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There has been a lot of talk and speculation about how Canada’s new anti-spam legislation is going to affect nonprofits. Our team has been working hard to sort through all of the legal jargon and identify the most important things nonprofits should know when it comes to avoid violations of any of the new laws.

A few weeks ago, we shared the top five things nonprofit leaders should know about CASL. We also explained which types of electronic communications from nonprofits violate the law and which are exempt. Today, we wanted to highlight the top 10 ways your organization can adjust your communication strategy for the new laws.

10 Tips to Adjust Your Nonprofit Communications for CASL

If you are a nonprofit organization based in Canada or you have donors that live there, here are 10 things you can do to ensure that your communication strategy is optimized for CASL:

  1. Make sure you have downloaded a copy of the new Act and the regulations. Here’s an easy way for you to download these documents.
  2. Appoint someone to be responsible for making sure your nonprofit is in compliance with the new laws. If you don’t have legal counsel in-house, consider working with a professional who specializes in nonprofit law.
  3. Take inventory of all of the forms of electronic communications your organization currently uses. It will be very important to have your IT staff work on CASL readiness.
  4. Analyze the electronic messages your organization sends. Take time to determine if your specific email campaigns could be categorized as commercial electronic messages.
  5. Set up a meeting with your staff to make sure everyone knows about the new laws and regulations. Make sure that everyone understands the implications of the new law and what steps they must take to help bring your organization into compliance.
  6. Arrange a one-hour training session for your development team on the requirements of the Act. Put a plan in place so that new employees and Directors are educated about the Act.
  7.  Inform your Board of Directors at your next meeting about how the law may affect them. Let them know about the possibility that they could be personally liable for fines levied for violations of the Act.
  8. Develop a plan to obtain expressed consent from your current contacts. Create a form that follows the specific requirements in the Act for obtaining express consent and begin the process for obtaining express consent.
  9. Include an unsubscribe mechanism to your electronic messages. Review the specific requirements that must be present in your opt out feature.
  10. Develop a system so that you can track the responses that you receive. You need to be able to store responses, including express consents and opt outs, and keep these responses up to date.

What is your organization doing now to ensure you’re in compliance with CASL?