About 30 senior fundraisers will discuss the future of the fundraising sector at an event hosted by a working group set up by the Direct Marketing Association.
Alistair McLean, chief executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, is one of several sector professionals taking part of the DMA’s new Future of Fundraising working group, whose workshop in London tomorrow will encourage fundraisers to discuss a new whitepaper about one-to-one fundraising.
The ideas and opinions shared at this event will inform another report that the group plans to produce later this year.
Securing the Future of One-to-One Fundraising, which was published by the group earlier this month, welcomes the introduction of the controversial new Fundraising Preference Service, saying that combined with the new Fundraising Regulator, the service represents a great opportunity for the sector to evolve in the way that it communicates with supporters.
It acknowledges that the FPS has thrown up numerous concerns for charities, including the length of time people would be registered, the cost of implementation and confusion with existing preference services, but says that if the sector had followed the DMA code all along, it probably would not have experienced the problems exposed by the Daily Mail newspaper last year.
The FPS, which has proved an unpopular concept with many in the fundraising community, is currently being developed by a working group led by George Kidd, chief commissioner at the Direct Marketing Commission, the body that investigates reported breaches of the DMA Code.
The paper also says many charities have exhibited split personalities, "with high-minded commitment to their causes obscuring a more ruthless side". It says they have expressed this side with their "relentless" pursuit of funds from the public.
But it says charities have an opportunity to create positive changes for the future by collaborating with one another more effectively and pooling their collective expertise with lessons taken from the commercial world.
Michelle De Souza, who co-chairs the working group and is head of customer relationship management and insight at Age UK, said: "The initial workshop on 16 March will be an opportunity for people from across the industry to come together to discuss some of the key issues put forward in the whitepaper.
"By engaging a wide variety of people within charitable organisations, we want to work together to develop clear recommendations on what the sector must do to safeguard itself against the one-to-one marketing mistakes of the past."
Her co-chair, Melanie Howard, who chairs the consumer trends agency Future Foundation, said sector professionals would be encouraged to take part in the debate whether or not they could attend the workshop.
Those wishing to share their views on the whitepaper can contact Tasha Munn, manager of the DMA councils, at firstname.lastname@example.org