The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has written to the EU and UK MEPs saying the proposed EU Data Protection plans could have a detrimental impact on charities that use direct mail to fundraise unless the consent definition is changed.



The proposed changes amend the definition of consent and would mean a potential donor would have to opt-in, even when they are already giving to a charity. The IoF fears that if the data protection legislation goes ahead, charities could face a substantial drop in money for much-needed services to support vulnerable people – particularly at a time of recession and cuts to public services. However, the EU has said that this is not the case, and charities will not be adversely affected.


“We believe that a ‘soft opt-in’ extension to the definition of explicit consent would protect charity income by allowing them to count an individual’s donation as a form of ‘affirmative action’. This would strike a balance, respecting the rights of individuals, while also allowing charities to undertake relevant direct marketing activities,” Peter Lewis IoF Chief Executive explains.


The IoF will be working with other charities and UK MEPs to review amendments to the regulations to identify appropriate changes.