A Shout Out for Charities

A Shout Out for Charities

Congratulations for the outstanding results on Friday to all involved with Children In Need! This article looks at why charities you support are sending you a letter and the reasons why you need to respond.


What an amount raised for Children In Need on Friday! Always proud of how we as a nation come together at least twice a year to raise millions of pounds for charities and other good causes.

A few days ago Cathy Brode posted a shout out for charities on various social media platforms. If you didn’t see any of them, here is the text:

“A shout out for the charities you support. You will have had, or will get, a letter from them asking for your permission for them to stay in touch with you.
I got another one in the post today.
We, their supporters, are their life blood. Ignore the request and you reduce the funds they raise for their causes, as they will not be able to let you know of other fund-raising activities they plan.
If you think you might have put the letter straight into the recycling bin, then go look at the charity’s website. A couple of examples:  RSPB and Dorothy House.
Do it now rather than wait until May next year. That’s when they need your permission by, due to the additional data protection requirements of #GDPR. If they haven’t the option on their website just yet then keep an eye out for that letter.”

Why the shout out for charities? Why are the charities we support sending us letters? (They didn't need to do so in many cases BTW - but now they have do respond.)

If you signed up for a regular donation, such as an annual subscription, or a grant, then in most cases the charity may continue to communicate with you about that. But only that.

Did you tick a box to agree to be added to their mailing list for other things such as other fund-raising activities when you signed up for a regular donation? Did you agree that they may share your information with other charities?

An answer of ‘No’ to either of these questions is the reason why the charities are now looking for you to say that you are OK to some or all of their other communications with you.

To put into data protection ‘speak’ (Data Protection Act, PECR, e-Privacy Regulation and GDPR): ‘legitimate interest’ is most likely to be the reason that the charity use as the ‘lawful basis’ for communicating about the regular donation, and also the reason why they can send us a letter about how to communicate with us in the future about anything else. Our explicit ‘Consent’ is what they are after for future communication. Such consent needs to be freely given and based on specific and unambiguous information about how they will use our personal information.

The two charities Cathy mentioned in her text above both sent a well-crafted letter explaining why they were writing, how important it is for them to get the ‘Yes’, and how it is confirmed.

To reiterate – do say ‘Yes’ now. Don’t wait until May next year. That’s when they need your permission by, because of the additional data protection requirements of #GDPR. If they don’t have the option on their website just yet then keep an eye out for that letter.

Finally, if you haven’t donated to Children In Need it is not too late. Do it here.

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