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Managing consent in fundraising communications

Breaking down how to manage consent in your marketing

One of the biggest challenges that fundraisers encounter on an everyday basis is managing consent from their prospects and donors, in order to share information about their cause and encourage further giving. This article will break down the type of consent you’ll need to carry out fundraising communications, and how you can manage this more easily.

Processing personal data, which you’ll often need to do in order to send out communications by storing and using personal information, means that your organisation must meet all legal requirements relating to data protection, including: 

  • the Data Protection Act 2018; 
  • the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); and
  • the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations (PECR) 2003

Sending fundraising communications 

According to the ICO, fundraising activity, including charities’ promotional and campaigning work, is covered by the definition of direct marketing. Direct marketing is defined as any marketing or promotional communication directed towards an individual, and so includes addressed mail, as well as electronic communications such as phone calls/text messages and emails.

In order to send fundraising communications, you will always need to gain the person’s consent prior to sending, unless:

  • You gain ‘soft opt-in’, where contact details were obtained during a previous sale, which enables organisations to send communications about related services 
  • You are marketing to businesses or organisations using their corporate contact details

Gaining consent from individuals 

If you are using consent as the lawful basis for sending fundraising communications, then the consent must:

1) Be freely given, specific, and shares the type of communications or data processing the individual has consented to, shown by clear positive action (i.e. clicking to tick a box)

Using simple custom forms which automatically update consent preferences ensures that both the individual and organisation are clear on the consent being given, and that this can be updated at any point. 

2) Offer different options to opt in or out of different types of communication and data processing

Being able to set up different types of consent in your CRM which can be used to opt out individuals from receiving unwanted comms is the best way to ensure that you can continue to communicate with as many of your prospect pool as possible, while also sending them relevant and desired communications. For example, you can set up a separate consent preference to hear about fundraising appeals, vs progress updates and beneficiary stories. 

3) Tell people about their right to withdraw their consent and make it easy for them to do so

By using an email service provider that links to your CRM, tracking unsubscribes is automatic and makes it easy for individuals to opt out. In addition, fundraisers can check individual profiles before reaching out via a different channel and check to see whether they may have recently unsubscribed to avoid contacting at the wrong time. 

4) Be recorded in a way that allows your organisation to see who updated their consent, when they gave consent, how they gave consent and any communications they were sent after giving consent.

Being able to record and view a history of consent preferences at an individual level is crucial for organisations, as the ICO can request an audit at any time. ToucanTech makes it easy for admins to view an individual’s profile with their consent preferences, and to filter the database for individuals with specific consent preferences. Admins can also see a history of consent updates, including who updated the consent and how they obtained the updated consent preference, making audits a breeze. 

Managing consent is one of the most important tasks in any nonprofit marketing team and has important implications on the overall reputation of your organisation, so using a system that helps you to manage and record consent more easily is a good way to ensure peace of mind. 

Using the ToucanTech online platform, an individual can record and update their consent preferences via a form, which will match to their record held in the database. Admins can also update consent preferences directly on the record, when these are shared by the individual. 

Once recorded, managing consent with ToucanTech is easy; the integrated email engine means you can filter out opt-outs, and select an email ‘type’ before sending to ensure the correct consent preferences are applied. You can also easily export opt ins or opt outs to get a measure of consent preferences within your community, and import records with this information during migration to maintain consent regulations.

Speak to a product expert at ToucanTech to find out more about how the all-in-one system can help you achieve your goals. Book a time to talk about fundraising consent here.

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