The institute of fundraising issued a code of practice in 2010 regarding the telephone laws and restricts for charity call centres, however what exactly are the dos and donts of fundraising via telephone?
Q - Can I call a supporter who has explicitly asked not to be phone?
A - You are permitted to make administrative calls provided the fundraising standards boards code of conduct is met. If the main reason for try to gain a donation then this can be penalised - other calls can be classed as administrative. You can also call a supporter to provide information or for thanking. Use these calls as an opportunity to ask whether they are happy to receive fundraising calls in future.
Q - What if I routinely call supporters who make donations to say thank you, then ask them to receive fundraising calls in the future?
A - If a call was made with the intention of thanking for a donation, the caller can ask if the donor is happy to receive future fundraising calls. The code of practice doesn’t have systems for determining whether the primary purpose was to thank the donor or fundraising.
Q - what if these rules are broken?
A - “If your charity is a member of the FRSB, a complainant could use its three-stage complaints procedure. Its final sanction is to withdraw membership. If your charity is not a member of the FRSB, the board could publicise bad practice, including names. The FRSB is generally unwilling to penalise its members and prefers to help them find a solution.”
These questions and answers show that there are loopholes to the charity call centre requirements. However, since these rules were written fundraising has changed. Although charity call centres are still popular, donations for charities have had many ups and downs in the past 3 years, with some charities struggling to stay afloat. This would inevitably lead to an increase in donation calls. Does this mean regulation has to become more stringent to prevent masses of calls for supporters and donors?