Why the Fundraising Preference Service can do one

I spoke at NFP Tweetup last week along with some lovely talented digital charity folk.

The question of the Fundraising Preference Service came up. I won’t repeat exactly what I said (you might be reading this pre-watershed), but I have thought this for a while, so here’s a quick summary of what I think about the FPS.

It assumes the worst in people

A Fundraising Preference Service makes people say they never want to hear from any charity, no matter what disasters might befall the world in future (even the ICO say it’s confusing.

This is not what they’re saying if they get too many letters from a single charity. They’re complaining about that charity’s communications with them.

I want to assume the best in people – the FPS makes us assume the worst.

It makes us feel bad about doing good

Asking people to support your charity financially is bad. People should be protected from those who seek to do bad. So government will protect them from every single one of you.

Charities are bad. The money they need to do their work is bad. Asking is bad, and you as a fundraiser should be ashamed of doing it.

There is one thing I believe above all others – if you can’t be proud of changing the world for better, and inspiring others to join you, there is nothing you can be proud of.

It’s a way of telling charities to stop lobbying government

I feel the idea of the FPS is a message from this government, one that has made it clear it won’t tolerate charities lobbying it.

The message is – be careful. We can stop ALL of you raising the funds you need to survive.

Just accepting wrong is not what charities do

Charities campaign, lobby and help people.

When something is wrong in the world, they don’t just accept that as the way the world is – they change it.

So to accept the FPS as an inevitable consequence of the mistakes of a tiny percentage of all charities is wrong. It should be opposed, like so many other wrongs in the world have been fought and defeated by charities. And I for one totally oppose it.

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