On July 1st, the Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) came into effect to limit companies and organizations from sending unwanted emails or installing unwanted programs onto people’s computers. Under this legislation, companies and organizations that sell products and services have until 2017 to obtain “explicit” consent from email recipients (that is, recipients must opt-in to continue receiving commercial electronic messages). However, this new legislation covers “commercial” electronic messages only (if a transaction does not happen, CASL does not apply), and fundraising emails from charities are exempt.
How does CASL impact our members?
If you receive emails from us, you probably at some point provided us with your email address (perhaps you signed up to our email list through our website, at an event, or you contacted us directly). This is considered “implied” permission.
Because we are a non-profit organization and do not sell products or services, you will continue to receive emails from UNAC-Calgary (or our National Branch, UNA-Canada) unless you unsubscribe from our emails.
However, you can choose to unsubscribe from our emails at any time but clicking the “unsubscribe from this list” link at the bottom of one of our emails.
You can also unsubscribe by contacting us at [email protected] and letting us know you no longer want to receive emails from us.
How does CASL impact Non-Profit Organizations?
We understand that there’s a lot of confusion about this new legislation and how it impacts non-profits. To help reduce confusion we found a great overview about CASL on the Ontario Nonprofit Network webpage and are including it below for your information.
Nine things non-profits need to know about anti-spam legislation
- Legislation covers “commercial” electronic messages only. So if no transaction is involved, CASL doesn’t apply.
- Legislation will be proclaimed on July 1, 2014 (but organizations will have 3 years to get permission where required).
- Fundraising emails from charities are exempt. Other exceptions include (Imagine Canada) newsletters that promote upcoming fundraising events, even where mention is made of corporate sponsors of those events; promoting charitable activities that may involve a cost-recovery element (charging participants for materials, for example); and, the promotion of events and the sale of tickets by organizations such as those of performing arts or cultural institutions, where the proceeds flow directly to the charity. CASL only applies to commercial electronic messages. Newsletters and purely informational items are exempt if they do not contain commercial material.
- Other revenue-generating activities by nonprofits and charities are not exempt.
- Commercial electronic messages must have an unsubscribe function.
- Commercial electronic messages must clearly identify the organization.
- If people signed up for your newsletter directly, it’s OK to continue communicating with them.
- You’ll need permission before you can add people to other lists (like adding program graduates to your general newsletter list).
- Day-to-day communications are exempt, so most routine work/ activity emails to other organizations or to volunteers are OK.