Far more people have opted-in to RNLI communications than expected

The lifeboats charity anticipated that 225,000 people would opt-in to receiving information from it but 375,000 have done so

RNLI
RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has exceeded its estimate for the number of its supporters that would opt in to receiving fundraising communications from it by more than 150,000. 

The lifeboats charity announced last year that it would move to an opt-in only policy for its communications, which would necessitate supporters providing clear and unconditional consent before the charity could contact them.

It anticipated that the new policy, which will come into effect on 1 January, would cost the charity approximately £36m between 2015 and 2020 – equivalent to 19 per cent of its £190m income in 2014.

The RNLI believed that about 225,000 people would opt-in to receiving communications from the charity in the process, which a spokeswoman for the charity said today was a "conservative estimate".

But she confirmed that 375,000 people had already opted to receive communications from the charity.

Tim Willett, head of funding strategy at the RNLI, said that while the number of people opting-in was positive, the charity was still investigating what this meant for fundraising in the long term.

"We’re cautiously optimistic about the results of our opt-in marketing campaign so far," he said.

"But, while this is a promising sign, we don’t yet know the detail around who these people are, how they want to support us and what this means for the RNLI in the long term."

A number of other major charities, including Cancer Research UK and British Red Cross, have pledged to move to an opt-in only model of fundraising.

It comes before the introduction in 2018 of European rules that will require "unambiguous consent" from supporters and the public.

A working group set up by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations on how charities should respond to the new rules recommended last month that large fundraising organisations that undertake mass-fundraising campaigns should refresh the consents they use to contact donors by phone at least every 24 months.

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