Regulation overload? – fundraising and data.

IntroductionPosted by Deirdre Murphy 20 Apr, 2017 12:57:27

Are you like me struggling to understand what is going on with all this talk of data and fundraising regulation and reviews?

Hopefully my simplistic description and update will help.

What’s happening and what does it all mean?

NI Fundraising Self-Regulation
NICVA recently undertook a consultation process with the Voluntary Sector in NI to help inform how fundraising practice will be regulated in NI. Having an agreed system for self-regulation will offer members of the public the opportunity to make their complaints heard if the charity response has been deemed unsatisfactory.

In my humble opinion NICVA is managing the process very well, the consultation closed at the end of March and we are now awaiting to hear a decision. The two options were:

To join the Fundraising Regulator (England and Wales)


Develop a NI Fundraising Complaints Service

Joining the Fundraising Regulator would automatically entail signing up to the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) and Fundraising Code of Practice which are both already in place (see below for further explanation).

Find out more on NICVA’s website

Fundraising Preference Service - The Fundraising Regulator (England and Wales) are developing a system to ensure that people can easily manage the communications they receive from charities. The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) will give the public genuine choice and greater control over the communications and fundraising requests that they receive from charities.

It is a website based service – to be developed by Syrenis Ltd – which allows members of the public in England and Wales to end ALL direct marketing communications from a specific charity.

If NI decide to join the Fundraising Regulator (England and Wales), we will automatically sign up to this Fundraising Preference Service.

Find out more on their website

Code of Fundraising Practice Review - The Code of Fundraising Practice and its associated Rulebooks for Street and Door Fundraising outline the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK.

The Fundraising Regulator (England and Wales) is carrying out a consultation on the Code of fundraising practice with responses due by 28th April. The consultation seeks views on and including charity trustees, the fundraising ask, solicitation statements and people in vulnerable circumstances.

There is a consultation document to read and you can respond online by 28th April. Find out more on NICVA's website

EU GDPR - The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to enable individuals to better control their personal data. It will come into effect on 25th May 2018 and will have a very significant impact on fundraising. Although the UK will be leaving the EU, data protection specialists inform us that UK organisations will still have to adhere to the regulation.

GDPR demands an opt-in system for fundraising which means that fundraisers will only be able to send appeals and communications to individuals if they have explicitly agreed.

Read more on how to act now so GDPR is an opportunity for your charity here

I think the General Data Protection Regulation could be an opportunity indeed to clean your data and build more meaningful relationships with donors. How and ever, it no doubt will squeeze charities donor databases and the numbers that we can communicate to. My advice is to look at this now and get prepared for May 2018.

Does it make more sense to you now? For more helpful updates, follow me on twitter and like my facebook page. Visit my website any time – or email me at

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