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Vulnerable People Fundraising Policy

Fundraising should be a positive experience for all of our existing donors or potential new supporters. It is vital that the relationship we build with our supporters and potential supporters is a positive one.

We will ensure that our communication to everyone is respectful and fair and we will not discriminate against any individual or group based on health conditions. However, we have a responsibility to ensure that where a donor may require additional care and support that we are sensitive and respectful to this to ensure that the needs of vulnerable people are met.

Treating donors fairly and respectfully

We will ensure that our communication to everyone is respectful and fair and we will not discriminate
against any individual or group based on health conditions. However, we have a responsibility to
ensure that where a donor may require additional care and support that we are sensitive and
respectful to this to ensure that the needs of vulnerable people are met.

Chartered Institute of Fundraising

Leicester Animal Aid follow the Chartered Institute of Fundraising Code of Practice standards relating to vulnerability. 

The Fundraising Regulator

Leicester Animal Aid is registered with The Fundraising Regulator.

The Fundraising Regulator is an independent, not statutory body and holds the Fundraising Code of
Practice for the UK and regulate fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They set and
maintain the standards for charitable fundraising, aim to ensure that fundraising is respectful, open
and honest and accountable to the public.

You can access the Fundraising Code of Practice at Code here: https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code 

The regulator’s role is to:
  •  Set and promote the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated
    rulebooks) in consultation with the public, fundraising stakeholders and legislators.
  • Investigate cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern.
  • Adjudicate complaints from the public about fundraising practice, where these cannot be
    resolved by the charities themselves.
  •  Operate a fundraising preference service to enable individuals to manage their contact
    with charities.
  • Where poor fundraising practice is judged to have taken place, recommend best practice
    guidance and take proportionate remedial action. (August, 2017)

Definition of a vulnerable person

Safeguarding is about protecting certain people who may be in vulnerable circumstances. These
people may be at risk of abuse or neglect due to the actions (or lack of action) of another person.
Adult Care Act 2014

A person is at risk is defined in ‘the Adult Care Act 2014’ as: An individual over the age of 18 who has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and is experience, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and as a result of those needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of or the experience of abuse or neglect. (August 2017)

This might include:
  • People with a learning disability
  • People with a physical disability
  • People with a sensory impairment
  • People with mental ill-health
  • People with dementia
  • People who are frail due to age or other factors
  • People with acquired brain injury
  • People with a drug or alcohol problem
  • People with certain types of physical illness
  • All of the above are dependant on the individual capacity of people.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is a legal framework which protects people who may lack capacity to
make decisions for themselves. It also sets out how decisions should be made on their behalf. The
act covers all sorts of decisions, from life-changing events to everyday matters. The act says that:
“… a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain.”

Leicester Animal Aid uses this information as a framework to define a person as Vulnerable. It is the role of the person communicating with them to try and establish this fact.


This is our statement and framework on assessing vulnerability during fundraising operations and
must be used by all staff and agencies working on our behalf.

Anyone fundraising on behalf of the Charity must not exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge,
apparent need for care and support or vulnerable circumstances of any existing supporters or
potential new supporter at any point in time. We will treat all members of the public respectfully,
fairly, and any of the responses we give will be appropriate to their needs.

Recognising vulnerability

We recognise that it may be difficult to determine if an individual is vulnerable.
Although it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of indicators that may show a person is
vulnerable, our fundraisers will adhere to the following checklist (as examples of indicators or
triggers) which could signal that someone may be in a vulnerable circumstance or lack capacity.

Examples of indicators:
  • Learning difficulties
  • Times of stress (eg bereavement, redundancy)
  • Financial vulnerability (where a gift from a donor may impact on their ability to sufficiently care for
  • English not being the donor’s first language
  • Influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Physical and mental medical conditions
    (August 2017)

In addition to this, our fundraisers will adhere to the following non exhaustive checklist to help
identify signs that an individual may be in a vulnerable circumstance.

Is the individual:
  • Asking unrelated and irrelevant questions or displaying signs of forgetfulness?
  • Unable to read and understand the information they have been provided with?
  • Difficulty in responding to questions?
  • Saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at times that is clear they haven’t understood?
  • Advising they do not feel well?
  • Displaying signs of ill-health like breathlessness or indication of discontent?
  • Any statement such as ‘my family deal with this kind of thing’?
  • Donating an unexpectedly large gift with no prior relationship? (This does not necessarily on its own
    constitute ’vulnerability’).

Taking action

All fundraisers need to be patient and clear in their language and transparent in why we are
communicating with people.

This is a non exhaustive list, our fundraisers can respond to the needs of an individual:

  • Talk clearly.
  • Explain whey you are communicating with them and they they are happy to continue.
  • Ask if they would prefer to be contacted in a different way (ie email, letter or at a different time).
  • Be patient and not rush the individual.
  • Ensure they fully understand the reason for your call and what you are asking and ask if they would
    like further explanation/information.
  • Ask if they would like to talk to anyone else before making a decision.
  • If a member of our fundraising team has a reasonable belief that an individual is unable to make a
    decision then they will not accept a donation. If a donation has already been made, and at the time
    of donating the individual lacked capacity (and the charity receives evidence of this) we will return
    the donation.
  • It is accepted that the indicators above may be easier to recognise in certain fundraising (e.g. face to
    face) than others (e.g. telephone or direct mail) and this should be taken into account when
    communicating with people.

Prevention of future fundraising approaches

If a donor is found to lack capacity, the Charity will ensure that no future approach is made with
regard to donations. We will, however, make a reasonable judgement if the individual wishes to be
kept informed of the work of the Charity and continue to send our twice yearly newsletter. The
newsletter does contain information regarding our fundraising initiatives and campaigns and if as a
result of this we receive a donation, we will automatically return this.

Policy implementation

This Policy will be implemented through in house inductions and training for staff, volunteers and
agencies, being written into contracts with external agencies.

Policy review

The Trustees of Leicester Animal Aid are ultimately responsible for ensuring that Vulnerable
Persons Policy is implemented and enforced. (August 2017)

The Trustees will receive a comprehensive report detailing any and all donations returned, details of
any complaints received.

Contact us

If you have a question, query or concern you can contact one of the following individuals:

Fundraising Complaints Policy

Leicester Animal Aid has a Fundraising Complaints Policy which can be viewed online here
or can be requested by contacting us in one the following ways:

Telephone: 01455 888257

Email: info@leicesteranimalaid.org.uk

By post: Leicester Animal Aid, Elmwood Farm, Forest Road, Huncote, Leicester, LE9 3LE