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Does the Fundraising Preference Service deny the spirit of altruism?

Does the Fundraising Preference Service deny the spirit of altruism?

I am sure this is being said by many. 

But, even today, George Kidd, chair of the working group on the implementation of the new Fundraising Preference Service, said: “…that charities with pre-existing relationships with supporters who signed up to the FPS would not be able to send these people fundraising communications.”

Can I be quite clear. Someone, well intentioned and without coercion, has decided to support a charity. She experiences the joy of giving. She is given feedback on what her gift has achieved, and, from time to time, is offered the opportunity of giving an additional gift, or upgrade her regular giving. She feels good. She feels her contribution is making a difference.

Unfortunately, her name and address have been passed to other charities, who hound her for support. (This, thank goodness, has now been banned.) However, she now has the option of opting out of all fundraising communications. Including those whom she gets great joy in supporting. In a moment of frustration, she ‘presses the reset button’.

Reset button - Rob Dobi on

Is the reset button the right answer to the right question? Photo: Reset button by Rob Dobi on

I cannot imagine any donor to charity wanting this to happen. I cannot imagine any donor wanting the charities she believes in, no longer being able to contact her about her giving. I cannot imagine who, in their right minds, would deny this inherent desire to do good. To deny the spirit of altruism. Are those that are making these decisions putting themselves in the minds of the donor? This is what the Commission on the Donor Experience intends to do. But although its report will be thorough, it will take time. Something needs to be done now.

As I say, I am sure this is being said by many. They should be heard.


As Appeals Director of NSPCC at 29, Giles set up the Centenary Appeal which was a record at the time. Giles grew NSPCC’s voluntary income from No. 15 in the CAF table to No. 3. The FULL STOP Appeal raised £274,000,000. This remains a record.   Giles was vice-chair of the Commission on the Donor Experience, an initiative aimed at transforming fundraising, to change the culture to a truly consistent donor-based approach to raising money. He is now working to implement its recommendations. He has also re-launched himself as a consultant. Giles was ‘UK Professional Fundraiser of the Year 1994’ and received the ‘Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising’ award in 2002.

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