Fundraising Preference Service For Charities
The Fundraising Preference Service is managed by Syrenis Ltd
When a charity receives an FPS request, the nominated administrator will be asked to log in to the charity portal using the following link https://charity.fundraisingpreference.org.uk
For more information on receiving FPS requests, please see the FAQs below.
My organisation works with members of the public who may benefit from this new service, how can we support this?
We have created the following resources to help charities that work with vulnerable people who may want to use the FPS:
- A short summary for use for internal communications
- A brief description of what FPS is and how it will work, to be included in an internal staff newsletter or other internal communications
- A short summary for external communications
- A brief description of what FPS is and how it will work to use in external communications with service use
- A Fact Sheet for frontline staff
- A factsheet for frontline staff working with people in vulnerable circumstances to answer some of the frequently asked questions about the FPS
- FPS Poster and Postcard
- We have created a poster and postcard to advertise the FPS. Do you have appropriate spaces to share the poster and/or postcard? If so we can provide copies free of charge. Please contact FPS@fundraisingregulator.org.uk or call 0300 999 3418
In 2015, a cross party parliamentary committee conducted a review of the way charitable fundraising is regulated. The review identified a need for a service that would allow members of the public to control the nature and frequency of communications that they receive from charities, including fundraising communications. Under the proposals, fundraising organisations would have a responsibility to make sure individuals who use the service were not sent further communications.
The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) has therefore been created to give members of the public control over the communications they receive from charities.
Through the FPS, members of the public can choose to stop email, telephone, post and/or text messages from a selected charity/ies.
Members of the public are encouraged to contact charities directly to stop communications, however they may wish to use the FPS when:
- Direct communication between the donor and charity has become difficult or has broken down;
- Communications from charities are becoming stressful and uncomfortable;
- There is a need to efficiently deal with communications from multiple charitable organisations;
- There is a lack of clarity over how to stop communications from a particular charity;
- Uncertainty exists about whether consent to receive communications has been given or needs to be removed.
Members of the public can access the FPS via the website www.fundraisingpreference.org.uk
There is also a telephone service (0300 3033 517) available for those who:
- do not have access to a computer; or
- need help to complete the online form.
The helpline and website will be active from the 6th July.
The member of the public can register with the website (or via the helpline) and identify the charity/ies from which they wish to “suppress” direct marketing communications using the charity’s name or charity number. They will be asked to provide their own name and relevant contact information so that they can be matched to the charity’s records and the communication can be stopped.
Once all details have been provided and the request submitted, the FPS will as a matter of course send an email to the charity/ies with a 28 day deadline to remove the person’s details from direct marketing lists.
Three charities can be identified in any one request. If the member of the public wishes to identify further charities, they can do so by submitting new requests.
In some cases, a member of the public may wish to submit an FPS request on someone else’s behalf. Those acting on another individual’s behalf will need to:
- Confirm that they have the authority to act on behalf of the individual concerned
- Provide the core personal information of the individual concerned, including their full name, address and the method of communication they wish to stop, e.g. phone number.
- Provide their own name and contact details, and indicate their relationship to the individual concerned
Once this information has been submitted, the FPS request will be processed with a reference code sent to the email or mobile number that the intermediary has provided. A communication will also be sent by post to the person they are acting on behalf of to let them know that their details have been entered on the system.
a. Charities spending more than £100,000 on public fundraising
Larger charities which spend over £100,000 on public fundraising per annum will have been invited to enrol on the FPS before the launch of the service. Within this set up, the charity will decide how they would like to be notified of FPS requests, choosing the format and frequency of notifications, including an option to set up a direct data transfer (using SFTP) to their supporter or fundraising database.
b. All other charities
Smaller charities that spend less or no money on public fundraising will be set up on the FPS when/if they receive an FPS request from a member of the public. It is likely that most small charities will never receive an FPS request and so will not have to be set up on the FPS.
If a smaller charity does receive an FPS request, an automatic email will be sent to the email address listed by the charity commission website with guidance to access the FPS request. It is the responsibility of each charity to ensure their email address is up-to-date.
For further information on setting up a charity on the FPS, please email: email@example.com
All charities will be supported in using the FPS with the following resources:
- Telephone support line
For further information on setting up a charity on the FPS, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is an example of how FPS requests will be displayed on the portal (the FPS system includes a postcode address picker (PAF) to help ensure addresses are entered correctly). Each row represents a request from a member of the public:
Charities that opt for their suppression requests to be delivered automatically will receive the following file format:
There will be one line per communication channel (if a person chooses to suppress all channels, the ‘type’ will be ‘global’).
Once an FPS request has been received, the charity will be responsible for removing the person from the selected direct marketing communications within 28 days of the request.
There should be no further direct marketing communication with the individual from the charity except where necessary for non-marketing reasons (such as an existing gift or standing order that needs to be processed). Only if the individual proactively chooses to re-engage with the charity should communication recommence.
The charity is responsible for maintaining a list of all FPS requests and ensuring that these requests are respected.
A member of the public may use FPS irrespective of whether or not their details are currently held by the charity, either to suppress existing personal data on their system or to prevent the charity from acquiring their data in future for the purpose of sending direct marketing.
Where data is currently held, it may be the case that a charity has difficulty in identifying an individual using the personal information provided via the FPS request, or that the personal information provided does not accurately or fully match the information held by the charity.
Where this is the case, the charity will be expected to make all reasonable endeavours to identify the individual and uphold the suppression as requested. If a charity is still unable to identify the individual on their database, they will be expected to hold the individual’s information on a suppression list for future reference.
