A number of charities have been attending free workshops to help them prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), highlighting how many charities require urgent assistance for the new rules, which come into force in May.
According to consultancy firm Brightman, which offered the workshops to charities across the Southwest of England, over 25 charities responded to invites, ‘urgently’ requiring assistance with GDPR.
Brightman’s workshop sessions were designed to help those organisations that would otherwise be unable to afford specialist help, but it showcased how, in many cases, some charities are simply not ready for the deadline.
The new data protection rules come into force from 25 May this year and will require charities to prove that every person on their database of donors has given permission for their data to be stored.
As a result, charities will need to contact everyone on the list to obtain their re-approval. If only 50 per cent of respondents reply, then legally, they must delete half of their database. Failure to comply with the rules will result in penalties, which, in some cases could be enough to force charities out of business.
“With over 25 charities responding to our offer over the festive period, the response to our GDPR Helping Hands initiative has been overwhelming, and shows the significant pressure that charities are feeling by the GDPR,” said Brightman director Romy Hughes.
“The administrative burden of the GDPR is significant for any organisation to implement, let alone one with limited budgets. Charities for example live and die by their database of donors and supporters.
“GDPR compliance is a significant change management project that requires organisations to fundamentally change their culture around data management. It is forcing organisations to undertake a wholesale review of their data processing systems and procedures, and to retrain their staff to be acutely aware of their new data protection responsibilities under the GDPR,” he said.