Fundraising Preference Services launches in Northern Ireland
The Fundraising Regulator has today (26 March 2018) launched its Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) in Northern Ireland. The service enables individuals to block direct marketing communications from named charities they no longer want to hear from.
The launch marks an important moment for the Fundraising Regulator’s role in Northern Ireland, following NICVA’s decision to invite the regulator to oversee and regulate fundraising last year.
As in England and Wales, FPS in Northern Ireland will be managed by the Fundraising Regulator, who will contact charities on behalf of the user and request that the selected methods of communication are stopped until the individual decides otherwise.
Available both online and by phone, the FPS will enable members of the public to block phone, email, text and direct addressed mail communications from named charities. Individuals will also be able to use the service on behalf of someone else, for example a friend or relative.
FPS is designed to empower members of the public to take control of the kinds of fundraising requests they receive. It has been in operation in England and Wales since July 2017. Charities need to comply with requests made through FPS within 28 days. Failure to do this is a potential breach of section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998 and may lead to a referral to the Information Commissioner.
The regulator will continue to work collaboratively with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to ensure requests to stop communications are implemented by charities.
The Fundraising Preference service can be accessed online here, or by phone on 0300 303 3517 (Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm, Saturday, 9am-12noon).
Walter Rader, Fundraising Regulator, Northern Ireland Board member, said: “The launch of the FPS in Northern Ireland today reflects our commitment to ensuring best practice and ethical practices for fundraising.
“The service will play a crucial role in allowing members of the public in Northern Ireland to control the communications they receive from charities. This is a vital step in continuing the work the Fundraising Regulator has undertaken to rebuild trust between the public and the sector over the last two years”.
Stephen Dunmore, Chief Executive, Fundraising Regulator, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the FPS in Northern Ireland today.
“Following the launch of the service last year in England and Wales, we have seen what a crucial role it plays in empowering members of the public – often the most vulnerable – to manage communications from charities. We look forward to delivering this important service to the public in Northern Ireland.”
Frances McCandless, Chief Executive, Charity Commission Northern Ireland, said: “The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland enjoys a close and collaborative working relationship with the Fundraising Regulator, as demonstrated by the Memorandum of Understanding we signed last year.
“We are delighted to see the Fundraising Preference Service made available in Northern Ireland, supporting the public in making informed choices around the communications they receive from charities and helping to ensure charities are held to high standards.”
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
The Fundraising Regulator was established following the 2015 Cross-party Review of Fundraising chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington. The Regulator is voluntary and independent and was launched on 7 July 2016. The Regulator operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and where charities based in those three countries fundraise in Scotland. The Regulator is funded by a levy on charities spending more than £100,000 a year on fundraising. Other charities outside the levy can register with the Regulator by paying an administrative charge of £50 a year.
To interact with the Fundraising Regulator through social media, please tweet @FundrRegulator.
For further information, please contact the Fundraising Regulator press team on 020 3327 4050 or FR@pagefield.co.uk