Think before you tick…or don’t.
Have you heard of GDPR? Chances are you are already being affected by it even if you didn’t realise; General Data Protection Regulation comes in to effect on May 25th and is the reason you will be receiving lots of requests for permission to keep in touch with you. The law is changing and companies must change the way they collect, store and use your personal information, including charities.
The biggest change for you is that organisations like ours will now need permission to contact you. Gone are the days of “tick here if you don’t want to hear from us” and hello to a new world of “you must tell us it is okay to send you an email”. For a charity like ours this means we have to seek consent from all of our supporters over the coming months in order to keep them informed about our work, our events, fundraising campaigns or animals needing homes or support. The reality is that we expect to lose more than half our contact information in the coming months so it is important people understand the implications of not responding.
Now personally I think GDPR is a wonderful thing; I’m sick of all the spam emails in my inbox and countless marketing calls just like you (neither of which the Shelter has ever done of course!). I’m hoping that both will be dramatically reduced after May. But professionally I am terrified at the possibility of losing our audience. I’m receiving a couple of requests for my consent each day, mostly by email with tick boxes, some with pretty pictures or clever wording but all after the same thing. It is giving me a chance to decide whether I do actually want to hear from these organsiations again, it is a chance to positively engage with those companies and charities that are actually important to me. My hope is that the only emails I’ll receive soon will be ones that actually interest me, what a glorious inbox that would be!
The reason I wanted to bring GDPR to your attention and give you my take on it is this; to encourage you to think about whether you really want that contact or not before you tick…or don’t. My hope is, when Cheltenham Animal Shelter ask for permission to keep in touch most people will happily agree. Excitingly, we will know the people we are talking with are supporters of animal welfare, rehoming and the work we do and that is an exciting prospect, an audience of true animal lovers!
So, please keep an eye out for the organisations you love asking to keep in touch with you and make sure you say yes!