Vulnerable Persons Policy

 

Cure EB are commited to taking all reasonable care to protect vulnerable persons while engaging in fundraising activity. This document outlines how we identify supporters who may be vulnerable, and what action we take if we suspect a person is vulnerable.

While everyone should have the opportunity to donate if they are able and wish to, it is inevitable that some of the people that we engage with through our fundraising activities may not always have the capacity, at the point of the interaction, to fully understand. In addition, people in vulnerable
circumstances may need further support before deciding whether to donate.

Cure EB therefore commit to:

  • Fundraisers taking all reasonable steps to treat a donor fairly, enabling them to make an informed decision about any donation while striving to respect the wishes and preferences of the donor, whatever they may be. This will include considering the needs of any potential donor who may be in a vulnerable circumstance or require additional care and support to make an informed decision.
  • Fundraisers not targeting or exploiting the credulity, lack of knowledge, apparent need for care and support or vulnerable circumstance of any donor at any point in time.
  • Fundraisers, where they are unable to make a clear-cut decision as to whether or not someone is in a vulnerable circumstance or lacks capacity, to err on the side of caution and refrain from asking for a donation.

 

Identifying vulnerable people
A vulnerable supporter is someone who is lacking the ability, either temporarily or permanently, to make an informed decision about donating money. Examples of indicators which could mean that an individual is in a vulnerable circumstance or needs additional support could include:

  • Mental illness and mental capacity concerns (both permanent and temporary conditions), including dementia and personality disorders
  • Significant physical illness
  • Physical and sensory disability
  • Learning difficulties
  • Times of stress or anxiety (e.g. bereavement, redundancy)
  • Financial vulnerability (where a gift from a donor may impact on their ability to sufficiently care for themselves or leave them in financial hardship)
  • Language barriers
  • Influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Where people live (for example, in supported housing).

 

Indicators of vulnerability can include:

  • An individual appears confused, such as:
    ○ Asking irrelevant and unrelated questions
    ○ Responding in an irrational way to questions
    ○ Saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at times when it is clear they haven’t understood the meaning of what is being discussed.
  • The individual may have physical difficulties, such as:
    ○ Unable to hear and understand what is being said
    ○ Unable to read and understand the information they are provided with
    ○ Displaying signs of ill-health like breathlessness or signs of exasperation or discontent.
  • Indicative statements that suggest a lack of mental capacity, such as:
    ○ Saying ‘I don’t usually do things like this, my husband/wife son/daughter takes care of it for me’
    ○ Having trouble remembering relevant information, for example forgetting that they are already a regular donor to that charity (e.g. have an existing Direct Debit), or have recently donated.
  • Through written communications:
    ○ A supporter who has emailed or written to us to tell us they are permanently vulnerable (see earlier definitions)
    ○ Letters we receive from people where their thoughts and wishes are not clear or consistent.
  • Alerts from a family member or carer.

 

Engaging with vulnerable persons
If we suspect that a donor lacks the capacity or support to make a decision about the donation, we will, tactfully and respectfully, withdraw from engagement and a donation at that point will not be accepted.

If after a donation is taken the charity receives evidence that the person lacked capacity to make the decision to donate, then we will endeavour to return the donation, will note their vulnerable status and ensure that donations are not solicited from them in the future.

Should we receive information regarding a supporter’s vulnerability from a third party, we will not act on any request to alter the supporters’ preferences unless the third party can provide evidence that he or she has authority to act on behalf of the supporter.

Where we have been alerted by a supporter, authorised family member or carer of vulnerability we will confirm what kind of communication, if any, is acceptable, note this and the declaration of vulnerability and act upon the preferences accordingly.

We will not contact supporters with the aim of asking for an increase in their giving where the supporter’s records indicate a declaration of vulnerability.

If we become aware of a situation where a third-party agency acting on our behalf has not acted in accordance with this policy, we may stop working with the agency or ask that individual fundraisers responsible for non-compliance with the policy be removed from Cure EB campaigns and/or
activities.

We recognise that it may sometimes be difficult to assess the vulnerability of a supporter. In cases where a fundraiser is unsure, they must ask their manager for a second opinion and approval to accept any donation.

If you have any complaint or concerns about Cure EB’s interactions with a person in vulnerable circumstances after the time of such interaction, please refer to Cure EB’s Fundraising Complaints Procedure.