Institute of Fundraising surveys members' attitudes to Fundraising Preference Service proposal

A short survey asks IoF members if they think the service, which would allow people to opt out of receiving direct marketing communications, would work for them

Direct mail: Etherington review recommended a preference service
Direct mail: Etherington review recommended a preference service

The Institute of Fundraising has begun polling members on the proposal to set up a Fundraising Preference Service, which would allow people to opt out of receiving marketing calls and mail from charities.

The idea was put forward by Sir Stuart Etherington in his review of fundraising self-regulation, which also proposed that the Fundraising Standards Board should be replaced by a new body that would also take over stewardship of the Code of Fundraising Practice from the IoF.

Etherington said the preference service would enable people to "hit the reset button" on the marketing calls and mail they receive from charities.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said in a blog last week that his organisation would be calling on fundraisers to feed into Etherington’s more "controversial" proposals, such as the preference service.

A blog introducing the survey from Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the IoF, says that the preference service was not an idea put forward by the IoF in its submission to the Etherington review and it wanted to find out what members thought of the idea.

"A Fundraising Preference Service, if it is decided to indeed be established, will take time and thought to come into existence and we want to make sure we can best represent our members’ views in any discussions that take place," he writes.

"There are lots of things to think through: what communications would be affected? What counts as a fundraising communication? Should there be any difference for smaller/larger charities?

"Most fundamentally we want to really look at how any kind of service can most effectively protect vulnerable people, but also best reflect the preferences of individuals in their relationships with different charities."

The short survey asks IoF members if they think that the proposed service would be an effective way for people to manage the fundraising communications they receive, whether it would protect vulnerable people and whether they think an overall reset button for charity communications is the best way for people to manage their marketing preferences.

Andy Ricketts

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