IoF members say donors should have control over how they are contacted by fundraisers

An online survey of 550 Institute of Fundraising members finds 98 per cent believe this would be better than a simple 'reset' button which would rule out all contact

Direct mail: control, not complete cutting out, say IoF members
Direct mail: control, not complete cutting out, say IoF members

Donors should have detailed control over how they are contacted by charity fundraisers, rather than being able only to block all communication, according to Institute of Fundraising members.

The online survey of 550 IoF members was conducted after the publication of the Etherington review of the self-regulation of fundraising. The review recommended the introduction of a Fundraising Preference Service, which would enable people to opt out from receiving all charity direct mail and telephone calls.

The IoF’s survey about the FPS found that 98 per cent of respondents believed donors should have a choice over what they receive, how it is sent and who sends it, rather than just one option of a "reset button", which would rule out all charities from contacting them.

The survey, which ran on the IoF’s website last month, also found that 80 of respondents thought charities should be able to continue contacting individuals who had given their express consent to be connected, even if they later registered on an FPS.

It found that 65 per cent of respondents thought that registering with an FPS should mean that the individual no longer receives unsolicited or cold communications.

The respondents were asked to say "yes", "no" or "don’t know" to the questions, but a spokeswoman said the data for how many had responded no or don’t know was not yet available.

In a blog revealing the preliminary results of the survey, Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the IoF, said: "Our members also understand just how important it is for them to respond to the needs of people in vulnerable circumstances in order to ensure that fundraising is a positive experience for everyone."

He said many survey respondents had reiterated their commitment to finding an effective mechanism to protect vulnerable individuals.

"Interrogation and debate are what we need on this so we can create the best environment for fundraising on a successful and sustainable basis," Fluskey wrote.

Respondents were also asked whether they thought an FPS would be effective, which forms of communication should be restricted by the FPS and which should be exempt, but the these results have not yet been published by the IoF.

The IoF spokeswoman said a more detailed analysis of responses would be released shortly.

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