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[GUIDE] When Your Nonprofit Can And Cannot Send An Email

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The following is an excerpt from Robots Make Bad Fundraisers – How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age by Steven Shattuck, published by Bold & Bright Media.

Many organizations (nonprofit and for-profit) get themselves into trouble, legally and by reputation, for abusing email. Whether it’s a donation solicitation email or an innocuous organization update, many emails and newsletters can find themselves in a spam folder faster than you can hit send.

These issues typically stem from a misunderstanding in who and how you can and cannot email, even after procuring an email address.

Understanding Opt-Ins

When someone freely gives you their email address, they can fall into one of two categories of “permission” –

  • Express permission – they give you their email address because they want and expect to receive emails from you
  • Implied permission – a transaction occurs that involves an exchange of email addresses (such as a donation or a business card exchange)

With express permission, a user may visit your website and sign up for your newsletter. An email confirmation takes place, and they are added to your list. This is sometimes referred to as a confirmed opt-in.

Implied permission scenarios are typically unconfirmed opt-ins. For example, someone may give you a business card, and you email them later. There was no explicit request to be emailed, but they did give you their address.

In either case, you should follow CAN-SPAM guidelines. It should be noted that the CAN-SPAM Act exempts “transactional or relationship messages.” In other words, if someone makes a donation and gives you their email address, you are free to email them, even without expressly stating that you will email them. However, you should also employ email best practices to ensure that the recipient does not become fatigued or irritated by your emails, resulting in an unsubscribe or spam report.

For nonprofits, there are many different scenarios through which you could receive an email address. Here are a few of the most common, and the actions you should and should not take for each:

Someone signed up via our website to receive our email newsletter. Can we email them? Yes.

This is about the safest opt-in you will receive. However, if you want to make sure that the subscriber does not unsubscribe and stays engaged, be sure to give them the opportunity to sign up for one or more topic-specific newsletters, not one generic newsletter. Having multiple subscription lists will ensure that you deliver only the content they are interested in receiving.

Someone donated via our website. We asked for their email address and they gave it to us. Can we email them? Yes, but…

You should do two things:

  • On the sign-up form, explicitly state that by giving you their email address, they are agreeing to receive emails from you
  • Only send them donor-centric emails – up until the point they signal interest in other types of content

Someone signed up via our website to become a volunteer. We asked for their email address and they gave it to us. Can we email them? Yes, but…

You should do two things:

  • On the sign-up form, explicitly state that by giving you their email address, they are agreeing to receive emails from you
  • Only send them volunteer-centric emails – up until the point they signal interest in other types of content

A non-donor/non-volunteer gave us their email address via a physical sign-up form at an event. Can we email them? Yes, but…

As stated above, you should clearly state on the form by giving you their email address, they are agreeing to receive emails from you. And be sure to only send them relevant emails.

A board member gave our development staff a business card of someone they thought might be interested in organization. Can we email them? Sort of.

You cannot (should not) add them to your bulk newsletter list. However, you could email them individually, explain how you received the business card, and attempt to create/nurture the relationship. Only after they officially opt-in or donate can you add them to a bulk list.

A donor responded to a direct mail appeal and included their email address (we did not have an email address for them prior). Can we email them? Yes, but…

Once again, you should clearly state on the form that by giving you their email address, they are agreeing to receive emails from you. Only send them donor-centric emails. If they donated, they would fall within the transactional relationship-type, and CAN-SPAM regulations would not apply. However, they could still choose to mark your emails as spam if they are not relevant or engaging.

We collected business cards in a fishbowl at an event (as part of a raffle). Can we email them? Yes, but…

You can expect a high unsubscribe rate and spam reports if you immediately add them to your bulk list and start sending generic newsletters. It would be better to email them individually first and gauge their true interest.

A similar/partner nonprofit offered to share their list with us. Can we email them? No.

Those subscribers opted-in to receive emails from the sharing organization, not yours. Because no opt-in occurred, the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits this.

We bought a list of email addresses. Can we email them? No.

Because no opt-in occurred, the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits this.

Our major gift officer pulled some email addresses of people who they might want to contact off of a corporate website. Can we email them? No, but…

You could email them individually. However, don’t expect a high success rate. Because no opt-in occurred, the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits adding these addresses to your bulk list.

We purchased an email append service. Can we email the updated addresses? Probably.

