HomeData Protection GuidelinesRecords RetentionFundraising and Direct Marketing

Fundraising and Direct Marketing

A school should ensure that any fundraising appeal is compliant with the Data Protection Acts. This means that there should be no unsolicited contact by phone, email or text message without the consent of the individual concerned confirming in advance that they wish to receive such direct marketing. Where a parent/guardian has provided their mobile telephone number to the school for the purposes of being contacted in an emergency relating to their child’s welfare or in the case of the school closing due to adverse weather, that mobile telephone number should not be used to promote a fundraising appeal or for any commercial purpose (e.g.advising of a special offer in relation to the school sports kit) or for any political purpose (e.g. promoting any candidate or party in a local or council election). Fundraising can be done by writing to individuals and sending such correspondence by post, so long as there is the option for the individual to “opt-out” or unsubscribe from receiving such correspondence in the future.

A school cannot pass on personal information obtained for the purposes of fundraising or start using it for a new purpose without contacting the individual concerned and giving them the chance to say ‘no’ to this.

More information and guidance in relation to fundraising for charities in compliance with Data Protection laws is available at: www.dataprotection.ie/documents/guidance/Charity_Guidance.pdf

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner advises that if an individual is making a credit or laser card donation they should be provided with notice to the effect that:

(a) their details will be recorded onto the school's “donor database”, if this is the practice of the school concerned and the donor has been informed in advance that this will happen, and has been given the opportunity to opt-out; and

(b) an opportunity should be provided for the donor to decline to have their details recorded on the donor database (aside from meeting payment reconciliations requirements which are normally handled by a third-party intermediary). Where the donor declines to have their details recorded on the donor database, or wishes to “opt-out” at any stage, their details must no longer be retained by the school.

Credit card numbers or laser card details should not be stored in donor databases unless necessary for ongoing direct debit purposes.