Final proposal: fundraising Preference Service | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Final proposal: fundraising Preference Service


The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) was a recommendation in the Etherington Review conducted by Sir Stuart Etherington in the summer of 2015. The new Fundraising Regulator outlined this week how they see the FPS working in reality.

The FPS will allow consumers to stop all fundraising communications to them from all the different marketing channels. The FPS can then only be overridden by unambiguous consent from a consumer stating they wish to be contacted by a charity.

Speaking about the proposals, John Mitchison, Head of Preference Services, Compliance and Legal at the DMA, said:

The fundraising industry is in need of change, with the events of recent years highlighting a number significant issues in the way the sector approaches its supporters. The creation of this new preference service for fundraising puts the supporter back in control with the least amount of impact on the charity. The future success of the sector requires supporters are always put at the heart of all charitable efforts, recognising that they are an integral part of the organisation and that what is right for them is ultimately best for your organisation and its beneficiaries.”

Many charities were concerned that the FPS would be time unlimited and so once an individual had registered their details they would stay on the FPS database until they requested to be taken off. However, the Fundraising Regulator have decided that after 2 years they will get in touch with registrants and ask them whether they would like to stay registered or remove themselves from the FPS.

Furthermore, once someone has signed up to the FPS a charity will be allowed to contact them within 28 days of their registering. This means charities will be allowed to get in contact with existing donors and make they’re aware of what their decision to sign up to the FPS means for their relationship with the charity. During the checking process, there should be no direct marketing activity.

The FPS will only apply to charities spending more than £100,000 a year or more on fundraising. However, there will be no barrier to smaller charities signing up to use the FPS, demonstrating their commitment to best practice. The £100,000 limit has been set as there was a recognition that the service should target the greatest volume of communications, while recognising the service must be proportionate and not overburden small charities.

The FPS website will also help guide individuals to the right solution. For example, if someone only wants to stop fundraising phone calls then they will be directed to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or similarly for direct mail, the Mailing Preference Service (MPS).

The service will also allow consumers to choose which charities they do not want to hear from. At first it was thought there would be simple option to end communications from all charities. People will still be able to do this but should they wish to only stop receiving messages from a few charities they will be able to tailor their preferences. The FPS aims to give the consumer as much control as possible, while keeping it efficient to use for charities.

Commenting on the proposals, the Fundraising Regulator’s Head of Policy Gerald Oppenheim said:

The Fundraising Regulator is guided by the principle that it should be as simple as possible for individuals to manage their communications with fundraisers and we are confident that these proposals achieve that in a way that is fair for all

Smaller charities will pay slightly less than larger charities for a license to use the FPS. Charities spending more than £20 million of fundraising will be subject to the higher rates.

The FPS was officially announced earlier this week on the Fundraising Regulator website and an executive summary of the proposal is available here.

The Fundraising Regulator will be accepting comments on the proposals until the 30 September 2016. Submit any comments you may have to the Fundraising Regulator at

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.