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Best practices for retaining paper opt-ins and CASL

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Best practices for retaining paper opt-ins and CASL

Hello All,


When I read about the CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) a few years ago, I got especially concerned.  In a nutshell, it says that Canadian citizens can file governmental complaints against organizations if they receive unsolicited emails; organizations can be liable for thousands of dollars.  I'd say that 95% of our constituents are US citizens, so the legislation doesn't directly impact us immensely.  However, I know that it is probably likely that the US will follow suit within the coming years.


Now, we have an opt-in only policy, of course, for anybody that we send emails to, so I am not overly worried about that.  I'm concerned about what is considered best practice regarding if a constituent opts in to our emails in paper (sign up sheet at an event, checks a box in a donor envelope), how long should we retain the paper copy verifying that they did so?  I realize there is no law for this; I am only seeking best practice.  Is it best to hold on to these for a year?  Is it a waste of time to hold on to these documents anyways?


Any advice specifically regarding constituents that opt in to emails via paper would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Best practices for retaining paper opt-ins and CASL

Hello @PatrickM2174. This is an excellent question! I see that we emailed you a response but I also wanted to reply here as well in case anyone else has the same question regarding paper opt ins. I talked with our department that specializes in CASL and they recommend keeping a paper record of these opt ins for 2-3 years. If you have any additional questions about CASL, you can contact that department directly at 866-433-8499 and they are available Monday through Thursday from 7am-11pm ET and Friday from 7am-9pm ET.

Caitlin M.
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