The Zahra Trust (the Charity) is committed to serving its donors and beneficiaries to the highest standard in keeping with its duties as a registered charity in the UK (reg. no: 1129501) for the benefit of the wider public and in line with all legal and regulatory obligations.
Most of the Charity’s income is derived from voluntary donations from the public but it may also receive donations from groups or organisations. The Charity strives to maintain exceptional and consistent operational and procedural standards which the Trustees are committed to upholding; managing income in compliance with regulations and guidance is paramount to achieve this.
The purpose of this policy is to clearly outline the standards expected of The Zahra Trust in managing donations. This includes, but is not limited to, the grounds for receiving, processing, declining, and returning donations to donors.
This policy applies to The Zahra Trust staff, volunteers, contractors, donors, grant-makers, and supporters.
The Zahra Trust accepts all donations in good faith through a range of mediums and platforms to fund charitable projects within its areas of operation. The Charity’s representatives will never knowingly or willingly mislead a member of the public to donate, force a donor to give against their will or take advantage of a vulnerable person who is unable to make sound decisions regarding their finances. We will also make every reasonable effort to obtain parental consent from a person under the age of 18 years who wishes to donate; especially if the donation is regular.
To comply with its legal and regulatory obligations, The Zahra Trust reserves the right to refuse donations if such donations are not deemed to be in the best interests of the Charity. Examples of when donations may be refused appear as follows; please note this list is not exhaustive:
- The donation is made for a cause or purpose for which the Charity is unable to facilitate reasonably
- The donation is made subject to conditions
- Receiving the donation would potentially compromise the Charity’s independence
- The cost of receiving, processing or administering the donation is higher than the value of the donation
- We have reason to believe that the funds received are linked to or being donated for the purpose of conducting or aiding illegal activity, including but not limited to, money laundering, bribery or fraud
- There is an expectation of private benefit linked to the donation
- The funds received are from individuals or organisations that hold views that are incompatible with the values of The Zahra Trust and may subsequently compromise the integrity of the Charity or its Trustees and bring them into disrepute.
In compliance with the Charity Act 2011, The Zahra Trust is unable to process refunds unless in specific or exceptional circumstances.
Whilst we make every effort to make the process of making donations clear, accessible and user friendly, we understand that human and technical errors can occur.
In the event that a donor requests a refund for their donation, we ask that the request along with all relevant details, proof of payment and proof of identification are sent via email to [email protected]. This will be passed on to the Management and Trustees of the Charity for consideration and confirmation of the decision reached will usually be given in writing within 30 calendar days. In the case that this will take longer due to further consideration and consultation being necessary as a result of the complexity of the issue, the donor will be informed. Trustees and Management may seek external legal advice and inform the Charity Commission of the matter. The Trustees will make an informed decision as to whether a refund should be issued to a donor, a group of donors or organisation that gave for a specific cause that the Charity is no longer able to facilitate with no other reasonable resolution reached, i.e., mutually agreeing to reallocate the funds. In accordance with our regulatory requirements, a file of this process will be kept on record for six years and may be presented to our independent auditors and/or regulators upon request.
If approved, The Zahra Trust will only issue refunds to the individual(s) from which the donation originated and in the same method by which the donation was made; where a payment was made from an account, the funds will only be returned to the account from which they originated with no exceptions.
Where a third party is involved in processing the payment such as an online fundraising platform, the donor will be subject to the terms and conditions of the third party in addition to the policies and procedures of The Zahra Trust regarding the matter.
The Zahra Trust cannot process refunds on the following grounds unless in exceptional circumstances:
- The donation was made longer than 30 calendar days prior to the request
- The donor changed their mind about making a donation
- The funds were part of a regular payment made via standing order or Direct Debit that was set up on instruction by the donor and has been active for more than one calendar month
The administrative costs for UK operations are not taken from general donations; the Charity endeavours to ensure that all administrative costs in the UK are covered by funds received as Gift Aid and donations made for the purpose of administration. Please note that where donations are made via platforms such as JustGiving, the platform provider will itself deduct a small percentage from the donation before sending the net donation to us. Donations made by debit/credit cards also have processing fees, however, we endeavour to cover the costs of the deductions made so that your entire donation can be used for the package that you have chosen
Specified and restricted funds are used solely for the purpose for which they are intended i.e., charitable use, which may include logistical requirements of the project that are deemed charitable by their nature and are incurred as part of the implementation process of the project.
Cancelling regular payments
In the event that a donor would like to cancel their regular payment, the donor is responsible for making arrangements for the relevant standing order or direct debit mandate to be cancelled with their bank/financial service provider as well as notifying us in writing. The Zahra Trust is not liable for payments automatically processed by a bank after a cancellation request is made and we are unable to provide a refund where such incidents occur. Cancellations are subject to the terms and conditions of the donor’s respective financial service provider and the donor is responsible for ensuring that cancellations are completed appropriately. Donors and supporters are advised that The Zahra Trust has no influence or control over banks, their processes or their general activity.
Enquiries, concerns and complaints
We strive to constantly improve our level of care and service to both our beneficiaries and donors and in keeping with this, we are keen to keep an open channel of communication with those who wish to speak with us regarding any questions or concerns they may have.