Battersea statement on Information Commissioners Office monetary penalties to 11 charities

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is very disappointed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) decision to issue monetary penalties to eleven charities, including Battersea.

We fully support all charities being held to the highest of fundraising standards but it would be most unfortunate if any supporters’ or beneficiaries’ donations were diverted from such vital causes to pay ICO fines.

Like other charities, we intend to pay this fine swiftly and in doing so, it will be reduced to £7,200. We are entirely reliant on the generosity of the public, and our Trustees would like to reassure all our supporters that their donations will not be used to pay the reduced ICO penalty. Instead, this will be achieved solely from investment income.

Battersea has been fined by the ICO today for what is known as tele-matching and not including adequate information in our privacy policy. We have not been fined for what is known as wealth screening or data swapping.

As like many charities that used telematching, we wanted to make sure the telephone numbers we had for our supporters were correct.  However, to reassure our donors, we stopped tele-matching in July 2015, as soon as the ICO highlighted it as a potential issue to charities.

We would also like to assure our supporters that none of their data has been lost, sold or compromised in any way.

Building lasting relationships with supporters is really important to Battersea, and we value the opportunity to talk to them over the phone about the difference their donations are making to our animals. On every telephone call Battersea makes, we ask our supporters whether they are happy to take our call and whether they may be happy to hear from us in the future.

Battersea is an active and committed leader within UK fundraising and will continue to help set new standards to ensure the public can have trust and confidence in the work of charities as a whole.

You can read about Battersea's commitment to fundraising responsibly in our Supporter Promise.