Our response to the ICO investigation into charity fundraising

We've made significant changes to tighten our procedures and protect our supporters

You may have seen the data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), today published its findings following an investigation into historic fundraising practices in the charity sector. It included findings about the NSPCC's practices.

The NSPCC is disappointed the ICO has decided to fine us £12,000. But we're very grateful to a small group of friends of the charity who have offered to pay it so that supporters can be confident that not a penny of their donations will be diverted from our fight for every childhood.

Around 90% of donations that provide vital services in our fight for every childhood come from you, our generous supporters. And we fiercely protect the trust you place in us to responsibly use your donations and personal information.

If it turns out that any supporter has been affected by the specific, unintentional failings identified, then of course we apologise.


A summary of our response

  • The NSPCC has never – and will never – share or sell our supporters' details with other charities.
  • The ICO acknowledged we have taken action to improve how we fundraise and communicate with our supporters.
  • We strive to be a standard bearer for best practice when it comes to fundraising.

The changes we've made and why

We wanted to explain things in a little more detail to help you understand the changes we've made and why.

1. The ICO objected to our use of a form for recording supporter details, which did not thoroughly explain how these would be used. However, it's worth stressing this form was only used for a limited time.

We have accepted the form was inadequate and it was corrected by August 2015.

2. The ICO also found our privacy notice did not make clear to our supporters that we could be data matching their information. This was a way of ensuring we had up-to-date and complete contact details for our supporters.

We stopped 'data matching' in 2016 and we will not do it again.

3. The Commissioner found on 2 occasions we used commercial organisations to analyse some of our supporter records along with publicly available information, to identify those supporters who may want to help us.

We have not done this since 2014 and will not do it again. For the record, we have decided, even with the right privacy notice in place to allow this, it is not in the best interests of our supporters.

Ultimately, we only contacted a small number of people using this enhanced information, but we recognise our privacy notice did not make clear to our supporters we could use their information in this way.

4. The ICO also said it was unhappy with marketing information we gave donors in simultaneous 'thank you' texts sent as part of a fundraising campaign.

We did not agree the information we provided when donors gave by text was marketing. However, we've now made changes, so before you text to donate, we give you clearer details upfront on how we could use your personal information and how you can opt out.

We want to make it very clear we have only ever used your personal information for purposes connected to your donations to the NSPCC. In addition, it's worth repeating we have never - and will never - share your personal data or information with other charities.

Supporter Care

We take your concerns seriously. If you have any questions or concerns about any of this, call us between Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm. Calls may be recorded for training purposes.

020 7825 2505

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