Charities fined over ‘wealth screening’ data breaches

Two charities have been fined over data protection breaches after secretly screening donors so they could be targeted for more money.

This is a very, very sad day indeed. Why the commissioner ruled that donors should not be screened is unfathomable. All medium/large charities screen their databases and I remember this going back to the late 1980’s so why the outcry now? It is usual business practise. Businesses screen to look for their best potential customers.

Many business executives are moving to the charitable sector (for a pay drop) for altruistic reasons to have more job satisfaction and help support more charity beneficiaries – so are they supposed to take off their business hat, their knowledge and skills and go back to marketing practices from 35 years ago? This is a tragic mistake. If charities stopped screening then charities would be £millions and £millions worse off and our charitable sector would go into decline. Beneficiaries would suffer.

Charities have got the rough end of this ruling. This has to be challenged!  What is your view?

Ruth is the principal and founder of Ascent Philanthropy, author of two books and passionate about helping non-profits with their major gift programmes by offering advice for introducing a new major gift programme or enhancing the productivity of the philanthropy team

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