FUNDRAISING NEWS: New legislation will see charities focus on existing donors

Charities are planning to spend more money convincing existing donors to give more, rather than trying to attract new donors, according to a new survey.

The online survey of charities showed that the proportion of direct marketing budgets spent on targeting existing donors is set to jump from 38.8 per cent to 45.6 per cent by the end of 2005.

The shift away from donor acquisition has been blamed on legislation allowing voters to opt out of appearing on the edited electoral register made available to direct marketers. The move has reduced the amount of data available to charities and made blanket mailings less effective.

"In a society where the whole culture of charitable giving stands in need of some revival, developing existing donors has to take priority over the expensive business of attracting new ones," said David Jefferies, marketing director at Pitney Bowes, the document management systems company that conducted the survey.

New legislation that requires donors to give express permission before charities can contact them for email marketing drives is also expected to make online donor prospecting more difficult.

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