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 regulations 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 to a mailing house) 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 by phone, SMS or email if you have expressly ‘Opted-in’ to being contacted via those channels, and we won't contact you by mail if you have 'opted out' of that channel, or you haven't engaged with us for two years. 
  • 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 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.
  • Sometimes we work with carefully selected external suppliers to help us deliver communications and fundraising activities, because our team simply isn’t big enough. We work with them to make sure they understand the issues we work with, adhere to our policies and comply with regulations. We may need to share your data with them for processing, but never for their marketing purposes, and will ensure their use of your data meets all regulations required under data protection legislation. We will only work with professional organisations that meet our high standards, and will train and monitor them in order to meet those standards. We will act quickly if they do not meet those high standards.
  • 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. 

Complaints about Fundraising

All of the team at Rethink Mental Illness aim to provide a positive and transparent service to our supporters.  As a member of the Fundraising Regulator, we agree to abide by their Code of Fundraising Practice. However, there may be times where you feel we haven’t got things quite right.  If you wish to make a complaint about our fundraising activities, we promise to listen and investigate.

Complaints Promise

  • We promise to make our complaints procedure fair and easy to understand
  • We promise to investigate our complaints thoroughly and in a timely manner
  • We promise to escalate complaints appropriately
  • We promise to review our complaints regularly and embed learning into our practices in the future

How to make a complaint

Please contact us by telephone on 0121 522 7007,

Or by email: welcome@rethink.org

Or by post to: Supporter Care, FREEPOST, Rethink Mental Illness

Complaints will be responded to within 5 working days.   If your complaint is complex or requires further investigation, it may take us longer to resolve.  If your complaint is likely to take more than 14 days to resolve, we will let you know the steps we will take to investigate your complaint and the expected time required to resolve.

If you are not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled, you can request it is escalated to the Associate Director of Fundraising within 14 days of receiving our response, who will review the information and may carry out a further investigation. This will be done within 28 days. A summary of the findings will be sent to the Chief Executive and you will receive a response from the Chief Executive or their nominee.

Should you wish to escalate your complaint further, you can contact the Fundraising Regulator.

Donation Refunds

If we have made a mistake in processing your donation, please contact us on supportercare@rethink.org or by phone on 0121 522 7007.  Where we have made an error, we will refund your donation.

Your valuable gifts will be used to fund our work supporting people with mental health problems. Unless we have made an error in processing, we are unable to refund donations.  Thank you for your understanding.

For Direct Debit gifts, all payments are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. 

  • This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.
  • If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit Rethink Mental Illness will notify you 10 working days in advance of our account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request Rethink Mental Illness to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.
  • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by Rethink Mental Illness or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society.
  • If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay I back when Rethink asks you to.
  • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simple contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.

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This page was last update Feb 2021.

* 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.