As long as you can verify that the email addresses belong to the subscriber for whom you previously had an email address for, via a legitimate opt-in, and that person has not unsubscribed.

Follow these scenario guidelines to keep yourself out of trouble, and more importantly, out of the spam folder.

What other scenarios have you run into where you were unsure what you could and couldn’t do? Let me know in the comments below?

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  • Laura H.

    Hi, Steve. I work for a nonprofit that's been sending out an email newsletter each month for 2 years. Just under half of the recipients have double opted-in. The other half are implied opt-ins. We'd like to start sending occasional fundraising emails to these contacts. Our newsletters adhere to CAN-SPAM. Are there additional rules or tips for fundraising emails? Also, say we were to insert a section into our email newsletter that includes a fundraising appeal. Would that somehow increase our chance of being flagged as spam by email service providers? I've read it's best to separate fundraising and newsletters completely, but I'm not sure why, except that the fundraising appeal would be simpler and more effective with a singular, specific CTA. Thanks for your advice!
  • Penni Holdham

    In our NFP Arts Council, one of our Board members 'accidentally' sent out a Broad Cast email- soliciting participants for a Show and Exhibit. She was not aware about the Blind Copy aspect of sending an email and sent all addresses out to her entire recipient list. She now knows how to do Blind Copy but in order to mitigate future faux pas...we are seeking to create a Governance POLICY that addresses Broad Cast Emails and when it is suitable for a Board member or when it is to go through the central administrator... I have been searching for a couple of hours and find much about the need for good communications but little on governing policy advising how best to structure our Policy so that Braodcast emails are only sent from the administrator not assumed to be okay to be sent by every Board member... Do you have anything that addresses this concern that you are able to share with me? We are just beginning to build Policy beyond Terms of Reference for Committee structures that starts to distinguish between Governance and Operations.
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hi Dallas, since it's an employer emailing their employees, you shouldn't be concerned. It would be an issue if the company gave you the email addresses of their employees, and then you emailed that list yourself.
  • Dallas

    Hi Steve I work for a NPO that has been around for years. I googled Can Spam for information and landed on many websites, but this article helped to explain a lot however, I still have not found an answer to a lingering question I have. One of our corporate partners (A Business) wants to email their employees (they will email them) information about our nonprofit - such as links to volunteer opportunities, information about our affinity groups, stories that are posted on our website and a link for the employees to donate if they want. This corporate partner has asked us for an email template with this information co-branded with their logo and ours and this information. They are sending this to their employees and have asked us for this information. Do they need to have an opt-out in this email? We have opted- outs in or information that says by signing up that we can send emails - plus we have all the opt outs in every email that we send. This one just seems like we may not need to have an opt out since we are not sending the email, but I am not sure who would be responsible since the employer is the one sending the email and is requesting this internally. Help because I want to make sure that our corporate partner and my NPO is protected. By the way I hope that you are still answering questions because this has been the best site so far that has helped explain different scenarios thanks so much.
  • Mark

    Steve, If we are on one platform for our mass e-mails and moving to a new platform, can we do a "reset" request to make sure our list is correct? We have two systems that aren't quite in sync and the move to the new platform will allow us to better track/maintain opt in/opt out, so we were hoping a new platform could be an opportunity to verify Opt In/Opt out status. Is this OK, or against CAN-SPAM?
  • BH

    I have a question about the definition of a "mass email." A particular non-profit sends a solicitation email via the usual channels: omitting unsubscribes and providing an opt-out. They want to then follow-up to the recipients of these emails "individually" -- but they are using a standard mail merge without an opt-out. So it may look & feel to the recipient as an "individual" email, but it is not. Again, likely not emailing unsubscribes (unless they very recently unsubscribed), but it is functionally no different than an email blast, just without the opt-out option. These follow-ups may also contain a soft solicitation ("could you please renew your gift," etc.). Is this okay to do?
  • Brenna Cummings

    Hi Steve, I work for an INGO and have run into two questions about children and the GDPR. We do not directly target children, but they may come into contact with our work and our website. 1. Do we need an age verification for our newsletter that people can sign up for on our website? Would a newsletter be considered an information society service? 2. Do we need an age verification for our donations? For example, can a child under 16 give a financial donation without parental consent? Or, do we need to restrict donations to only those 16 and up? Thank you for your time, Brenna
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  • Steven Shattuck

