Too often, the First Amendment is looked at as freedom of speech alone. But it guarantees more than that—the ability to bring our voices together. Whether part of a house of worship, a media organization, or simply bringing people together, from our founding, we’ve recognized that building connections is fundamental to who we are as a people.
There’s now a bill that has passed the Oklahoma House that would stifle our organizations’ abilities to bring people together. It would stop mail acquisition by cutting off list rental, list exchange, and co-ops in the name of privacy. And it would forbid appending of data, including email address, phone numbers, and physical addresses, to stop us from contacting donors through new channels.
The legislation says that “the use of a strictly “opt-out” method for data privacy is ineffectual and poses an immediate risk to the health, safety and welfare.” When similar opt-in legislation was passed in the UK, Cancer Research UK lost over 90% of their phone donors, 80% of their mail donors and 55% of their email subscribers.
And the tech giants were fine—they had already locked in the data they need. Google and Facebook revenues went up, not down.
In short, the legislation would decimate our donor files in Oklahoma, prevent us from bringing in new donors, and stop us from contacting the ones we have through any new channels. We have the right to assemble peacefully. Today, that’s not done with Paul Revere galloping down the street; it’s done with data.
Will you help us tell the Oklahoma legislature to stop this nonprofit-killing bill? The Nonprofit Alliance has set up a letter template here that you can send from your organization to tell the Oklahoma Senate the negative effort this bill would have on your fundraising efforts.
Let’s join our voices together… while we still can.