RNLI-is-first-major-charity-to-give-supporters-control-over-contact1

Byline: The RNLI is the first major UK charity to announce a fundamental change to the way it contacts people. From 1 January 2017 it will only contact individuals who have expressly given their permission for the RNLI to contact them.
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This is an ‘opt-in’ system where individuals choose to be contacted, rather than an ‘opt-out’ system where supporters are automatically added to a list on a database unless they expressly opt out, which the RNLI currently uses.

Leesa Harwood, RNLI Fundraising Director, says: ‘We’re making this change because we believe it’s the right thing to do – the RNLI is lucky to be a well-respected and well supported charity and we need to make sure that respect is mutual and our supporters’ trust is well placed.

‘Charities’ fundraising communications, in particular, have come under scrutiny this year. The RNLI has always prided itself on its ethical approach to fundraising and we’ve been investigating how to reduce our reliance on direct marketing over the last 12 months. Events such as the tragic death of Olive Cooke have made it clear that this kind of change is overdue so we’ve accelerated our move to an opt-in fundraising system.’

This will impact the RNLI’s ability to fundraise and therefore the income the charity needs to deliver its lifesaving service. The charity estimates that a move to an opt-in system will result in a £35.6M loss of income over 5 years. It forecasts that this shortfall will start at about £11M in 2016, falling to £4M in 2020 as the RNLI finds new ways to fund its service.

Leesa Harwood continued: ‘This change will have a financial impact in the short term. We estimate that, even after designing creative new ways to mitigate any shortfall, the RNLI will lose around £35.6M in income over the next 5 years.’

 ‘We understand not all charities are in the same position as the RNLI and that an opt-in system is not a simple or easy thing to adopt, so we’re keen to share our learnings with others and work with the sector to enable those who want to to adopt those aspects of our opt-in strategy that work for them.’

Notes to Editors
Please contact the RNLI Press Office to arrange interviews with
o Leesa Harwood, RNLI Fundraising Director
o Tim Willett, RNLI Head of Funding
o Jayne Clarke, RNLI Head of Marketing

The recent review of charity fundraising practices by Sir Stuart Etherington recommended that charities should exercise greater control over their direct marketing activities. The RNLI welcomes these recommendations; but the charity’s decision to change its fundraising approach goes further.

Press Office contacts
For more information, please contact Isla Reynolds, Newsdesk and PR Manager on 01202 663127, 07899 076224, or isla_reynolds@rnli.org.uk, or Ruth Bessant, Public Relations Office, on 01202 336789, 07884 117369 or ruth_bessant@rnli.org.uk.

Byline: The RNLI is the first major UK charity to announce a fundamental change to the way it contacts people. From 1 January 2017 it will only contact individuals who have expressly given their permission for the RNLI to contact them.
Page Content:

This is an ‘opt-in’ system where individuals choose to be contacted, rather than an ‘opt-out’ system where supporters are automatically added to a list on a database unless they expressly opt out, which the RNLI currently uses.

Leesa Harwood, RNLI Fundraising Director, says: ‘We’re making this change because we believe it’s the right thing to do – the RNLI is lucky to be a well-respected and well supported charity and we need to make sure that respect is mutual and our supporters’ trust is well placed.

‘Charities’ fundraising communications, in particular, have come under scrutiny this year. The RNLI has always prided itself on its ethical approach to fundraising and we’ve been investigating how to reduce our reliance on direct marketing over the last 12 months. Events such as the tragic death of Olive Cooke have made it clear that this kind of change is overdue so we’ve accelerated our move to an opt-in fundraising system.’

This will impact the RNLI’s ability to fundraise and therefore the income the charity needs to deliver its lifesaving service. The charity estimates that a move to an opt-in system will result in a £35.6M loss of income over 5 years. It forecasts that this shortfall will start at about £11M in 2016, falling to £4M in 2020 as the RNLI finds new ways to fund its service.

Leesa Harwood continued: ‘This change will have a financial impact in the short term. We estimate that, even after designing creative new ways to mitigate any shortfall, the RNLI will lose around £35.6M in income over the next 5 years.’

 ‘We understand not all charities are in the same position as the RNLI and that an opt-in system is not a simple or easy thing to adopt, so we’re keen to share our learnings with others and work with the sector to enable those who want to to adopt those aspects of our opt-in strategy that work for them.’

Notes to Editors
Please contact the RNLI Press Office to arrange interviews with
o Leesa Harwood, RNLI Fundraising Director
o Tim Willett, RNLI Head of Funding
o Jayne Clarke, RNLI Head of Marketing

The recent review of charity fundraising practices by Sir Stuart Etherington recommended that charities should exercise greater control over their direct marketing activities. The RNLI welcomes these recommendations; but the charity’s decision to change its fundraising approach goes further.

Press Office contacts
For more information, please contact Isla Reynolds, Newsdesk and PR Manager on 01202 663127, 07899 076224, or isla_reynolds@rnli.org.uk, or Ruth Bessant, Public Relations Office, on 01202 336789, 07884 117369 or ruth_bessant@rnli.org.uk.