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DARS Solicit Codes and Mail Preferences

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Preface

This article will be updated on a regular basis. Updates may be required in response to updates to DARS or changes to business processes or errors.

Refer to DARSWiki Conventions for information on icons and other conventions that may apply to this User Guide.

Ensure you are familiar with the Data Protection laws before adding data to records in DARS. Refer to DARSWiki FurtherHelp for further information and relevant links. Please think twice before printing this article. If a printed copy is necessary, ensure it is printed double-sided and always recycle old versions.

Introduction

This document summarises how Solicit Codes and Mail Preferences should be used to record a constituent’s communication preferences. Solicit Codes apply restrictions on broad types of contact and Mail Preferences apply preferences on specific items of repeat correspondence. The Data Protection Act (1998) requires Users to ensure correct suppressions are applied to each individual or group contact undertaken. There is a helpful tabular summary at the end of this document.

When using DARS to send out Mass Communications it is important to exclude individuals whose records are marked with Solicit Codes and Mail Preferences that indicate they do not wish to receive it. Further information on this can be found here What Suppressions Should I Use and When?.

Solicit Codes

A Solicit Code is a contact block applied to a constituent’s record that must be taken account of when considering some or all forms of contact with the constituent. All Solicit Codes have a Site attached and you must adhere to all Solicit Codes that apply to your Site:

  • [Contact block] – Collegiate University
  • [Contact block] – Central University
  • [Contact block] – [Specific Site]


Solicit Codes are hierarchical, meaning that you must include those related to your Site at a higher level in the Site Hierarchy. For example, UODO Sport must adhere to those at ‘UODO Sport’, ‘Central University’ and ‘Collegiate University’ level but not those at ‘Law Faculty’ or ‘St John’s College’ level. It is important to choose the correct categorisation because Solicit Codes may substantially or completely restrict the contact a constituent receives. For example, an alumna may request that she does not wish to receive events invitations from the Law Faculty but be happy to from her college(s).

‘Collegiate University’ Solicit Codes apply to all Participants. You should not apply a ‘Collegiate University’ Solicit Code for constituents where your Participant is not the Relationship Manager (RM) unless you have agreed this with the DARS Support Centre or the RM in advance. If an alumnus notifies you that they do not wish to receive any contact from any part of the Collegiate University including their college, forward this communication to their respective college and the DARS Support Centre immediately. The Solicit Code must be applied to DARS within five working days at the latest.

‘Central University’ Solicit Codes apply to all Participants other than colleges – including the UO Development Office, Alumni Office, External Affairs and other administrative units, departments, faculties, international offices, recognised alumni societies, sports and other University entities.

Be careful how you use Site in relation to Solicit Codes. The Site relates to contact by a particular team/Participant and not to the User entering the code. For example, an alumnus of Regent’s Park College corresponds with a member of the UODO Individual Giving team, requesting no further contact from the central University of any kind. The correct Solicit Code to be applied is therefore ‘Do Not Contact – Central University'.

External Decision Solicit Codes

These are applied as a result of requests received from the constituent, e.g. where they have stated that they wish to be excluded from all or particular types of contact by all or particular Participants. We have a legal obligation to adhere to such restrictions and you will be in breach of the Data Protection Act (1998) if you fail to do so.

Do Not Contact – constituent requests no longer to receive any form of contact whatsoever, whether by individual or mass communication. You may then contact them only to clarify this preference (if a doubt exists as to their precise preference). Do not contact them otherwise.


Blocks on specific contact methods:

Do Not Email – constituent requests no further contact by email

Do Not Mail – constituent requests no further contact by post

Do Not Phone – constituent requests no further contact by telephone call

Do Not SMS / MMS – constituent requests no further contact by text or media message


Blocks on fundraising:

Do Not Solicit – constituent requests no further solicitations (fundraising approaches) under any circumstance, by any contact method

No Email Fundraising – constituent requests specifically not to be solicited by email

No Mail Fundraising – constituent requests specifically not to be solicited by post

No Telephone Fundraising – constituent requests specifically not to be solicited by telephone call


Blocks on events:

No Event Emails – constituent requests specifically not to be sent event invitations/details by email

No Event Mailings – constituent requests specifically not to be sent event invitations/details by post

A constituent who wishes not to receive any event communications whatsoever should have both of these blocks applied.


Blocks on news and publications:

No News Emails – constituent requests specifically that they not receive e-newsletters, e-bulletins, other email publications or any other news items by email

No News Mailings – constituent requests specifically that they not receive newsletters, annual records, other mail publications or any other news items by post

A constituent who wishes not to receive any news and publications whatsoever should have both of these blocks applied.


