Effect of the reset button

The creation of a Fundraising Preference Service has caused alarm among some fundraisers. During this panel debate, we'll hear whether such fears are justified

Joe Saxton
Joe Saxton

One of the sessions this afternoon (Wednesday 20th) tackles the vexed question of how the proposed new Fundraising Preference Service will work and the effect it is likely to have on the work of fundraisers.

The FPS, sometimes referred to as a "reset button", will allow people who register with it to opt out from all fundraising approaches by all charities, by phone or mail. It will also allow them, if they wish, to continue to receive communications from some charities.

Speakers in the session, entitled ‘How will the new Fundraising Preference Service change the way we work?’ will be John Mitchison, head of preference services, compliance and legal at the Direct Marketing Association, and Joe Saxton, founder and driver of ideas at the sector research consultancy nfpSynergy.

The DMA code of practice requires members to ensure that lists containing names and contact details are not used for marketing purposes unless they have been cleaned against existing preference services with which people can register, including the Telephone Preference Service, the Mailing Preference Service and the Corporate Telephone Preference Service.

Mitchison, an expert on telemarketing, will be in a position to describe how the existing preference services work and how the proposed new addition will fit into the system.

"Successful marketers need to think about the consumers and what they want," he has written.

Saxton, a columnist for Third Sector, has written extensively about the uncharted territory that will be opened up by the new preference service. "There are few proposals that have terrified, mystified and bewildered fundraisers as much as the FPS has done," he says.

"I will talk about at how fundraisers might respond to the FPS both in terms of new types of fundraising, and changing existing practices. And I will attempt to map a path through the maze and even give people some reasons for optimism."

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