Is your charity compliant with the Fundraising Preference Service?

By Subodh Patel, Manager of the Fundraising Preference Service 

Earlier this year, the Fundraising Regulator announced changes to the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) in response to an independent review. As part of this work, we found a significant number of charities which are already set up on the FPS charity portal but are not acting on requests to stop direct marketing communications. 

As part of my role involves helping charities to access their FPS requests, this is a concern to me. These organisations that are not logging in could be non-compliant with the Code of Fundraising Practice (the code), data protection law and the terms and conditions of the FPS – all of which is a serious matter. However, there are a few simple steps that charities can take to check that they are following best practice and acting on their FPS requests promptly.

Some charities are not accessing their FPS requests

People that use the FPS can choose to stop contact from any charity registered with the Charity Commissions in England and Wales or Northern Ireland. Charities need to set themselves up on the FPS charity portal if they receive a request through the service to stop direct marketing communications. We publish a list of charities that have persistently failed to access their FPS requests on our website. 

Recent changes to the FPS have enabled us to better identify those charities that are already set up on the portal – and which have previously logged in and accessed at least one request – but are no longer logging in when needed. By failing to access their FPS requests, these charities are not following the terms and conditions of the FPS or the code. They are also potentially not complying with data protection law, which is a serious charity governance issue. 

In many cases, handover has not been sufficient

The reason many charities are not logging in to act on their requests is partially linked to the pandemic. Every day I speak to organisations, and I’ve found that as staff were furloughed and roles changed, handover of FPS compliance may not have been carried out appropriately. Now that much of this upheaval has ended, making sure you are accessing FPS requests when needed should be a priority. 

We are starting to write to the charities that we have found are no longer logging into the FPS charity portal to let them know that they need to act so they are FPS compliant. However, don’t wait to hear directly from us – you can check your organisation is following good practice now using just a few simple steps.

Check your compliance

  1. Check if your charity has received an FPS request before. If yes, your organisation should already be set up on the FPS charity portal
  2. Check you know who is responsible for FPS requests. Up to five people can get notifications through the portal. Make sure you know which email addresses are being used to log in.
  3. Check all usernames and passwords are up to date. Your username is the email address you provided when signing up. You can click ‘reset your password’ on the portal if needed. 
  4. Check if your charity has any outstanding requests. The ‘requests’ section of the portal will show the date a request was made and the relevant contact details to suppress. Make sure historic requests match up with your databases as you can now record on the FPS charity portal that a request has been actioned. 
  5. Check you have adequate processes in place to respond to future requests. Your organisation will get an email notification from the FPS when a new suppression request is made. You can change which users receive notifications and how often they are sent in the ‘account details’ area of the portal. Make sure there is a plan in place for ensuring responsibility for the FPS is handed over when staff leave your charity or move to a new role internally. We keep a list of historic users to keep track of compliance. 

Our website has more guidance on accessing your FPS suppressions and help is also available when you log into the FPS charity portal.

Get in touch for support

If you have any trouble logging in or are not sure whether your organisation is already set up on the FPS, get in touch with me for support at or 0300 3033 517. 

Please include your name, role, registered charity number, email address and telephone number when getting in contact, as this will help us to find your charity and its portal users on our systems.