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1.            About Helplink Support Services

Helplink Support Services’ mission is to provide accessible, free or affordable mental health and conflict resolution services locally in the West of Ireland and nationally/internationally.  Our registered office address is 1st Floor, The Plaza, Headford Road, Galway.

2.            Policy Statement

The work of Helplink Support Services (hereafter to be referred to as Helplink) would not be possible without the generosity of our, funders, donors and supporters.

It is through this generosity that Helplink can continue to pursue our vision ‘…to be Ireland’s leading provider of accessible, free or affordable mental health and conflict resolution services locally, nationally and internationally. We aim to achieve this vision through partnership with other organisations and by providing our services accessibly through the utilisation of traditional face-to-face service provision structures in the West of Ireland, coupled with online technologies for service provision nationally and internationally; 7 day a week and out of hours.

Helplink promises to ensure that we treat all donors with the respect, honesty, fairness and transparency that they so rightly deserve. We also promise to treat all donations made in line with best financial practice, in line with Charity codes and ethics, and to do so responsibly and accurately.

Helplink will ensure that we are accountable and transparent in all areas of our work so that all donors and supporters have full confidence and trust in the way in which we run our organisation and fundraising practices.

3.            Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to have a transparent, clear and consistent policy in relation to funds received from the public, corporate supporters and grants, trusts and foundations.

4.          Scope

This policy applies to all income which is fund raised by, and received by, Helplink. This policy applies to all those involved directly or by association in the raising of funds, and accepting of funds, including the Board of Directors of Helplink, employees, contractors and volunteers. Any persons who raise or accept funds for Helplink have a responsibility to be aware of, understand, and commit to the ethical issues and procedures which are outlined in this policy.

5.            Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising

Helplink is dedicated to best practice in fundraising and is committed to implementing the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising, published by the Wheel and the Guidelines for Charitable Organisations on Fundraising from the Public, published by the Charities Regulator.

6.            Donation Criteria

Helplink recognises that raising funds to ensure progress of Helplink’s vision, mission and goals can be achieved, is imperative. As such, Helplink aims to ensure that there are clear acceptance and refusal criteria in place for donations and support which may be received.

This is a procedure in line with best practice for charitable organisations in Ireland and also helps to negate potential damage to Helplink’s reputation in the pursuit of raising funds.

When deciding on whether to accept any donation, Helplink has a duty to demonstrate that we have acted in the best interest of the organisation and that any association with a particular benefactor does not compromise the organisation’s ethical position, or priorities, harm Helplink’s reputation or put future funding at risk. As such, Helplink will:

  • Ensure compliance with best practice, legislation and regulation as appropriate.
  • Have clear pathways for persons with the authority to make decisions related to donation acceptance and refusal.
  • Help to ensure that decisions around donation acceptance are consistent and grounded in the vision, mission, values and objectives of Helplink.
  • Provide a clear objective standard against which external regulatory bodies can judge the actions of the charity in cases of potential or actual dispute.
  • Provide a clear, unambiguous policy statement outlining the process/ processes related to donation acceptance or refusal which is understandable and credible to the public at large and benefactors.

Situations where Helplink may refuse a donation are when:

