Hugh McCaw, chief executive of telephone fundraising provider Relationship Marketing, is calling for a telephone fundraising summit of sector regulatory bodies to clear up confusion about telephone fundraising regulations.
McCaw said: “We desperately need a sector summit to address the confusion around telephone fundraising. I am calling on the various sector bodies – the FRSB, TPS, IOF, DMA, ICO, even FEDMA – to come together and provide clarity for the UK charity sector on what is legally, professionally and morally acceptable in telephone fundraising practice under current regulations, and to explore what we should expect if we are to see changes in EU law”.
McCaw said that the Fundraising Standard Board (FRSB) had already responded positively to his call for action, and have said that they will convene a meeting in the coming weeks.
The call follows the debate that has arisen after remarks from Karl Holweger, chief executive of Pell & Bales, claiming that it was acceptable to telephone lapsed donors who have asked not to be contacted by phone with an administrative call to check whether they have changed their minds.
McCaw said: “It is increasingly obvious that fundraisers across the UK, within charities and now evidently within commercial suppliers, are unclear about current regulations and codes of practice; about when and who you can and cannot call, about what constitutes a ‘marketing’ call, about how the TPS and data protection laws come into play, and about how the various regs and codes work alongside one another.
“It is no surprise when current regulations and codes are so complex and sometimes appear contradictory. It is a dangerous situation and it must be resolved so that charities can be clear on exactly what is possible when considering and planning fundraising by telephone.
“As a specialist in this field, Relationship Marketing is conscientious in advising the charities we work with but this is a sector wide information issue that needs the support of the regulatory bodies that have the necessary reach”.
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