18 September 2019 - Article
The Fundraising Regulator launched the Fundraising Preference Service (the 'FPS') on 6 July. It has also recently published a list of the eligible charities that have registered and paid the voluntary levy (the 'Levy') which funds the Fundraising Regulator and is collected from charities in England and Wales that spend £100,000 or more on fundraising. The list also includes charities that fall below the £100,000 threshold but have opted into registration and paid the flat rate annual registration fee of £50. The list was published in an effort to encourage all remaining eligible charities that have not registered and paid the Levy to do so.
The Fundraising Preference Service
The FPS is a very significant development for charity fundraising. It enables individuals to select charities from whom they no longer want to receive communication. Registered users are able to opt out of all direct marketing communications by telephone, email, text and addressed mail from charities named by the individual. The FPS is accessible online or by phone, and individuals can also use the service on behalf of a friend or relative. The Fundraising Regulator notifies the relevant charities on behalf of users that the selected methods of communication should cease.
The Fundraising Regulator explained last month that charities which are not eligible to pay the Levy are not invited to join the FPS until an individual wishes to block that particular charity. The Fundraising Regulator explained that the system was set up this way because 'those included within the [Levy] are more likely to receive a suppression request because they're the largest charities'.
The Fundraising Regulator has published a list this month of the eligible charities that have registered and paid the Levy, as well as charities that have opted into registration. The list currently does not show eligible charities that have not paid, though there have been calls for the Fundraising Regulator to publish such a list. 75% of eligible charities have paid the Levy.
There has been a strong response from charities falling below the £100,000 threshold, with over 700 smaller charities voluntarily opting to register by paying a flat £50 annual registration fee. Additionally, third party fundraisers (i.e., fundraising agencies and commercial participators) that have a reported income filed with Companies House can sign up to the Fundraising Regulator to show their commitment to good practice.