Blocks on usage of data:

No Surveys / Personal Info Forms – constituent requests not to have their data pre-populated onto Contact Update Forms and not to be sent questionnaires or surveys

No Publicity – constituent requests complete external anonymity and their name must not appear in any external publication, list or briefing. S/he will have the ‘Gives anonymously’ flag added to their record overnight, on the personal tab for Individuals and on the attributes tab for Organizations.

Internal Decision Solicit Codes

Internal decision Solicit Codes are applied as the result of an internal decision, in instances where it is felt by a DARS user (or other staff-member) that contact and/or solicitations should be prevented or require approval of an appropriate person in advance. These are most typically used for non-alumni. For example, when entering a new prospect you may decide that s/he should be excluded from contact until such time as you establish a closer relationship, or when entering a non-alumnus low-level donor you may consider it unnecessary or inappropriate to maintain contact on an ongoing basis once they have been thanked for their single gift.


Do Not Contact (Internal Decision) – apply to prospects, donors, event attendees, VIPs or other constituencies where it is considered preferable to exclude them from receiving any contact without your prior approval:

  • Collegiate University: apply at this level where the RM requests that the constituent receives no contact from any part of the collegiate University without prior approval of their Prospect Manager / Head of Development (or other designated person)
  • Central University: apply at this level where the UO Relationship Lead (RL) or another person requests that the constituent receives no contact from any part of the central University including any department without prior approval of the RL (or other designated person)
  • [Specific Site]: apply at this level where you or another person request that the constituent receives no contact from your Site without your (or other designated person’s) prior approval


Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – apply to prospects, donors, event attendees, VIPs or other constituencies where it is considered preferable to exclude them from receiving any solicitations (fundraising approaches) without your prior approval:

  • Collegiate University: apply at this level where the RM requests that the constituent receives no solicitations from any part of the collegiate University without prior approval of their Prospect Manager / Head of Development (or other designated person)
  • Central University: apply at this level where the UO Relationship Lead (RL) or another person requests that the constituent receives no solicitations from any part of the central University including any department without prior approval of the RL (or other designated person)
  • [Specific Site]: apply at this level where you or another person request that the constituent receives no solicitations from your Site without your (or other designated person’s) prior approval.


Solicit Code Comments and Dates

Always add a Start Date to any Solicit Code applied. If a Solicit Code is no longer applicable at any stage, for example if the constituent has written to request that they receive contact again then do not delete the Solicit Code. Instead, add an End Date to the applicable Solicit Code, which will mark it as inactive from that date onwards.

As the application of Solicit Codes may substantially or completely restrict the contact a constituent may receive, always ensure that you add an appropriate Comment within the Solicit Code, written concisely and non-subjectively, to state clearly the reason for applying it to the record (or ending it). Please note that external decision Solicit Codes must be adhered to irrespective of the comment!

Typically any internal decision blocks applied to closely-engaged constituents should be restricted to an end date of one year or less. The date should then be extended only if reviewed by the person who added it and considered appropriate to retain. For any internal decision blocks, ensure that you also reference within the Comment your name/post/role (or that of the relevant internal decision-maker) so that another User will know who to contact if s/he has any queries about the block.


Mail Preferences

Mail Preferences relate to specific regular communications and have several related uses. They state negative or positive preferences by the constituent for that particular communication. We must exclude any constituents with ‘Do not send’ mail preferences listed against a particular communication when sending that communication out to constituents. This is a separate task in addition to using the standard system suppressions which cover Solicit Codes, deceased status and inactive status only. We have a legal obligation to adhere to such restrictions and you will be in breach of the Data Protection Act (1998) if you fail to do so.


Mail Preferences are currently recorded as one of three different types, dependent on how the communication is currently managed through the System, although the same rules on suppressions apply for each type of Mail Preference:

  • Appeal Mail Preferences apply to communications managed within the System through Marketing Efforts – these are tracked through Appeal Categories
  • Event Mail Preferences apply to communications managed within the System through Event – these are tracked through Event Categories
  • Correspondence Mail Preferences apply to communications managed within the System through Managed Correspondence – these are tracked through Correspondence Codes


By selecting a specific communication, e.g. ‘UOAO Oxford Today’ for the Oxford Today magazine, from the drop-down list of Appeal Categories/Event Categories/Correspondence Codes:

(1) Where a constituent wishes to receive the communication, you can specify whether they would:

a. prefer to receive it by post or by email
b. prefer to receive the communication at a specific postal or email address

(2) Where a constituent wishes to be excluded from the communication altogether, you can specify this by applying a mail preference block against it (select ‘Do not send’) and entering an appropriate comment.

Any recorded preference needs to be carefully considered against the particular way in which a specific correspondence is constructed and sent – for example, we should not add ‘send by Mail’ preferences for those communications where this option does not exist, such as the Oxford Today Extra e-newsletter!