    If your staff member is reaching out individually, 1:1, you should be okay. Snail mail in addition wouldn't hurt either. Multichannel is good!
  • Mark

    Hi Steve I work at a University 501c3. We are having upcoming reunions for alumni. Some of the reunion alumni are on our global email opt out list. We would like to see if they would want to opt back in to get reunion information. Is it risky to have a staff member try to reach out to these people through their personal university email to ask it they would like to opt back in for reunion information? Or would it be better to try to reach these people through snail mail.
  • Steven Shattuck

    Transactions are typically considered an implied permission, but just to be safe I would make it clear to the donor that their contact information will be shared with the nonprofit being supported if you are indeed sharing that contact info.
  • Michele

    Hi Steve If we are a for-profit event and a person donates to a partner non-profit, is it okay to give the non-profit their email address for the purpose of sending a personalized thank you?
  • Claire

    Hi Steve, I work for a nonprofit that has been around for some time. Our main focus has been direct mail for many years but are now starting to put a little focus on emails. We recently did a reverse email append for the donors we have in our data base that have donated with us before but through direct mail. How do we add these emails to our email list while remaining compliant with CAN-SPAM? Thanks!
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  • Steven Shattuck

    You don't have to put “I understand I’ll be on your list” but you might want to. A donation would fall under "implied permission," allowing you to continue emailing them until they opt-out. Just be sure folks always have an opt-out option and that you tell them why they're being emailed -- "You are receiving this email because you are a donor" for example.
  • Aaron

    Steven, I am so happy to see that you're keeping up with Replies on this post! On our nonprofit's donation page, we require an email address. (It helps our donor managment software not create duplicate accounts.) So if they've given us their email while donating, even though they can't give online without it, does that count as opting in? Is it legally acceptable to send mass emails to donors in this context, or do we need to add an "I understand I'll be on your list" type of statement? THANKS!
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hey Erika, even if you are pulling email addresses off a public website, you still have to email them one at a time.
  • Erika Simpson

    I am sending emails to schools regarding field trip information and have several bounced email account, which I automatically deleted. I am restarting anew but calling schools and updating the emails to resend the information. My issue seems to be that one, there are hundreds of emails to update and many times the person repeats to me the same email that just bounced before. I believe it is a school server issue, but I found hope when I call a school and asked about updating the information, they told me to go to the school directory and email the teachers from there. This would be super easy for me and I would KNOW I have the right updated emails, but just because this is public directory does it fall under the CAN-SPAM act? Can one secretary give me permission for the entire staff? Finally, if I inquire through my personal email domain about updating the emails for future communications-can I be blacklisted?! Part of my job has been to increase contact and visitation to our non-profit and I feel like a hamster in a wheel going nowhere!
  • Sandra Hodge

    I am a member of a local chapter of a national non-profit. They have our email addresses, home addresses, telephone etc. We have been receiving emails from the national office about a "life line company doing screenings" and while it is signed by the executive director, it is totally about this product. A number of us are very unhappy about getting these solicitation emails for products. The national board has no privacy policy. When asked if we could opt out of these solicitaitons, they said they would either have to take our names off the mailing list all together or we have to accept them. I am President of our chapter and have to get the administrative information. They use Constant Comment as their mailing source. I am very computer literate and find it unreasonable that they cannot create an "opt-out". Does CAN-SPAM apply here, would you think?
  • Ali

    Question with regards to a nonprofit email list theft. What can we as the nonprofit due when someone has leaked or stolen email list and is now using it for their personal benefit of promotion and sales?
  • Steven Shattuck

    You should be okay as long as you're emailing them individually (not blasting them all at once with the same email).
  • Gary Gustafson

    Hi Steve: Question about emailing elected officials whose email address I got off of a website. Is this allowed? Thanks Gary
  • Stephen

    Hi Steven - Thanks for this interesting article. I'm part of a Buddhist nonprofit which intends to become a religious organization but we've not yet completed all the paperwork. We have a teacher coming to the area and want to contact other Buddhist centers and ask them to share an event flyer with their members. We are charging for the events. To do this we've looked at public lists of Buddhist centers and their contact information. My take is we cannot send a bulk email (a bcc to a group from an organization alias) to these contacts. Do you agree or is this ok to do? I am unclear if this becomes ok if we send an individual email from a personal organiization email. What do you think? I do believe when he have achieved status as a religious non profit the CAN_SPAM act no longer applies to us. Do you agree? I also supect that, even if this is the case, we're cloud possibly offend our partner centers more than we get results. What do you think? I fall on the side of thinking the activity is generally spam, with either approach, and am not sure it's ok to do. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks! Stephen
  • Alex

