Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005
- General principles of charity law
- Equality Act 2010
- Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (as amended)
- The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013
- Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002
- Provision of Services Regulations 2009
- Gambling Act 2005
- Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985
- Betting and Lotteries (Northern Ireland) Order 1994
The following Legal Appendices MUST be read in conjunction with this section of the Code of Fundraising Practice
• L14 Data Protection
5.2 General Principles
a) Data protection is an important issue for all fundraisers. Fundraising organisations MUST* comply with all legal requirements relating to data protection. In addition, organisations MUST keep up to date with and have regard to relevant guidance from the Information Commissioner.
b) Organisations MUST NOT* send a communication that is indecent or grossly offensive and that is intended to cause distress or anxiety.
c) Organisations MUST* ensure that materials adhere to copyright laws and that permission is obtained from the rights holders for the use of images, logos etc.
d) Organisations MUST* ensure literature includes all legally required information, for example, registered charity status or number, full company name and registered office if applicable.
e) Organisations MUST* ensure that materials do not imply money is for a restricted purpose (such as buying a goat, or helping a particular child) when it may be used for different purposes or for general funds.
f) If organisations are fundraising in partnership with one or more organisations, organisations MUST state how monies will be allocated between the organisations.
g) Fundraising organisations MUST comply with the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) Code and BCAP (Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice) and ensure all advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful.
h) Fundraising communications MUST NOT mislead, or be clearly likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.
i) Before distribution, fundraisers MUST ensure that there is evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, are capable of objective substantiation.
j) Particular care MUST be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. This will vary according to the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards of decency.
k) Fundraising organisations MUST be able to justify the use of potentially shocking images, and give warnings of such material.
l) Organisations MUST be able to justify the frequency of contact, balancing the desire to communicate with not overwhelming/bombarding recipients.
m) Organisations MUST respect donor’s requests around the frequency of contact, and make it easy to communicate these requests.
n) Fundraising materials MUST NOT pressurise potential donors but can use reasonable persuasion.
o) All permission statements (opt-in or opt-out wording to gain consent for marketing purposes) displayed in fundraising materials 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, any permission statements MUST be in the minimum font size of 10. Click here for the Institute of Fundraising’s Managing Preferences guidance on this.
p) Organisations MUST* either cease within a reasonable period (meaning as soon as is practicable, but in any event not exceeding 28 days) or not begin to process an individual’s personal data for the purpose of direct marketing where they receive notice from or on behalf of an individual to do so. This may include:
- notice in writing from (or on behalf of) an individual, whether or not described as a formal section 11 request (under the Data Protection Act 1998)
- notice from (or on behalf of) an individual submitted through the Fundraising Preference Service or notice from the Fundraising Preference Service that such a request has been made.
- Any other indication of wishes from an individual (or made on their behalf) that that they do not wish to be contacted for direct marketing purposes, such as via preferences and unsubscribe mechanisms.
5.3 Case Studies
a) If using real life case studies, fundraising organisations MUST* comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and MUST NOT* disclose information received in circumstances where a legal duty to keep the information confidential arises.
b) Even if not required by law, fundraising organisations MUST obtain permission for case studies, where practical.
c) If organisations change elements of case studies or use real examples to inspire a case study, this MUST be made clear and organisations MUST be able to prove that the case study is representative.
5.4 Use of Personal Data
a) Fundraising organisations will usually need to be registered (or “notified”) under the Data Protection Act 1998 with which they MUST* comply. Click here for guidance on this.
b) All personal data MUST* be collected fairly and lawfully.
c) The retention and use of personal data in any research MUST* comply with data protection law.
d) Organisations MUST* maintain good data hygiene practices (removing incorrect/incomplete information from your data) to ensure donor information is accurate, reflects donors’ communication preferences and is retained only for as long as necessary.
e) Organisations MUST NOT* send unsolicited marketing communications to consumers if explicit consent is required and has not been obtained.
f) Organisations MUST* comply with any duties of confidentiality they have.
g) If any marketing, such as a questionnaire/survey, is also used to collect personal data, it MUST* be made clear, along with the identity of the data controller, the purposes for which personal data are to be held and whether any disclosures to third parties will be made.
h) Organisations MUST be able to show that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that:
- communications are suitable for those targeted
- databases are accurate and up-to-date and, if rented, bought etc., have been run against the most relevant suppression list(s)
- anyone who has been notified as deceased is not mailed again; and
- data has, if possible, been through a deceased suppression service in order to remove deceased supporters.
i) Where it can be identified or attributed to one or more individuals, all information gathered MUST be treated as confidential.