Fundraising update: ensure your charity's compliance with the Fundraising Preference Service

Article Experience

The Fundraising Regulator has recently released a short blog explaining how charities can use the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) as it reveals that “a significant number of charities” who are already set up on the FPS portal are still sending out fundraising materials to people who have asked them to stop.

The onus is on charities to log into the FPS portal, and failure to log in can result in charities being non-compliant with the Code of Fundraising Practice as well as in breach of data protection legislation.

The FPS is a service operated by the Fundraising Regulator that allows members of the public to stop direct marketing communications from any registered charity in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, by making a ‘suppression request’. It has operated since July 2017, following significant media coverage of concerning fundraising practice which impacted particularly on vulnerable members of society. The Fundraising Regulator announced a number of changes to the FPS earlier this year following an independent review of the service in 2020.

Charity trustees should be aware that the Fundraising Regulator ‘names and shames’ by publishing a list of non-compliant organisations on its website. In order to ensure compliance, the Regulator suggests the following tips and things to check:

  • Is your charity set up on the FPS portal already? If yes, ensure that the person who has the log in details is still with your organisation. Note that up to five people can get notifications through the FPS portal.
  • If you don’t know what the password is, charities can use the ‘reset your password’ function on the FPS portal.
  • Once logged in, it is important to 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. Databases should be updated accordingly, and the portal should be regularly checked for new requests.
  • Ensure that your charity has proper processes in place to respond to requests in the future, including making sure that the right people are getting the notifications from the portal.