    Hi Steve, this is interesting. Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge here. The donor information is particularly helpful. One question, what is the 'digital best practice’ for opt-in vs. opt-out for PAC/Fundraising at time of membership renewal at associations?
  • Steven Shattuck

    Your colleague is right! You would technically be violating CAN-SPAM if you emailed all of those folks at once. A better option might be to have the individual committee members email their contacts individually/personally to invite them to the event.
  • Lis

    Hi Steve, My charity is having an annual benefit and using email invitations to promote the event. As part of our promotion, we set up a five-part storytelling campaign. The story emails include event information, but are mostly about the stories. The event committee provided us with a list of their contacts to send the invitation and stories to. A colleague of mine has concerns with sending the storytelling campaign to these folks because they did not opt-in and I can't find any definitive information about whether it is okay to send it to them or not. We do not intend to solicit these people for anything else and the emails state that they are sent on behalf of [someone they know]. Is this legal to do?
  • Andrea

    Hi Steve: Our NFP has an annual event for which people register via our website. Submitted information includes their email address. Our event chair has sent a "save the date" email for next year's event, not as a mass email, but individual emails sent to persons/entities who sponsored the event at some level. Sponsorships are also completed via our website, including submission of email address. Our website (at this time) does NOT specify that we will will use their email address for future emails regarding this event. The individual emails did NOT have an opt-out link. Do these emails violate CAN-SPAM?
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hey Mary, if the elected ofifcial's email address is published on their website, you are okay to email them individually. I wouldn't recommend BCC'ing every senator and representative you have email addresses for on one email (not necessarily because it's against CAN-SPAM, but because it probably wouldn't be as effective as an personalized appeal to each official).
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hey Barb! It all depends on how the email addresses were originally collected and what expectation you set during that collection. If members knowingly subscribed with the understanding that they'd receive informational emails from the association, you're probably fine in having the board member start his newsletter. If you want to be safe, it's not a bad idea to send one email asking for a subscription to this new newsletter (don't make it the first newsletter; ask instead for a subscription to the new newsletter). This email should include a disclaimer like "You are receiving this email because you are a member of XYZ Association."
  • Phyllis Petrillo

    Hi Steve, We are NPO of 900+members without a website. Many of whom (80%) asked if we could email membership renewal information, calendar and special event, ect... My question for you is it legal for the Officers & Chairman to email our members via our private email addresses or chairmanship email?
  • Barb

    Hi, Steven, Thank you so much for this informative article and for including the various scenarios which are very helpful. I don't see my concern among them, so here it is, with thanks in advance for your advice. A homeowners' association board member is about to start sending informative, brief, bi-monthly newsletters to residents of a subdivision whose email addresses are on file with the board. The purpose of the newsletters is strictly to promote use and enjoyment of amenities, which are free to residents. Should the first newsletter ask recipients to subscribe to upcoming issues by clicking a link to sign up and contin? or would it be sufficient to just include a standard disclaimer like: You are receiving this email because you are a member of XYZ Association. Click here to unsubscribe from future e-newsletters."
  • Steven Shattuck

    Make sure you clearly state what the subscriber will receive before they sign up and always include an unsubscribe link in any mass emails.
  • Ashley

    Hi Steven, are any of the guidelines outlined in this post affected by GDPR?
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hey Beca! I always lean more conversative with regards to these kinds of things, so my advice would be not to email the group who you think may have also been opted out inadvertently. It would be a violation to those who did indeed opt-out, and it will also look bad to the rest (kind of like you don't have your act together). The timing is bad too with all the GDPR stuff happening. :(
  • Beca

    Hi Steven, Great article and thank you so much for answering everyone's comments here for so long! I am hoping you are still answering! Our non-profit had a situation where subscriber keys got mixed in our system and now there are folks who did not opt out of emails letting us know it appears they have been opted out and want to opt back in. It's not a big deal for those who contact us, because we have their explicit permission to opt them back in. However, we're wondering if it is OK to send an email to those who we think may have also been opted out inadvertently because of the system glitch. This email would ask them to confirm opt-in or opt-out. Would this type of message to that select group of people be in violation of the CAN-SPAM act?
  • Barbara

