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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charities warned: comply or face fines of £25,000

This news post is over 5 years old

​New regulation aims to enable the public to donate with confidence

Failing to comply with tough new fundraising regulations introduced this week could cost charities thousands of pounds in fines.

The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) ​launches on Thursday in a bid to clamp down on persistent requests for donations.

It will regulate UK registered charities while those registered solely in Scotland unaffected by the legislation.

Failure to fall in line with the new guidelines could result in charities being fined up to £25,000 by the information commissioner.

The head of the regulator, Michael Grade, said: “From this Thursday you will have the power to control the flow of communications that you receive from charities thanks to the Fundraising Preference Service.

“Developed and operated by the Fundraising Regulator, which I chair, it will enable you to block direct marketing communications from particular charities.

“In practice, this will mean that you will be able to go online or pick up a phone and name charities from which you no longer want to receive post, phone, text or email marketing communications.”

Charities reported to the regulator will be issued with suppression orders giving them 28 days to stop contacting the complainant with unsolicited messages.

Should they continue, the charities could be reported to the information commissioner’s office, which has the power to prosecute under the Data Protection Act 1998 and issue fines if there has been a breach.



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Richard Cross
over 5 years ago
Incorrect. DP laws and ICO's regulatory scope are UK-wide. The £25k is the maximum available to ICO, has never been used to date, and would only be used if charity persistently failed to comply with donor's requests about use of their data- which no charity should be doing. Applies to any data handlers, about DP not FPS etc. And charities, everyone in UK, should be respectful of this anyway. In spite of Grade's latest hyperbole, the substance of this is really no big deal and any charity that behaves as if they are above basic DP compliance doesn't merit their status.
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Mike Steven
over 5 years ago
/\ Also not quite right... £500k is the maximum ICO fine, but as stated by Grade; "The figure of £25,000 arises out of one particular case." - The Guardian.I am guessing this relates to the RSPCA case, which was the largest ICO charity fine (in recent times) but didn't really relate to not respecting opt-out requests.If a solely Scottish registered Charity were to receive a "notice from (or on behalf of) an individual submitted through the Fundraising Preference Service or notice from the Fundraising Preference Service that such a request has been made." there would be no legal obligation to comply - but then again, FPS won't likely send these to solely Scottish registered CharitiesOf course, any direct notification from a donor would need to be complied with (and I would hope all charities would).