Familiarise yourself with all regular communications which a constituent may receive and the Appeal Categories, Event Categories or Correspondence Codes related to these communications under Mail Preferences. Also identify those which apply to your Participant or team’s own activity. The list of Appeal Categories, Event Categories and Correspondence Codes can easily be added to should you have a regular communication not currently listed. Send requests for these additions or amendments to the DARS Help Desk.

As noted above, Mail Preferences have another very important use in addition to recording blocks against a specific communication. They can and should also be used to record that constituents have opted in to receiving a specific communication. For example, a History alumnus practising as a barrister may opt in to receiving the annual Law News magazine and this can be recorded by adding a positive Mail Preference against ‘LAWF Newsletter’ to their record. It is very important to record positive Mail Preferences for the existing recipients of any email communications, to ensure that we comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. See Collecting consent and developing email lists in DARS.

As Mail Preferences restrict the contact a constituent may receive, always ensure that you add an appropriate Comment within the Mail Preference, written concisely and non-subjectively, to state clearly the reason for applying it to the record. Please note that Mail Preferences must be adhered to irrespective of the comment.

Some Examples

  • Matt White, an alumnus of St Benet’s Hall, contacts the St Benet’s Development Office stating that he no longer wishes to receive communications by email from the Central University but is happy to continue receiving emails from St Benet’s Hall. St Benet’s contacts the DARS Support Centre with the details of this request and adds a Solicit Code of ‘Do Not Email – Central University’ to Matt’s record.
  • A UODO fundraiser decides that a non-alumnus prospect, Sue Perlative, for which the University is the RM, should be excluded from other communications whilst he is actively researching and cultivating a relationship with her. He applies a solicit code of ‘Do Not Contact (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University’ to Sue’s record and decides to add an end date of 6 months from today to it, which he will review periodically as his cultivation progresses.
  • Joe King, an alumnus of St Peter’s and Balliol Colleges, emails the University Alumni Office stating that he no longer wishes to be contacted by the University but is happy to continue receiving communications from his colleges. The Solicit Code he applies is ‘Do Not Contact – Central University’ with a Comment of ‘JK emailed stating that he only wishes to be contacted by his colleges, not by the University’. An interaction is also added to Joe’s record, with his email to the Alumni Office copied into the interaction’s documentation.
  • The DARS Support Centre wishes to record that Claire Voyant, a historian by degree at Oxford, would like to receive the Law Faculty’s newsletter in future. Having checked with the Law Faculty Development Office, this is added to Claire’s Mail Preferences with a Comment to explain that Claire has requested this. The query to generate this mailing list is set up to include those alumni with Mail Preference Correspondence Code of ‘LAWF Newsletter’ and ‘Send’ ticked. Unless she should be excluded for other reasons, Claire will now be picked up by the mailing list in future.
  • The Department of History Newsletter mailing list is produced from a subject-based query. Claire Voyant doesn’t wish to receive this newsletter. The correct way to exclude Claire from this mailing in future is to record a Mail Preference with Correspondence Code equal to ‘UODO HUMS History Newsletter’ and ‘Do not send’ ticked against her record. In addition to the usual exclusions, the query to generate this mailing should exclude those constituents marked as above.


APPENDIX: TABULAR SUMMARY OF SOLICIT CODES AND OTHER SUPPRESSIONS IN DARS

This table summarises some of the Solicit Codes and other suppressions which must be applied when generating queries and exports for correspondence and when otherwise communicating with constituents. In addition, Mail Preferences must be added to your suppressions as appropriate, based on whether a constituent wishes to receive a specific item of repeat correspondence by email or mail, to which particular address it should be sent, and whether or not the constituent should be removed from the (e)mailing list altogether. There are also restrictions as to which Participants may contact particular constituents, especially where they do not have a direct relationship. Consult the DARS Rules for Participation for further details. https://www.advancingoxford.ox.ac.uk/darsagreements

Please contact the DARS Help Desk if you have any queries.


Type of Contact

Contact Method


Minimum exclusions that are always necessary – there may be other exclusions as well



Is Deceased or Inactive
Do not Contact – Collegiate University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University
Do not Contact – Central University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Central University
Do not Contact – Your Site
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Your Site
Is a Current Student
Restrictions on Specific Address / Email / Phone
Other Solicit Codes


INDIVIDUAL


e.g. Interactions

By Mail

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Address is ‘Do not send mail to this address’
  • Do Not Mail – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Mail – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Mail – Your Site


By Email

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Email address is ‘Do not send email to this address’
  • Do Not Email – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Email – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Email – Your Site


By Telephone

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Phone number is ‘Do not call this number’
  • Do Not Phone – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Phone – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Phone – Your Site


