Supporter Charter

How we work with you

Tearfund is a Christian charity called to follow Jesus where the need is greatest. We work tirelessly to help communities around the world escape the very worst effects of poverty and disaster. Tearfund is passionate about living out God’s kingdom-values of love, hope and transformation.

We were born out of the Evangelical Alliance in 1968, and our biblical values are the foundation of everything we do, which you can find enshrined in our Statement of Faith.

Our vision is to work with and through a worldwide network of local churches to end poverty. We operate to the highest possible standards, with integrity and transparency.

Tearfund are signatories to the Red Cross Code of Conduct and are certified with the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership Standard (HAP). We are signed up, and conform to, the HAP 2007 Standard in Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management.

Tearfund are registered with the Fundraising Regulator, which sets and maintains the standards for charitable fundraising in the UK. We abide by their Code of Fundraising Practice and we’re committed to upholding the Fundraising Promise, in which we agree to ensure our fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful.

How we care for supporters in vulnerable circumstances

It’s always important to us that we care for all of our supporters, but we occasionally need to take additional care of some supporters. All of our supporter facing staff receive training in this area and are prepared to respond in the most appropriate way, in line with our values. Whenever we become aware that one of our supporters is in vulnerable circumstances, we take extra steps to ensure we’re engaging with them in the most helpful way; this may mean that we stop or restrict the ways we contact them, or that we gently discourage them from giving. If we are given specific instructions by a carer or family member, we will honour these.

Our promise to you

You, our supporters, are integral to what we do. We simply couldn’t work with communities, helping them find hope and a way out of poverty, without your support. You’re hugely important to us, and to the communities around the world you transform through Tearfund. You don’t just contribute to our work, you make it possible.

We seek to be Christ-centred, compassionate, truthful, courageous and servant hearted in the way that we engage with you. We value you as partners in our mission to follow Jesus where the need is greatest.

You don’t have to provide your information, but we’d love to contact you to share updates of how people around the world are overcoming poverty and keep you posted about our news, activities and appeals.

When you donate to Tearfund we will:

  • Process your donation efficiently and securely – and use the gift you have entrusted to us to fund or work with people in need across the world
  • Quickly acknowledge your gift and offer our heartfelt thanks on behalf of people in poverty
  • Keep our costs to a minimum and continue to be accountable to the UK Charity Commission, and to you through our Annual Report and regular Impact and Learning Reports
  • Increase your gift through the Gift Aid scheme whenever we can
  • Make sure, wherever possible, that your gift goes to a particular area of work that you request – or discuss other options with you if that is not possible

When you contact Tearfund with an enquiry we will:

  • Handle your questions and comments in a friendly and efficient way
  • Provide a response to your query as soon as we can, and let you know if there is a delay
  • Welcome and seek feedback from you to improve and enhance our work and standards
  • Treat complaints seriously, investigate thoroughly and get back to you in reasonable time with a solution

When we contact you with news and updates we will:

  • Inspire you with communications and materials that demonstrate how your support is changing lives and ending poverty
  • Introduce new and exciting opportunities to support people in poverty across the world, unless you ask us not to
  • Make sure your details remain protected and confidential under the Data Protection Act
  • Only communicate you in the way that you have asked us to, and change your communications preferences at any time
  • Always check that you’re happy to speak to us when we phone. And if you don’t want to take the call, let us know and we will end it and change your phone preferences

We will not:

  • Share, swap or sell your data with any other organisation for marketing purposes. We will only share your data when legally required to do so – such as Gift Aid details provided to HMRC. Your data may also be used for research, screening and analysis, to help provide the best possible service. To find out more, read our privacy policy at
  • Put pressure on you to increase or start a donation, and we will stop sending fundraising communications whenever you choose

Making a complaint

If you want to make a complaint

We hope you’ll never need to send us a complaint, because we try hard to meet the high standards we set for ourselves. However, sometimes things go wrong, and you may want to make a formal complaint.

You can do this by contacting us at, by calling 020 3906 3906, through the Contact Us page on our website or by writing to us at Supporter Care, Tearfund, 100 Church Road, Teddington, TW11 8QE.

If this happens, we will:

  • Acknowledge the complaint, so you know we’ve received it.
  • Record the complaint.
  • Investigate the complaint.
  • Correct what went wrong if possible and appropriate.
  • Tell you about what we have done and why.
  • If possible, change procedures to avoid the same thing going wrong again in the future.
  • If we can’t do this, or make other changes you’ve suggested, we will explain why.
  • We’ll address your complaint as soon as possible, but it might take a bit longer than a regular enquiry. We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days, and aim to respond fully within 15 working days. If we need to contact overseas staff in order to handle your complaint properly, it might take us a bit longer, but we’ll keep you up to date on our progress. When we receive a complaint and can’t respond for one of the reasons listed previously (see top of page), we will still investigate the complaint.

    What if you're not happy with our response to your complaint?

    We take complaints seriously, and we respond to them as thoroughly as possible. We hope you will be happy with the reply you get from our Supporter Services Team but, if you’re not, you can take your complaint further. To further your complaint, in the first instance please contact:

    Cathy Winmill, Head of Supporter Services
    100 Church Road
    TW11 8QE
    020 3906 3906 (email FAO Cathy Winmill)

    Please don’t forget to include your contact details and preferences for when and how Cathy can conveniently contact you. If, after contacting Cathy, you still feel unhappy about the way your complaint has been resolved, there are two bodies you can get in touch with.

    If your complaint concerns data/information we hold about you, you can contact:

    Information Commissioner’s Office
    Wycliffe House
    Water Lane
    SK9 5AF
    Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45
    Fax: 01625 52 45 10

    If your complaint concerns an area of Tearfund’s work, you can contact:

    The Charity Commission
    PO Box 1227
    L69 3UG
    Tel: 0845 3000 218

    Alternatively, as Tearfund is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board, you could send your complaint to:

    Fundraising Regulator
    2nd Floor, CAN Mezzanine Building
    49-51 East Road
    N1 6AH
    Tel: 0300 999 3407

    A copy of our standards and commitments as an organisation can be found here.

    Thank you for your prayers and support for people in poverty across the world and for enabling us to carry out this life-changing work in the name of Jesus.