Fundraising data protection: make trust a priority

With International Women’s Day this week, not-for-profit organisations have the opportunity to inspire change in the industry in more ways than one through this year’s #PledgeForParity campaign.

padlock security protection

Charity fundraising tactics have come under fire in recent years and organisations must ensure they’re placing consumers at the centre of their activity.

Following the Etherington Review and the push for higher standards in fundraising, organisations need to demonstrate they can be trusted.

When trust is regained, donors will feel a sense of security and engage with campaigns.

Forty per cent of consumers choose trust in an organisation as the most important factor when deciding to share personal information, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

A number of charities have recently suffered from a downturn in fundraising. Recent research also suggests that intense targeting from charities affects fundraising with 87 per cent of people less likely to give to a cause as result.

Organisations need to put the fun back in fundraising and drum up support for their cause without offending or hassling consumers.

Not-for-profit organisations have an opportunity to use data protection and privacy as a competitive advantage to assure supporters that they will defend their data. Women Worldwide, for example, clearly outlines their privacy policy online creating an open and honest relationship with their members.

When people engage with organisations and share their personal details, trust and respect of data is integral.

Consumers have high standards and expectations that not-for-profit organisations need to respect.

Compliance enforcement and focus is changing and organisations need to ensure they’re in line with the law to prevent punishment. A charity recently received unfavourable press for misusing personal data.

A member of the public complained in response to the organisation’s actions, demonstrating raised awareness amongst consumers and a growing interest in our rights when it comes to data protection.

Not-for-profit organisations need to adhere to the Code of Fundraising and work together collectively to strengthen the Code to boost consumer trust and engagement.

Trust has been damaged in the past by charities and some organisations are making positive changes to restore trust, however others need to follow suit.

With increasingly robust and hands-on enforcement from the UK government, the not-for-profit sector needs to get to grips with their responsibilities when it comes to protecting donors’ data. Fundraising is of course important but, above all, the supporter needs to come first.

If you want to increase campaigning activity and maintain donor relationships, respect personal data and provide the trust that consumers expect.

By Steve Henderson, compliance officer at Communicator