Two in five donors think charities 'would avoid contacting them without explicit consent'

The findings come from a survey conducted on behalf of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations' opt-in working group, which is expected to be published next month

Only about two in five charity donors believe charities would avoid contacting them unless they have given explicit consent, advance findings from a survey for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations indicate.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive in July on behalf of the NCVO’s opt-in working group, which is developing recommendations about charities’ fundraising practices before the introduction of the EU General Data Regulation in 2018.

The full results of the survey will not be available until the end of September but some advance findings have emerged. 

Pollsters questioned a nationally-representative group of more than 1,000 people, almost 800 of which were current donors and 200 potential donors, about how their trust levels in charities were affected by fundraising practices.

They found that only 41 per cent of existing donors believe that charities would avoid contacting them unless they have given explicit consent.

The survey also found only 18 per cent of potential donors said they trusted charities with their data.

About 49 per cent of existing donors questioned during the survey said they would trust a charity more if they only contacted people who had ‘opted in’ and given specific consent for further communication.

But among potential donors, only 33 per cent of potential donors agreed that they would trust a charity more if they had an opt-in communication policy, the survey said.

There was also support from both potential and existing donors for greater control of their personal data held by charities, the survey discovered.

It found that 43 per cent of potential donors said their trust in charities would increase if they were given more control over the use of their personal data. This figure rose to 70 per cent among existing donors.

The survey results will be published at the end of September, a spokeswoman for the NCVO said.

The survey will support the opt-in working group’s work on how charities should operate following the major fundraising scandals last summer.

Issues the group will investigate include how specific consent needs to be, how often charities should refresh consent and how charities can transition to the new opt-in system.

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