People can use the Fundraising Preference Service to stop direct marketing communications from charities registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that they do not want to hear from.
The Code of Fundraising Practice specifies that charities must stop sending direct marketing communications to individuals after an FPS request has been received. If you do not stop these types of communications, you may breach data protection law.
The FPS is frequently used on behalf of people in potentially vulnerable circumstances, so it is vital that you act on any requests promptly.
What will happen if my charity receives an FPS request for the first time?
The first time that a request to end contact is made through the FPS, we will send a notification to the contact email address for your charity as listed on the website of the Charity Commission for England and Wales or Northern Ireland. It is therefore important to make sure your Charity Commission contact details are up to date.
This notification will let you know that your charity needs to create a profile in the FPS charity portal. Creating a charity profile means you can safely and securely access the data of the person who made the FPS request in order to suppress them on your marketing databases.
To set up your charity on the FPS portal for the first time, you will need to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 3033 517. Once you have set your charity up on the portal, you can choose to receive future FPS notifications to an email address of your choice.
What do I need to do when my charity receives an FPS request?
Once you have created a profile in the FPS portal, we will send your charity regular notification emails whenever a person makes an FPS request. So, it’s important to make sure your organisation’s contact details in the FPS portal remain up to date so you do not miss these notifications.
When you get a notification, simply log in to the FPS portal to access the personal data needed to identify and suppress people on your databases.
People can choose to stop addressed letters, emails, phone calls and text messages. If the information provided in the FPS request does not accurately match the information on your database, use your best judgement to stop communications as requested.
You should never contact the named person to confirm personal information and you do not need to tell them that you have actioned their request.
If the information provided in the FPS request does not accurately match the information on your database, use your best judgement to stop communications as requested.
On rare occasions, you may not be able to find the named person on your database. In those circumstances, you are expected to hold the personal information of the person who made the FPS request on a suppression list for future reference.
If your charity does not do any direct marketing then you should not keep the record of the request. As there is no possibility that the person will receive direct marketing from your charity, it would not be necessary to hold their data.
Contact email@example.com or call 0300 3033 517 with any questions about this.
If a person receives a direct marketing communication from you more than 21 days after submitting an FPS request, they can submit a follow up request. You will get a notification email letting you know that someone has continued to receive your communications. If you continue to send these types of communications, you will be in breach of the code, and the person can make a complaint with us.
Forgotten your log in details or unsure if your charity is set up?
Taking regulatory action
We may take regulatory action against any organisation that fails to act on an FPS request.
- If your organisation does not act within 21 days of receiving an FPS request, you will be in breach of the terms and conditions of the FPS.
- If you fail to act further, within 28 days of receiving an FPS request, you may be in breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice, which sets the standards for UK fundraising.
- We may notify the Information Commissioner's Office and the Charity Commission for England and Wales and/or Northern Ireland and name you publicly on our website as non-compliant.
By acting promptly and setting your organisation up on the FPS charity portal, you can avoid us taking this action.