Where the personal information provided by the individual via the FPS website does not accurately match or only partially matches the information held by the charity, the charity should use their best judgement to suppress communications as requested by the individual. The charity should not contact the individual to confirm personal information.
In order to reduce the likelihood of a charity being identified incorrectly, charities are able to add 200 characters of free text and to upload their charity logo. This will help members of the public distinguish between organisations.
All charities registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are identifiable through the FPS regardless of fundraising expenditure or current direct marketing campaigns.
Although your charity may not undertake public fundraising, this does not necessarily mean the FPS registration is a mistake. The member of the public may have submitted the FPS request because they do not want to receive any type of communication from the charity or in case you undertake direct marketing in the future. In any case, the FPS suppression request must be upheld and communications ceased.
Members of the public are told to expect charities to take up to 28 days to action the request from the point it is submitted. Members of the public are made aware that they may continue to receive communications from the charity in the meantime.
The Fundraising Preference Service will send a confirmation email/SMS to the individual, to thank them for their suppression and to confirm the details of the suppression. We do not believe it is therefore necessary for an individual charity to go back to the requester with a further confirmation letter. The message confirming the FPS registration includes the following information:
- A thank you and a confirmation of the request
- A reference code for future use
- A summary of the request that has been made
- A reminder it may take up to 28 days for the request to take effect
- A link to further steps that can be taken to stop unwanted calls and mail
- A link back to the FPS if requests are still being received after 28 days.
Please note, if someone makes a suppression request on behalf of a relative or someone they care for, a hard copy letter explaining this will be sent to the person whose details are being suppressed.
If an individual receives another direct marketing communication from a selected charity more than 28 days after submitting an FPS request, they can revisit the FPS website using their reference code. A further message will be sent to the charity clearly highlighting that the individual has continued to receive direct marketing communications.
If direct marketing communications continue from the charity and the individual wishes to make a complaint, they can contact the Fundraising Regulator using the Fundraising Regulator’s Complaints Form.
The Code of Fundraising Practice specifies that charities must stop sending direct marketing communications to individuals where a request is made through FPS. In cases where a charity continues to contact a member of the public after they have submitted an FPS request, this would constitute a breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice. In such cases, the Fundraising Regulator may take action.
Where an individual has so instructed, the Fundraising Regulator may also make a Section 11 request to a charity in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. This is a written notice with direct legal effect which charities must comply with (within a reasonable period) or they will be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.
We do not believe it is necessary for a charity to go back to the individual who made the suppression for further information. If the charity needs to know more about the follow up request, the Fundraising Regulator can confirm which method of communication the requestor has received.
Please contact email@example.com (and mark the subject as ‘follow up query’) or phone 0300 999 3418.
The FPS will help a member of the public to stop direct marketing communications they receive from a specific charity/ies registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Direct marketing is a form of advertising and communication which allows organisations to contact individual customers directly through a variety of media including (but not limited to) letters, emails, texts and phone calls. It allows the organisation to target marketing material to particular individuals based on what the organisation knows about them.
Direct marketing covers the promotion of aims and ideals as well as the sale of products and services. This means that direct marketing may include communications of not-for profit organisations such as charities as well as commercial organisations.
However, some administrative communications from the charity may continue after an FPS request is made. Further information on administrative communications which do not constitute direct marketing can be found in section A4 of the Fundraising Regulator’s guide Personal information and Fundraising: Consent, Purpose and Transparency.
It may be that after submitting an FPS request, a member of the public changes their mind and decide that they would like to resume communications with one or all of the charities they specified. If this is the case, the individual will need to contact the charity directly to confirm that they now give consent to receive communications. With this confirmation, the FPS request will no longer be in effect and the charity will have the right to resume direct marketing communications.
The member of the public does not need to inform the FPS of this decision. Where communications are resumed and there is a dispute, the charity will need to provide evidence that consent was given after the FPS request was submitted.
Any charitable organisation, higher education institution, museum or gallery can be identified through the FPS.
The member of the public will be encouraged to identify the correct charity by entering the charity number, but where this is not known a search of charity names can be conducted via the FPS website. The search function ensures the correct charity is easily identified and any confusion between charities with similar names or services will be minimised. To support this, charities will be asked to upload a logo and a 200 word narrative when they set up on the FPS. Additionally, larger fundraising charities will appear highest on the listings.
If a member of the public is unable to identify the charity through the website, they will be able to access support via the telephone helpline.
The Fundraising Regulator is the voluntary, independent regulator for charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also regulates charities with headquarters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which fundraise in Scotland, following a lead regulator model as used by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Charity Commission.
The FPS is a way for the Fundraising Regulator to help the public in the UK to manage communications from charities which are registered in England and Wales. FPS will also apply to charities in Northern Ireland later in 2017. Donors living in Scotland and Northern Ireland can also use the FPS to stop communications from charities registered in England and Wales.
Personal data is submitted to the FPS by members of the public in order to implement the FPS request. In order to ensure this data is secure, charities are only able to access the details of the FPS request via the FPS charity portal. Personal data will not be shared in any other way, including over the phone or by email.
In this section, the Code specifies that ‘Organisations MUST* (are legally required to) 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 is a legal obligation consistent with Section 11 of the 1998 Data Protection Act.
A charity is justified in keeping an individual’s data on record until they hear otherwise in order to uphold the FPS request. It would be within the individual’s reasonable expectations that the organisation will do this to make sure they do not receive any further communications
You may have other questions to ask so please let us know what they are; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We may not be able to answer questions individually but we will add to the FAQs from time to time, so please check back periodically. Questions and comments received will also be reviewed to help shape future guidance.