    Oh Thank you Steve!! That gives me so much peace of mind!! Warmly Barbaa
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hey Barbara, I think you are okay to start emailing them again. Just to be safe, in your first email I would explain the situation and give people a chance to opt-out.
  • Barbara

    Hi Steve, Our community had an email group (listserve) for the purpose of sharing information, education, and news. No selling/ marketing. It was run (owner/moderator) by a member and another admin from a server in her home. I am a chair for the non profit that supports that community. Last summer the owner/admin suddenly and without notice shut down the server, and has gone completely incommunicado. We want to restart the email group and send out an opt in invitation. 1) Can we use the email addresses if she gives them to us. 2) Can we pull the email addresses from saved emails of that group? 3) Are the rules different for the community vs the non-profit supporting it?
  • Megan

    Hi Steve, I've worked for a nonprofit for the past 5 years and recently started up my own business on the side that is a branch off of what services we currently provide. The new business services are also still within the mission statement of the nonprofit therefore I have the ability to rent the facility outside regular business hours. I recently sent an email to our volunteer coordinator (my coworker) of an upcoming event my business if offering onsite which she then forwarded to our volunteer contact list. She did not share this email list and all recipients were on a blind copy. One individual has taken issue and I'm wondering if this action has crossed a legal boundary? The forwarded email from our volunteer coordinator was simply an fyi with information below if anyone cared to attend the event. Thanks.
  • Steven Shattuck

    1) This is the most important of the four. When they first became donors (assuming that's the point in time at which you started emailing them), did they agree to receive marketing communications from you? In other words, did they check a little box on your donation form that said "I want to receive your newsletter" or did the form say somewhere "By donating you agree to receive our newsletter." The donation itself only covers you for transactional emails, but not marketing emails. Many, many organizations don't ask for an explicit opt-in, and instead consider the donation itself to be an opt-in. 2) This wouldn't be as big a deal if they were sending the email as you or on your behalf since they are a partner/vendor of yours (I assume it's a marketing or fundraising agency) but sending from their own domain/IP is not a good look and I suspect unsubscribes will be high. 3) If you don't give the email recipient a list of things to opt-out of, they are opting out of everything when they unsubscribe. 4) Donor risk for sure. I don't think you're overreacting. I would be much more interested in seeing what a third party could do with a list of donors based on their demographics, recency/frequency of giving, donation amount, etc. and creating custom communications for each. One generic newsletter to a large list rarely hits the mark.
  • Cannot Disclose

    Steve - My team wants to use a partner - a third party technically - and give them our email list to send a separate email newsletter to our list on our behalf. Our donors did not request this newsletter but it may be of interest to them. The third party will use their own domain and IP address to send the emails and only consider opt outs from this campaign. My concerns are multiple: 1) Donors did not opt in to this email (FAIL #1) 2) We cannot give the email to a third party (privacy violation) (Fail #2) 3) If donors opt out, we cannot verify what they are opting out of - could be all our communications not just this one. (Fail #3) 4) This is a Business Risk, A Donor Risk and a Communication Fail. No one here agrees with me. Your thoughts? Am I over reacting? How do I best communicate this?
  • Steven Shattuck

    Check above for my response :)
  • Steven Shattuck

    Tony, you cannot legally mass-email someone that has unsubscribed from mass emails, regardless of the purpose of the email you intend to send. You could, however, legally send a personal email to the unsubscribed donor soliciting a gift (or any other purpose) - but you still run the risk of annoying them because it may not be evident to the donor that it's a personal email and not a mass-marketing email. Better to use another channel, like in-person, phone or mail to solicit an additional gift (which shouldn't be a problem if there truly is an existing relationship). If we are truly talking about a monthly donor who has unsubscribed from mass emails, but who is still automatically contributing each month, there is little reason to risk the relationship and that revenue for a 13th gift by email at Christmas. You are incorrectly making a distinction between "selling/commercial" and "asking for money" - they are effectively the same when it comes to mass email.
  • Tony

    Can someone clarify what is legal for non-profits vs a reputation issue? I was under the impression that if we ask for a donation and don't have anything to sell we are in the clear legally. For example if a donor gives monthly and opts out of all our emails we can still legally send an email asking for money at Christmas. They might not like that and will call in an complain and end up cancelling their monthly donation, but we are in the clear legally and it is not even grey. We have an existing relationship and the relationship is not commercial. Can someone show me where I am wrong legally?
  • Beverly Reber

