The Fundraising Regulator has unveiled changes to the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) – the tool that allows people to stop direct marketing communications from charities – which strengthen the service for both charities and members of the public.
The changes have been implemented in response to an independent review of the FPS, which found that the service continues to provide an important backstop for people who may be feeling overwhelmed by contact from charities.
In response to the review’s recommendations, members of the public can now request that up to 10 charities stop sending them direct marketing in one online transaction. The previous maximum was three charities in one online transaction, and it is still possible to suppress up to 20 charities at a time by contacting the FPS via telephone.
With a quarter of the 13,000 people who have used the service to date acting on behalf of a friend or relative, it is also now easier for charities to see if a suppression request has been made on behalf of someone else. This will help indicate that there is a potentially vulnerable person involved, so that charities can ensure they deal with these requests swiftly.
Further information has also been added to the Fundraising Regulator website to help charities understand what they need to do when they receive a suppression request and to support the public to use the FPS effectively.
In addition to the recommendations made in the evaluation, the Fundraising Regulator has introduced a way for people to submit an FPS request on behalf of someone who has died. When charities access their FPS requests, those made on behalf of a deceased person are clearly shown so that these records can be handled differently to other requests.
Alongside these measures, the Fundraising Regulator is working to increase awareness of the FPS, educating both members of the public and charities about its use and importance. This includes launching targeted digital marketing campaigns, working with other organisations to promote the FPS to people in vulnerable circumstances and engaging with people with a specific interest in charities and people who may be caring for a friend or relative.
Gerald Oppenheim, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said:
“The Fundraising Regulator is committed to protecting members of the public, particularly those people in vulnerable circumstances, and equipping charities with the tools they need to protect them too. Operating the FPS is a vital means of doing this and we will continue to work with the charitable fundraising sector to make sure it can be easily accessed by anyone who might need to use it.”