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Fundraising Regulator opens Code Consultation on Data Protection

Fundraising Regulator opens Code Consultation on Data Protection

The Fundraising Regulator has announced the opening of a Code Consultation on Data Protection, to enable charities, fundraisers and the public to provide feedback on proposed changes to the Code regarding data protection. 

The Fundraising Regulator’s consultation will run from October to December of this year and seeks to update the Code to mirror the upcoming GDPR legislation, and to address the issues identified in the number of penalty notices levied by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the last two years.

As well as ensuring the Code adheres to GDPR, proposed changes also include ensuring rules on data protection are more accessible by improving signposting to existing ICO and Fundraising Regulator guidance, as well as adding and expanding definitions for key terms.

Additionally, acting on the recommendations of the NCVO working group into charities’ relationship with donors, the Fundraising Regulator also wants to address calls for greater clarity on legitimate interest. Therefore, it is proposing three new sections for the Code:

  • Legitimate Interest: Incorporating GDPR and recommendations by the NCVO working group on donor communications
  • Processing: Emphasising that, where activities are conducted using an individual’s personal data, this will count as ‘processing’ and data protection rules will apply
  • Consent: Incorporating draft ICO GDPR guidance from May 2018

The Code is expected to be finalised in spring of next year, when it will be published and the changes implemented.

Suzanne McCarthy, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator’s Standard Committee said:

“Protecting personal data is a fundamental part of meeting the key principles of legal, open, honest and respectful fundraising within the Code. We welcome views on whether the changes proposed are clear in communicating fundraisers’ legal and ethical responsibilities on data.”

The proposals can be viewed on the consultation page of the Regulator’s site.

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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