I was at the IoF/Small Charities Coalition meeting yesterday to hear Stephen Dunmore and George Kidd talk about The Etherington review, the new fundraising regulator and the FPS. Whilst I think that they will try to operate pragmatically and reasonably I continue to worry that the devil will be in the detail.
Bernard Jenkin MP would probably say we asked for it and now we're getting it. However as I reminded everyone. The MPS and the TPS are all about avoiding unsolicited marketing approaches. Individuals can ask any charity they give to, to stop sending appeals (and for goodness sake what sensible fundraiser would ignore a direct request?) so why oh why do we need to go further? The real danger I fear is that, in an effort to "keep in simple" (Kidd) we will require all existing givers to any charity to opt back into receiving communications. And that is a very slippery path. As Adrian Sergeant asks,why should we single out charities when financial services go unnoticed?
I doubt it will affect small charities with limited direct marketing programmes but a blanket approach could be the "thermo-nuclear device" that some commentators and fundraisers fear.
However, like Baldrick, I have a plan! I hope, a cunning plan.
I'm talking to fundraisers at the Museum of London Enterprise and Philanthropy conference on 2nd March so come along and see what you think of my idea.
Meanwhile are you worried?