RNLI announces switch from opt-in to legitimate interest

Melanie May | 2 October 2019 | News

RNLI has announced that it is to move from its opt-in approach to marketing and communications, to one based on legitimate interest.
The charity adopted the opt-in approach in 2015. Its summer appeal in 2016 was the first appeal that went out to its opted in supporter database, and beat targets to raise £545,000 with a response rate of 32% compared to a target of raising £200,000 and a response rate of 10%. Its 2017 Christmas appeal exceeded its income target by almost £300,000 and last February RNLI announced that it had successfully signed up its 500,000th opted-in supporter.
However, despite these successes, the approach has had a bigger impact than anticipated in a number of areas, including reducing the charity’s ability to attract new supporters and raise funds. As a result, it is to change its approach as of this Thursday, 3 October.
In a statement, Fundraising Director Jayne George said:

“When we took the decision to move to an opt-in approach to marketing and communications in 2015, we said that we would need to constantly review our approach – and that’s exactly what we’ve done. While well intentioned, our move to opt-in has had a bigger impact than anticipated in reducing our ability to attract new supporters, raise vital funds, share safety advice and engage with people.
“From Thursday 3 October 2019, we’ll be moving to a Legitimate Interest-based approach to marketing and communications, which is fully compliant with data protection regulations and is in line with the approach taken by many other major charities. 
“We’ve always been transparent about our approach to opt-in and are committed to sharing what we’re doing with others. We understand that this is a significant change, but we must take action to meet the challenges that the RNLI is facing today.”

Image: Jayne George, RNLI Fundraising Director. Credit: RNLI

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