Fundraising and People in Vulnerable Circumstances
Philanthropic giving should be a positive experience for all. We recognise that some people that we engage with through our fundraising activity may not always have the capacity, at the point of the interaction, to fully understand the nature of the donation they may be considering, or the consequences of making that donation. We also understand that people in vulnerable circumstances may need further support before making a decision about whether to make a donation.
Whenever we suspect that someone we engage with is lacking capacity or is in vulnerable circumstances, we will take steps to terminate the contact in a way which seeks to protect that person while protecting their dignity and any desire they have expressed to support us. We recognise that everyone has the right to support their favourite causes and charities but we also recognise that we have an obligation to protect those in vulnerable circumstances.
Whenever a fundraiser suspects that a person may be vulnerable, our approach is to immediately end the engagement. This should be done politely and without making a request for a donation or any direct enquiries about the individual’s capacity to make a decision or the existence of vulnerable circumstances. We will provide alternative options for the individual to engage with us once the conversation has ended, thereby upholding the right that everybody has to donate if they are able to do so.
Returning donations made by vulnerable people
Despite our efforts to protect those in vulnerable circumstances, we may receive a donation where there may be a question over the donor’s mental capacity to make that donation. In this circumstance, we may return the donation to the donor or under certain circumstances to a family member or designated person. We will need to be satisfied that at the time the donation was made the donor was unable to understand the consequences of making the donation. An example would be where a donor is suffering from Alzheimer’s and makes a donation to us without understanding the financial impact of their decision.
We will not return a donation where the donor simply changes their mind and was not in a vulnerable circumstance.