  • The donation is suspected or known to be derived from the proceeds of illegal activity;
  • The benefactor, in particular for corporate supporters, grants, trusts and foundations, are not aligned with the values of Helplink;
  • It would lead to a possible decline in other support so as to compromise future fundraising;
  • It might damage the reputation of Helplink;
  • It would in any way damage the nature of Helplink’s work, including risk to charitable status, membership to relevant organisational bodies, or company status.
  • it can be clearly demonstrated that the cost incurred by Helplink to accept a donation will be greater than the value of the donation itself;
  • the offer of support is dependent upon the fulfilment of certain criteria or conditions placed upon Helplink such as but not limited to:
  • Any condition linked to the support that is, in itself, contrary to the objectives of Helplink;
  • Any condition linked to the support that is regarded as unreasonable in relation to the resources required to fulfil same;
  • Any condition linked to the support that is regarded as unreasonable or unsuitable as regards public recognition of that support;
  • Where conditions linked to the support will divert Helplink from pursuing its current objectives, policies or work priorities as a necessary result of the fulfilment of the conditions;
  • Where an offer of support is itself dependent upon Helplink first spending its own funds or resources in order to facilitate the execution of the original offer of support. Helplink will avoid placing organisational assets under undue, inappropriate or unnecessary risk for a benefactor and/or a donation;
  • Where the donation may be in line with Helplink mission, values, and objectives, but resources required from Helplink are not practical or possible given the current standing, resources and priorities of the organisation.
    • Where the donation requires complex processes to process the monies which would incur a cost that exceeds the value of the donation to Helplink;
    • Where the support consists of goods and services which do not align with, or fulfil, current or future organisational objectives;
    • Where the support consists of goods, services or property which HELPLINK cannot lawfully use, convert, exchange or sell to directly support its vision, mission, values and organisational objectives.

All donations may be subject to consideration, approval and refusal, on a case-by-case basis by the CEO. In the case of a donation which is, or is likely to be, in excess of €25,000, the CEO will be informed as soon as possible.

Where a benefactor may have a change in circumstance or condition of their donation, including the request to partially or fully return/refund their donation, the CEO will be informed as soon as possible.

It is the policy of Helplink to issue receipts for all donations. Helplink will send a receipt and, where appropriate thank you message to the donor.

7.     Use of Donations

‘Restricted’ donations are when a fundraising appeal specifies that the proceeds of the campaign will go towards a specific purpose, project or item or when a donor specifies that their donation be used for a specific purpose, project or item.

‘Unrestricted’ donations are donations that are made to Helplink for use at the discretion of the organisation, in line with current organisational priorities and the vision, mission, values and objectives of Helplink.

In pursuit of ensuring Helplink is open, honest and transparent with its operation and process of fundraising and donations, it will endeavour to fulfil the desired purpose of a benefactor’s donation.

The current objectives of Helplink and organisational priorities will also be considered when a donation has been made by a donor with a specific desire for its use. The allocation of donations to specific programme/ project or purpose (i.e. ‘restricted income’) may be subject to consideration, approval and refusal, on a case-by-case basis by the CEO.

Campaigns, events and appeals:  

  • Helplink’s promise to donors is that their donation will be applied to the purpose for which it was donated. In the event that more funding is raised for a specific programme/ project or purpose than is necessary, the remaining funds raised will be allocated for programme/ project or purposes as similar in nature as possible.

Restricted donations as requested by the donor:

  • Helplink’s promise to our donors is that their donation will be applied to the purpose for which it was donated. If that specific programme/ purpose or project has since been fully funded, the funds are not required in that area, or if the request is not in line with organisational priorities, an alternative funding need will be suggested to the donor.

Helplink welcomes ‘unrestricted’ donations as this better enables the organisation to respond quickly to organisational priorities as they arise, and invest in the realisation of Helplink’s vision, mission, values and objectives. Unrestricted donor funds are used, in general, for the operational activities of Helplink.

In the case where the specific programme/project or purpose of a donation made under restricted income should change, Helplink will endeavour to contact the benefactor about the re-allocation of the funds to another programme/ project or purpose. Where this re-allocation of funds may prompt the benefactor to request their donation be partially or fully returned/ refunded to them, this will be considered on a case-by-case basis by Helplink.

Where the benefactor would like to re-allocate their restricted income donation from one specific programme/ project or purpose to another, they should contact Helplink. Helplink will endeavour to fulfil the request of the benefactor and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Donations which are made to Helplink where the benefactor has a desired intent for the funds to be allocated to a specific programme/ project or purpose (i.e. ‘restricted income’) must be made known by the benefactor at the time of donation.

8.            Donations to Directors or Staff

For any cash, cheque or other form of donation offered to a member of the Board or employees, volunteers or contractors, the donor should be directed, as soon as possible, to the organisation’s CEO or Administrative Officer. It is Helplink’s policy to issue a receipt to benefactors. Helplink adheres to the Code of Good Practice: Fundraising Guidelines Cash Collections, published by the Irish Charities Institute.

