Canada’s new anti-spam law, should charities be panicking?
Here is a quote from the Government of Canada’s website:
Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) does not apply to non-commercial activity. Political parties and charities that engage Canadians through email are not subject to CASL if these communications do not involve selling or promoting a product.
There are also further exemptions for situations where such organizations engage in commercial activities with people who have made a donation or gift in the last 18 months, volunteered or performed volunteer work in the last 18 months, or were a member of the organization in the last 18 months. These exceptions apply to registered charities, political parties and candidates in federal, provincial, territorial or municipal elections.*
So messaging your followers about your work is clearly exempt from the new legislation and soliciting donations from recent donors is also exempt. However, best practices always involve assuring you are reaching the people who want to hear from you and not annoying others. Since there is so much publicity about the new anti-spam legislation, it is a perfect time to get in touch with your contacts, confirm their continued interest and demonstrate your organization’s commitment to effective, considerate communications.
If you have not practiced positive buy-in previously with your email contact lists, then the high priority task should be confirming that donors and subscribers who fall outside of that 18 month window still want to remain on your lists.