We were pleased to read about the recent changes made to the Fundraising Preference Service. Whilst some charities might be disheartened by them – we believe they are a good thing and we’ll explain why.

But first.

What’s changed?

People can now request that up to 10 charities stop sending them direct marketing in one go through the FPS online.

The previous maximum people could suppress was three charities in one online transaction. However, people can nominate up to 20 charities by contacting the FPS via telephone.

It has also been made easier for charities to see if a suppression request has been made on behalf of someone else, with the aim of helping to indicate quickly whether a potentially vulnerable person is involved.

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 also 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.

Is this really good news for the charity sector?

Yes it is. Really!

It may feel like yet another hammer blow, as it potentially means that even more people will be off limits to fundraising, but the fact of the matter is if those people have passed away, sending them a letter is a total waste of the stamp, paper and design costs. Likewise if you are sending mail to someone who says they don’t want to hear from you, you will be damaging your reputation by failing to follow to their wishes – as well as wasting your valuable budget.

The Fundraising Preference Service is a powerful tool for charities, however, for charities that want to adhere to best practice working with an organisation like ourselves means that data hygiene goes further. For example, you can identify and remove anyone that has recently passed away from your database – not just those that have been nominated by a family member to the FPS. In addition, you can ensure that your budget is going as far as possible by identifying people that have moved house, or people that you might be mailing more than once due to erroneous data.

Targeted marketing is proven to be more effective than a scattergun approach and data hygiene is the key to this. Ensuring your data is as up to date as possible will pay dividends when it comes to reaping the reward sin terms of lower costs and increased donations.

For information about how we can help you make the most of your supporter data please get in touch!