9.            Gifts in Kind

A gift in kind is described as an asset that has a financial value and examples include, but are not limited to, office equipment, furniture, and clothing. The CEO of Helplink is to be notified of any gifts in kind received by Helplink. Helplink keeps a record of any gifts in kind received.

10.       Relationships with Businesses

Creating, building and maintaining working relationships and partnerships with those in the business and corporate sectors is an important part of fundraising. As such, this section should enable the Board of Directors and staff of Helplink to make clear and consistent decisions regarding the creation, building and maintenance of such relationships. Helplink recognises the need to partner with such organisations that are aligned with Helplink’s vision, mission, values and objectives.

While recognising the value of business and corporate partnerships, Helplink also recognises the need for transparency with such partnerships.

  • Creating, building and maintaining relationships with business and corporate partners is an important part of fundraising, and forms part of the fundraising strategy of Helplink.
  • These relationships may be formed through the pro-active approach by Helplink or by the business or corporate approaching Helplink.
  • For the purpose of clarity, Helplink will categorise a business or corporate partnership as one which is an active, on-going and public association with an organisation which qualifies as a business, where an approach has been made by Helplink or by the business to create such a partnership.
  • Any relationship which may exist at present, or in future, between Helplink and a business which is not active, on-going or public will not be deemed to be a business or corporate partnership.
  • Where a business or corporate partnership is (or is likely to be) greater than €5,000 in value, this must be brought to the attention of the CEO as soon as possible.
  • Responsibility for business and corporate partnerships and all related activity rests with the CEO of Helplink. Responsibility for elements of the partnership may be delegated to staff.
  • Business and corporate partnerships may involve, but are not limited to, activities below:
    • Sponsorship of a programme/project or purpose of Helplink
    • Employee fundraising which is donated to Helplink
    • Matching employee fundraising initiatives (e.g. where employees raise €5,000 and the business matches the donation with another €5,000)
    • Promotion of Helplink as an organisation or a Helplink campaign;
    • Helplink promoted by internal communications within the business;
    • Helplink promoted by external communications outside the business;
    • Gifts in kind (e.g. office equipment, furniture, clothing, use of premises);
    • Volunteering of business employees;
    • Promoting the partnership by internal communications within Helplink;
    • Promoting the partnership by external communications outside Helplink;
    • Inclusion of the partnership in digital, print and traditional media; and

 

  • Other requests which are deemed to be reasonable by both parties, and not incur expenditure by Helplink which would be more than the income generated.

Assessment

An assessment will be conducted by Helplink of any potential partnerships. The assessment will include the potential benefits and risks which are, or could be, associated with a partnership. The assessment may include, but not limited to, the following points:

  • The financial standing and stability of the business. This may include assessing the businesses accounts;
  • The past, current and projected reputation of the business. Any issues, positive or negative, related to the public image of the business should be considered. This should especially be considered in light of potential impact to Helplink and having an association

There are some types of business which Helplink does not consider for partnerships. However, exclusion of the business type is for the purpose of a business or corporate partnership. Such exclusions do not inhibit individual members of staff of such business types from making a donation to Helplink.

The types of business listed below:

