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9 out of 10 charities uncertain they will comply with new EU data rules by deadline

9 out of 10 charities uncertain they will comply with new EU data rules by deadline

Nine out of ten charities (93%) are unsure whether they will be compliant with the by the May 2018 deadline, according to the Transform Foundation.

The Transform Foundation surveyed almost 200 charities and not-for-profit groups and found that nearly half (46.36%) believe their chances of implementing the new rules in time are 50/50 or lower, while 82.8% say their knowledge of the new requirements is “patchy” or “weak”.

Only 6.7% were certain they will be able to comply by next year’s deadline, according to the research. 16.5% of respondents say they have already sought professional advice while 65.9% intend to.

91.3% felt they could limit the cost of complying with the changes to less than £5,000 each year, with fewer than 1% budgeting for a cost of more than £20,000 per year. A total of 17.9% also said they might have to take on more staff to deal with the changes with a further one in 20 (5%) saying they definitely expect to.

When charities were asked how they felt about how their organisation will handle the changes, 15.6% were ‘a little anxious’, 7.8% were ‘very anxious’ and 44.7% felt ‘uncertain’. Only 5% were ‘completely confident’ while a further 26.8% were ‘fairly confident’.

The Foundation has announced that it is to run a further free breakfast briefing on GDPR, following a briefing in March and one on June 1st. It has also produced a GDPR White Paper to help charities with the basics, authored by Nick Taylor, managing director of Accenture Strategy, and Transform Foundation chairman David Melville.

David Melville, chairman of the Transform Foundation, said:

“Complying with the new rules presents a terrific challenge and those charities we spoke to clearly feel they face a race against time to comply by the May 2018 deadline.

“What is especially worrying, given the recent fines levied on some big name charities by the Information Commissioner, is the lack of confidence among small to medium sized charities that they will ready in time.

“There is also a significant risk that putting the required changes and training in place will take far longer than people expect, even after the full scale of the challenge has been realised. This adds to the growing compliance burden already being faced by charities, but it’s encouraging that so many plan to seek expert help before it’s too late.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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