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IoF highlights ‘fundamental shift of goalposts’ on MPS in draft response to Code consultation

IoF highlights ‘fundamental shift of goalposts’ on MPS in draft response to Code consultation

The Institute of Fundraising has published its draft response to the Fundraising Regulator’s consultation on , highlighting the proposed changes to the MPS as a significant change marking a ‘fundamental shift of the goalposts’.

In the IoF’s draft response, published on its website this week and following Daniel Fluskey’s earlier blog on the consultation, it states that the: change proposed at 7.1.1 on how fundraisers work with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS)… would mean that unless individuals have provided consent to that charity, no direct marketing mailings can be sent. That is a fundamental shift of the goalposts as to what was in the Code before, and indeed, significantly changes what the MPS service (run by the DMA) was set up to do.’

It says that changing the Code so that charities could only contact people on the MPS when they have consent would exclude legitimate interest as a lawful basis, wipe out pre-existing relationships, and mean that people who sign up to the MPS receive a different experience to the one they expect.

The IoF wants to see this proposed change reviewed so that it does not stop a charity contacting a supporter where there is a previous relationship, providing there is a lawful basis for doing so.

The IoF also lists a number of other proposed changes as needing review or clarification. These include making the wording at 5.1.2 of the Code, which states “organisations MUST keep up to date with and have regard to relevant guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office” clearer and less ambiguous about what constitutes compliance. They also include point 5.2.7 Requirement to keep a ‘suppression list’, with the IoF suggesting that the Code is amended so that it does not become a requirement to keep and maintain a ‘suppression list’, but instead makes it clear that organisations must ensure they have appropriate systems or procedures in place so they do not send any direct marketing to individuals who have asked not to receive it.

The full draft response to the Regulator’s Consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice on Data Protection can be downloaded from the IoF site, and the IoF is asking for comments and feedback from its members to help it inform its final written response. The Regulator’s consultation opened in October and runs until 8 December.

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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