  • Producers of alcohol
  • Producers of materials or services which may be judged to be abusive of individuals or groups; be discriminatory or prejudicial, or knowingly deny or block a person’s human rights
  • Producers of materials or services which may be judged to block, obstruct or contradict the work of Helplink
  • Producers of pornographic content and material; producers of health related products with unsubstantiated findings or unregulated production; producers of tobacco; producers of electronic cigarettes, vaping, or producers of nicotine alternative products; producers or suppliers of materials and services which have substantial evidence of negative health impacts of such; unsubstantiated health claims, in particular mental health related claims; business operating in ways or with outputs which may be deemed to obstruct a person’s health and wellbeing and access to appropriate supports.
  • The assessment should be completed in a timely manner as to not impede the development and progression of a potential partnership. A timeline for the completion of the assessment should be outlined by the Board of Directors of Helplink, the Fundraising Committee, or the CEO of Helplink as applicable.
  • In cases where the assessment does not recommend pursuing a partnership with the organisation, or where the Board of Directors of Helplink or the CEO of Helplink, does not recommend pursuing a partnership, the decision should be included as a note in the assessment. The decision must be agreed upon by the relevant parties within Helplink.
  • In cases where the assessment does recommend pursuing a partnership with the organisation, or where the Board of Directors of Helplink or the CEO of Helplink, does recommend pursuing a partnership, the decision should be included as a note in the assessment. The decision must be agreed upon by the relevant parties within Helplink.
  • In the cases where the assessment has an unclear outcome about the potential partnership, the information collected should be presented to CEO or Board of Directors of Helplink as applicable for a decision to be made. The assessment should include a note about an inconclusive assessment of the business suitability for partnership, and the decision made by the relevant party.
  • Once a decision to not proceed with a partnership has been reached, it is the responsibility of the CEO to manage notifying the business, as applicable in the case where the business approaches Helplink for a partnership.
  • Once a decision to process with the partnership has been reached, it is the responsibility of the CEO to manage notifying the business. There will also be a need to devise the action plan for moving forward in the creation, building and maintenance of the partnership, and outlining the applicable elements of the partnership.

11.       Helplink Principles for Business or Corporate Partnerships

Helplink will minimise the risk that a business or corporate partnership will have a negative impact on the reputation of Helplink.

Helplink will not allow a business or corporate partnership to influence strategic direction, programmes, projects or purposes of work. Helplink will not allow any intention of a business or corporate partner to the same.

Helplink will not allow a business or corporate partnership to influence the procurement or tendering process in place, or offer any competitive advantage to the business or corporate for any procurement or tendering process.

Helplink will make business and corporate partnerships known to the public through the Helplink website, digital communications, social media platforms, in the Helplink Annual Report, and relevant traditional media.

Helplink will not create, build or maintain partnerships with a business which falls within the exclusion criteria for partnerships (as outlined above).

Helplink will not create, build or maintain partnerships with a business which is not deemed be aligned with Helplink’s vision, mission and values or organisational goals.

Helplink will undertake an on-going evaluation of the partnership and development. This is a process Helplink very much welcomes the partner business to be a part of to ensure the success of the partnership.

Communications

Helplink’s name must not be used without prior consultation and written agreement between Helplink and the partner.

Helplink’s logo must not be used without prior consultation and written agreement between Helplink and the partner.

Use of Helplink’s name, logo, and information must not be used without prior consultation and written agreement between Helplink and the partner.

Inclusion of information related to the partnership between Helplink and the business must not be used without prior consultation and written agreement between Helplink and the partner.

All communications being used for traditional media, digital media, media releases (including media interviews) which refer, or may refer, to the partnership or to Helplink will require prior consultation and written agreement from Helplink.

In all circumstances where the partner intends to refer to the Helplink in their internal or external communications, they must seek consultation and written agreement from Helplink. This also includes ensuring the Brand Guidelines of Helplink are being realised in any internal or external communications.

Helplink is happy to work directly with the business or with their third party communications company/companies on all internal and external communications which relate to the partnership or Helplink.

12.       Donations of gifts

This section concerns the donation of gifts which may be offered to Helplink Directors or staff. Helplink policy is that the acceptance of donations and gifts is not permitted by those working with, for, or on behalf of Helplink which are of direct and personal benefit to the individual or group. An individual working with, for, or on behalf of Helplink cannot directly and personally benefit from a benefit in kind.

Exceptions

Helplink does recognise that during the course of work done by Directors, staff and volunteers that they may receive on occasion a small gift as recognition of work done. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates.

13.       Legacy/Bequests

Helplink recognises that benefactors may wish to leave a legacy to Helplink. Legacy donations and bequests are a very important element of fundraising for charitable organisations. Such a gift, small or large, helps Helplink plan into the future and leaves a lasting legacy of the donor.

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