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Vulnerable Supporters Policy 

1. Policy purpose 

This policy covers Affinity Trust’s commitment to all its existing supporters and potential new supporters who may lack capacity or who are in vulnerable circumstances. It applies to all of our fundraising and marketing activities and is applicable to all staff and any third parties acting on behalf of Affinity Trust. 

2. Our vulnerable supporters' policy 

2.1 Affinity Trust is committed to promoting best practice and demonstrating compliance with the law, in all our fundraising approaches to individual supporters. 

2.2 Affinity Trust commits to fundraising in an honest and transparent way. Therefore, it is vital that the relationship we build with our supporters and potential supporters is a positive one, this is particularly so for vulnerable people. We will ensure that vulnerable people are treated fairly and with compassion and integrity. 

2.3 This policy demonstrates our commitment to the fair treatment of our supporters (or potential supporters) who may lack capacity or find themselves in vulnerable circumstances. Affinity Trust will abide with the requirements set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice and the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 on vulnerable people. We are also committed to our Supporter Promise. 

3. Who is a vulnerable person? 

3.1 The Institute of Fundraising’s 2016 guidance on “Treating Donors Fairly: Fundraising with donors in vulnerable circumstances” states: “an individual does not have to have any medical, physical, or mental condition to be in a ‘vulnerable circumstance”. Instead, something could have happened in their life that makes things difficult for them, meaning that it is harder for them to make decisions, or they are experiencing particular stress or anxiety”. As examples, a vulnerable person may experience: 

  • a diagnosed condition such as dementia 
  • a recent bereavement 
  • an undiagnosed or temporary mental health condition such as severe anxiety 
  • learning difficulties 
  • difficulty understanding the language 

3.2 We recognise that some of the people we engage with through our fundraising activities will not always have the capacity to fully understand the nature of the donation they are being asked to make or the consequences of making that donation. For the purpose of this policy, an individual supporter who finds it difficult to immediately make an informed decision about the choices offered to them is called a ‘vulnerable person’ 

4. Policy statement 

4.1 We will always abide by the Fundraising Regulator’s ‘Code of Fundraising Practice on Vulnerable People’. In line with the General Principles clause 1.2 e) Affinity Trust staff will: 

  • Take all reasonable steps to treat a donor fairly, enabling them to make an informed decision about any donation. This must include taking into account the needs of any potential donor who may be in a vulnerable circumstance or require additional care and support to make an informed decision. 
  • Not exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge, apparent need for care and support or vulnerable circumstance of any donor at any point in time. 
  • Not take a donation if they know or have reasonable grounds for believing that an individual lacks capacity to make a decision to donate. 
  • Endeavour to return a donation given by someone who lacked capacity at the time of donating. 

5. Further information 

5.1 All new fundraising staff will read and discuss this policy with their line manager as part of their induction on appointment. Line managers will highlight and discuss with existing fundraising staff during 1:1 meetings. 

5.2 As part of our Supporter Promise, we are fully compliant with the law as it applies to charities, fundraising and data protection. We are also registered members with both the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. A full list of our fundraising policies can be found here. 

5.3 If we can be of any assistance, or if you would like more information about this policy please contact us on 01844 267 800 or email or write to: Affinity Trust 1 St. Andrew’s Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3WT.