SCVO media release
10 November 2016

The Scottish Fundraising Working Group is recommending to charities in Scotland that they do not need to screen against the FPS.

Chair of the Group and Partner at MacRoberts LLP, Val Surgenor, said:

“The Scottish Fundraising Working Group’s consultation highlighted that charities in Scotland were not convinced that the Fundraising Preference Service offered anything over the current legal requirements; and with new data protection legislation around the corner, which will likely become legislation prior to the departure of the UK from the European Union, the emphasis on affirmative consent will significantly affect practices within charities in how they collect and use donor data. The new data protection rules will give greater enforcement with the potential for substantial fines for material breaches.

We all have a desire to protect vulnerable people, curb aggressive fundraising and promote good practice generally and indeed there is nothing to prevent the Scottish public from signing up to FPS should they wish to do so and whilst this won’t cover fundraising communications from Scottish only charities, it will cover charities from England & Wales (and UK wide charities whose lead regulator is the Charity Commission).”

John Downie, Director of Public Affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

“Charities in Scotland are committed to maintaining public trust in charities and how they fundraise but they are unconvinced that the Fundraising Preference Service would offer any protection for members of the public over and above the existing laws since it would largely duplicate the function of the existing Telephone Preference Service. That’s why the Scottish Fundraising Implementation Group is recommending that charities in Scotland do not screen against the Fundraising Preference Service.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will apply from May 2018 will reform current data protection law and significantly affect how charities raise funds with new rights for supporters and donors. SCVO and OSCR will be working with the Information Commissioner Office in Scotland to look at the best way to prepare the charity sector for the changes.”
Judith Turbyne, Head of Engagement at OSCR said:

“Looking at the evidence and consulting with key partners, the Fundraising Implementation Group has not found sufficient evidence to suggest that the new system would offer anything over the current legal requirements. If the aim of the new system is to improve fundraising practice, then what is extremely important is that charities fully understand their current legal obligations, that they have the processes in place to make sure they are fulfilling these obligations and that they are ready for the new data protection legislation which will likely be coming in before the departure of the UK from the European Union.

Building an effective approach to fundraising regulation requires us to make sure that the system is appropriate in each jurisdiction. The Implementation Group in Scotland has worked hard to design a system that is appropriate for the make-up of the Scottish sector and will give us the tools we need to continually work to raise standards in fundraising.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The Scottish third sector turns over £4.5 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations.
  2. The Etherington Review of UK fundraising regulation conducted by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and SCVO’s review of fundraising regulation in Scotland, reported in the autumn of 2015. Both found that a new system of fundraising self-regulation was needed to address concerns about public trust in charity fundraising. In Scotland, the Scottish Fundraising Working Group was convened by SCVO to perform this task, with membership from Scottish and UK-wide charities, and the charity and fundraising professional bodies. Scottish Government and the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) representatives provided input as observers, whilst a sub-group provided additional technical expertise.
  3. The Scottish Fundraising Working Group consultation took account of the 750 views gathered in SCVO’s initial report. It also heard from a summit held in Edinburgh and attended by around 150 professionals from across the third sector. Further consultation took place at 17 round table events held in communities across Scotland, and via a series of public focus groups facilitated by Ipsos MORI. Read the report
  4. For media queries, please call Charlotte McNeill at SCVO on 07790 601 995.