Type of Contact


Contact Method


Minimum exclusions that are always necessary – there may be other exclusions as well


Is Deceased or Inactive
Do not Contact – Collegiate University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University
Do not Contact – Central University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Central University
Do not Contact – Your Site
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Your Site
Is a Current Student
Restrictions on Specific Address / Email / Phone
Other Solicit Codes


FUNDRAISING


e.g. Personalised solicitations, Annual Fund mailings, Telethon campaigns

By Mail

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude
Exclude if Address is ‘Do not send mail to this address’
  • Do Not Mail – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Mail – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Mail – Your Site
  • Do Not Solicit – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Solicit – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Solicit – Your Site
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University [or seek permission from RM]
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Central University [or seek permission from RL]
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Your Site [or seek permission from your HOD]
  • No Mail Fundraising – Collegiate University
  • No Mail Fundraising – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • No Mail Fundraising – Your Site


By Email

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude
Exclude if Email address is ‘Do not send email to this address’
  • Do Not Email – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Email – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Email – Your Site
  • Do Not Solicit – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Solicit – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Solicit – Your Site
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University [or seek permission from RM]
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Central University [or seek permission from RL]
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Your Site [or seek permission from your HOD]
  • No Email Fundraising – Collegiate University
  • No Email Fundraising – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • No Email Fundraising – Your Site

Type of Contact


Contact Method


Minimum exclusions that are always necessary – there may be other exclusions as well



Is Deceased or Inactive
Do not Contact – Collegiate University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University
Do not Contact – Central University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Central University
Do not Contact – Your Site
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Your Site
Is a Current Student
Restrictions on Specific Address / Email / Phone
Other Solicit Codes


FUNDRAISING (contd.)


e.g. Personalised solicitations, Annual Fund mailings, Telethon campaigns

By Telephone

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude
Exclude if Phone number is ‘Do not call this number’
  • Do Not Phone – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Phone – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Phone – Your Site
  • Do Not Solicit – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Solicit – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Solicit – Your Site
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University [or seek permission from RM]
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Central University [or seek permission from RL]
  • Do Not Solicit (Internal Decision) – Your Site [or seek permission from your HOD]
  • No Telephone Fundraising – Collegiate University
  • No Telephone Fundraising – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • No Telephone Fundraising – Your Site

EVENTS


e.g. Event Invitations, Event Reminders,

Event Notifications, Event Follow-up

By Mail

Exclude

Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Address is ‘Do not send mail to this address’
  • Do Not Mail – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Mail – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Mail – Your Site
  • No Event Mailings – Collegiate University
  • No Event Mailings – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • No Event Mailings – Your Site


By Email

Exclude

Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Email address is ‘Do not send email to this address’
  • Do Not Email – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Email – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Email – Your Site
  • No Event Emails – Collegiate University
  • No Event Emails – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • No Event Emails – Your Site


Type of Contact


Contact Method


Minimum exclusions that are always necessary – there may be other exclusions as well



Is Deceased or Inactive
Do not Contact – Collegiate University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Collegiate University
Do not Contact – Central University
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Central University
Do not Contact – Your Site
Do not Contact (Internal Decision) – Your Site
Is a Current Student
Restrictions on Specific Address / Email / Phone
Other Solicit Codes


NEWS & PUBLICATION MAILINGS


e.g.

Newsletters, News Bulletins,

E-News,

E-Bulletins

By Mail

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Address is ‘Do not send mail to this address’
  • Do Not Mail – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Mail – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Mail – Your Site
  • No News Mailings – Collegiate University
  • No News Mailings – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • No News Mailings – Your Site


By Email

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Email address is ‘Do not send email to this address’
  • Do Not Email – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Email – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Email – Your Site
  • No News Emails – Collegiate University
  • No News Emails – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • No News Emails – Your Site

OTHER MAILINGS


e.g. Ad hoc mailings, Notifications, Benefits and Services

By Mail

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Address is ‘Do not send mail to this address’
  • Do Not Mail – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Mail – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Mail – Your Site


By Email

Exclude
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from RM
Exclude unless you are a College
Exclude or seek permission from RL
Exclude
Exclude or seek permission from your HOD
Exclude if Email address is ‘Do not send email to this address’
  • Do Not Email – Collegiate University
  • Do Not Email – Central University [unless you are a College]
  • Do Not Email – Your Site


The following Solicit Codes are not included within the above table:

  • Do Not SMS/MMS – Equivalent rules to those above with regard to forms of contact by text message
  • No Surveys / Personal Info Forms – Equivalent rules to those above with regard to sending data that is pre-populated onto Contact Update Forms and sending questionnaires or surveys
  • No Publicity – The constituent’s name must not appear in any external publication, list or briefing at any stage (includes all types of public anonymity)
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