New rules on 'administrative calls' in revised Institute of Fundraising code of practice

Code now says charities and agencies should not make marketing calls 'under the guise of admin calls'

Charity call centre
Charity call centre

Charities must not phone supporters with the specific purpose of asking them to change their minds about receiving fundraising calls in future, according to a revised code of practice from the Institute of Fundraising.

But the code adds that "supporters' marketing preferences can be verified during a genuine administrative call". It says administrative calls differ from marketing calls because "they are not made with the specific purpose of soliciting a donation or sale".

The code, which will be published this week, was updated after the Information Commissioner's Office expressed concerns about fundraising methods advocated by telephone fundraising agency Pell & Bales.

Karl Holweger, the firm's managing director, told a session of the International Fundraising Congress last year that one way to raise money was to phone people who had asked not be called in order to ask them to change their minds and agree to receive fundraising calls.

He said such calls could be justified on the grounds that they were "administrative". The story led to the involvement of the Information Commissioner and a summit meeting of fundraisers on the issue.

The revised code includes a new statement that "marketing calls under the guise of administrative calls ought not to be made". The word 'ought' means this is a mandatory condition for members of the institute.



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