Vulnerable supporters

The Talent Fund believes that giving should be purposeful, fun and a positive experience for all people.

Treating donors fairly means that everyone should have the opportunity to donate if they want to.

People should be treated as individuals and be responded to according to their needs and preferences so they can make an informed decision.

This means that people, even if they are in a vulnerable circumstance, can choose to support a charity and make a donation.

However, there are times when fundraisers shouldn’t ask for a donation or when a donor needs additional care and support to make an informed decision.

We recognise that vulnerability is complex and changeable. At some stage in life, vulnerability can affect any individual.

If an individual lacks the mental capacity to make an informed decision, then they are potentially vulnerable.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 states that this can be defined as an impairment of the functioning of the brain leaving that person unable to make a decision, for example dementia. As the Fundraising Regulator Guidance Treating Donors Fairly (opens new window) 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. vulnerability can also be a temporary situation defined by significant life events, such as times of extreme stress and/or anxiety.

Due to its nature, it is not possible to provide a comprehensive set of characteristics but some examples of vulnerability or vulnerable circumstance could include:

  • Physical and mental medical conditions
  • Disability
  • Learning difficulties
  • Times of stress or anxiety (for example bereavement)
  • Financial vulnerability (where a donation may impact a donor’s capacity to sufficiently care for themselves or leave them in financial hardship
  • English not being the donor’s first language
  • Influence of drugs/alcohol

If The Talent Fund or its charitable brands and restricted funds has grounds to believe a donor/potential donor is in a vulnerable situation, or lacks the capacity to make an informed decision, then the interaction with the individual should be ended. This should be done in a polite manner which protects their dignity and acknowledges their interest in making a charitable gift.

Adhering to the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice, The Talent Fund and its charitable brands and restricted funds expects all associated personnel to:

  • Take reasonable steps to treat a donor fairly, enabling them to make an informed decision about any donation.
  • Take into account the needs of any 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 or potential donor at any point in time.
  • Not take a donation if there are reasonable grounds for believing that an individual lacks capacity to make a decision to donate
  • Return a donation given by someone who lacked capacity at the time of donating.