    Not yet. I've searched my local state teachers association, and other educational orgs, but can't seem to find the answer. It seems like it's illegal not to be able to contact members about association matters via email. I wonder if there is a liability associated with this.
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hey Reber, this may be a gray area where you aren't necessarily in legal danger but could damage your reputation by sending unwanted emails. Context is important here. What did they unsubscribe to? In other words, what kind of email prompted the unsubscribe? If they unsubscribed to a marketing message, like a newsletter or invitation, you're probably still okay to send renewal notices, receipts, etc. - anything transactional. The CAN-SPAM Act exempts “transactional or relationship messages.”
  • kim

    Reber, Were you able to find the answer to your question?
  • Kimberly S Chotkowski

    I have the same question as Reber. Can you answer this?
  • Reber Beverly

    If a non profit is made up of members, and they opt out of all email, can we still send them membership information, such as membership renewal reminders, election information and an electronic voting ballot, notice of the Annual General Meeting. None of these are ads or promotions. Can this be an opt in selection?
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hey Doug! Legally/technically speaking, an unsubscribe applies to an email address, not a person. However, you still run the risk of annoying the person (which is probably the most important consideration). If a donor unsubscribes [email protected], and then later resubscribes with [email protected], you're fine to email since they opted-in with a new address. If a donor has two email addresses and you know both of them, but they unsubscribe one, you're probably still fine to email - it's likely that they just didn't want to receive the same email twice. It might be worth sending a personal email just checking in to see what their preference is, rather than sending a mass newsletter and hoping it doesn't annoy them. Hope that helps!
  • Doug

    Let's assume my non-profit wants our donation emails to follow CAN-SPAM guidelines. The regulations seem linked to specific email addresses. So if a donor has address [email protected] and unsubscribes, and later we change his email to [email protected], can we email to him? Or we have two accounts for the same donor, each with a different email address, and one has been marked as unsubscribed while the other receives email. When we combine the accounts, should we send or not?
  • Mary

    What are the rules with elected officials? Can nonprofits mass email Senators or Representatives and their staff? Or include them in their email list? Would that fall under CAN-SPAM?
  • mavis

    Yes, thank you, I suspected as much. It seems to me they've given permission to exchange emails with the organization, but are not necessarily wanting their addresses shared with other members. Anyway, better safe than sorry, in my books.
  • Steven Shattuck

    Would not recommend doing that unless the recipients had given you permission to do so.
  • mavis

    An NPO I belong sends out emails with everyone's e-addy in the To line, so that they are public and therefore available to everyone (spammers included!). I have said they must use the BCC line, since people have not given the organization permission to share their contact info with others. Your viewpoint is appreciated, please and thanks.
  • Elaine Stephens

    If an email is addressed to a few of the nonprofit officers, should that email be shared as "correspondence" at a meeting of the officers and or membership?
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hi Linda, that's a little bit of a grey area. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 would prevent anyone from emailing to the list without an opt-in. I don't believe distributing the list to all attendees would technically be a violation, but emailing out to it would constitute a violation. I don't believe there is a similar law for snail-mail addresses. In general, I don't think sharing either of the lists is a good idea unless all the event attendees knew that it was going to happen when they signed up for the conference.
  • Linda Brindle

    I am the Membership Chair for a non-profit agency and maintain their USPS and emaiil mailing lists. They recently held a Conference and although they didn't do any kind of opt in/opt out permission for sharing the event mailing list they are now sharing it with everyone who attended the conference. I say they cannot do this without an opt in/opt out permission and they say they can. Who is correct?
  • Steven Shattuck

    Hi Nan, if they willingly submitted their email address I would consider that "Implied permission" but the more you tell them about what they can expect from your org in terms of email the better. For example, when they sign-up for the calendar, you could include something on the form that says "You will also receive email updates from our organization." That will cut down on spam reports and unsubscribes. Be as transparent as possible.
  • Nan Pete

    If people submit their email address at the time of entering a nonprofit pet calendar, can we email them the entry form attached as a PDF the following year, for their convenience? These emails are sent from an individual's inbox and everyone is bcc'd, up to say 30 email addresses at a time, in 4-5 emails (around 120 people emailed).
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