Our supporter promise
Thousands of individuals every year support us in a huge range of ways – some campaign with us; some help run our support groups; some donate to our appeals or by direct debit; some leave us a gift in their will; some raise money by baking cakes, running marathons or even dyeing their hair.
For each and every one we’re incredibly grateful.
Thanks to that support we have helped bring about many positive changes, but there is so much more to do and the need for your support for our work remains urgent so that we can continue to work as hard as we can for as long as we can to improve the lives of everyone affected by mental illness.
We want you as a supporter to feel valued by us, so we make you the following promises:
• We will always abide by fundraising regulation to ensure that we have the highest standards of fundraising we can.
• We will never sell your data to another organisation. In addition, if we ever need to send data to a third party (for example checking against the Telephone Preference Service) we will make sure the company we use has signed a data processing agreement with us, so that they are bound to take care of your data in the same way we do.
• We will only contact you if you have expressly ‘Opted-in’ to being contacted, and only in the ways you told us, like mail, email or phone.
• If you contact us to say you no longer want to hear from us, we will update our records within two working days.
• We will never call you if you are registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), unless you have expressly given us permission to do so. We will also try (as far as possible), to ensure that you are only called by staff at Rethink Mental Illness.
• We will make it as easy as possible for you to contact us, so you can tell us what we are doing well, tell us what we aren’t doing so well, or to change your opt-in preferences.
• We won’t target vulnerable* people for fundraising, though we do find that people closest to the cause, like friends and family, are among our most treasured supporters. If you, or someone close to you is considered vulnerable, we will do our utmost to ensure that all our interactions with you are done as sensitively as possible, and we’ll listen to what you do and don’t want. We want to always ensure that our supporters, vulnerable or not, feel able to make an informed decision about how you support us, and don’t feel pressured in any of your interactions with us.
• When we are thinking of introducing new fundraising products we will always consult in advance with our Lived Experience Advisory Board (a group of our experts with lived experience of severe mental illness) on what considerations we should make to ensure that we don’t put any of our supporters in a vulnerable position. For example, how we might introduce a weekly lottery without putting people at risk of buying more tickets than they can afford.
• If we need to purchase a cold list of postal or email addresses to fundraise from, we will ensure we only buy a list where we can see there are clear permissions for the use of the person’s details. We will also ensure that we follow all data protection regulations regarding using these lists.
• We will never ask under 18s for a donation where it is reasonable to assume that we knew their age.
• We will aim to communicate with supporters by email where possible, to save costs, and so this will be our preferred method to select on contact forms. Where our supporters would prefer mail of course we will honour that preference, and there will be times where we know that mail will have a better response than other methods, too.
Last updated July 2017
* Within our existing mix of donors and other supporters and beneficiaries – family, friends, workmates of those with a mental illness, some may have a mental illness themselves that we may or may not know of, or be vulnerable in some other way. Mental illness is not a constant, lifelong state for everyone, but we must consider that all our donors might at any time be considered vulnerable in one way or another, through mental capacity, age, disability, financial circumstance or other means. So we must treat every donor or prospect with respect and clarity, listen and act appropriately.
Others will see us through mass marketing techniques like posters, online, direct mail or press adverts. It’s inevitable that some of these people are vulnerable so we must make all of our communications clear, legible and honest.
We are also proud to have been part of the NCVO working group that has developed a series of good practice recommendations on how charities can secure consent from their donors and potential donors.