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At Kidney Research UK we depend on the generosity of the general public to enable us to continue our life-saving work. We are honest; we behave with integrity in all our fundraising activity and operate to the highest standards and best fundraising practices.

Our commitment to best practice

As part of our on-going efforts to raise funds we talk to supporters on the telephone and through direct mail fundraising campaigns which have proved to be both a popular and successful way for us to engage with them. To do this, we work with carefully-selected third party telephone and data fundraising agencies. All our fundraising partners are required to work to the high standards we have set. When asking people if they would like to support us, we ensure best practice is followed:

Frequency of contact

  • We like to be able to keep you updated with news about the research we are undertaking, invite you to events, opportunities to get involved in research and patient activities and to let you know about how you can support our work. We do this through a tailored approach based on how you have previously interacted with us and offered your support.

Opting out of contact from Kidney Research UK

  • A supporter can contact us at any time by post, phone or email and if we hold their data we will update it to reflect their wishes. We can also capture how supporters wish to be communicated with should they want to provide that to us.
  • We adhere to the Fundraising Preference Service for supporters who have registered their preference through this service.

Managing relationships with the vulnerable and the elderly

  • We recognise that many of the supporters we contact via our direct mail and telephone fundraising are older people and have been supporting us for many years. Our policy of approaching supporters based on their previous interactions with us is designed to ensure that those supporters do not feel pressured to give to us. We also work closely with our telephone fundraising partners to ensure their callers are trained to deal with calls effectively if they feel they may be speaking to someone vulnerable.

The sharing of data

  • We will never sell your personal information. Unless required for statutory obligations, we will never share your personal information with third parties for their own purposes. However, we know that sometimes it is better and more cost effective to employ trusted suppliers to help us deliver the best service in certain areas of our work.
  • We have excellent relationships in place with our fundraising agencies. Members of the fundraising team have almost daily contact with the agencies to monitor performance. In addition we hold quarterly review meetings with them to look not only at performance but also any complaints received, how they are dealt with and any supporter feedback that can inform future activity.

Direct mail fundraising

  • Adherence to guidance around the Mailing Preference Service (MPS). As with the telephone preference service, we adhere to current Codes of Practice and guidance set out by the Information Commissioner’s Office which states that if you have an existing relationship with a supporter then you may contact them even if they are registered on the MPS. We receive very few complaints or opt-outs following this contact, which gives us confidence that supporters are happy to be contacted and support in this way.
  • The use of gifts in direct mail (known as enclosures). Enclosures have traditionally been used in direct mail campaigns to recruit new supporters and have been proven to increase the number of people responding to support us. All our direct mail campaigns are to existing supporters and the only enclosures we use are in lottery mailings where address labels are included for use on multiple books of tickets.

Telephone fundraising

  • The use of scripts. As with the majority of charity fundraising our telephone fundraisers use a script to guide their conversation with supporters. They will try to encourage someone to support by telling them about our work and handle objections sensitively. No pressure techniques would ever be condoned by the charity. We also provide training along with further information and updates on our work to ensure they undertake calls in a sensitive and informative way. Telephonists receive regular training and they firmly believe in our cause. All calls are monitored and recorded.
  • Adherence to guidance around the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
  • Cold data. We buy data for our fundraising campaigns to ask people to consider making a regular gift. All this data is selected from people who have agreed to hearing more about Kidney Research UK (known as opt-in). As explicit consent has been given to contact we are adhering to both the Codes of Practice and Information Commissioner’s Office guidance in continuing to contact this data.
  • Warm data. We adhere to current Codes of Practice and guidance set out by the Information Commissioner’s Office which states that if you have an existing relationship with a supporter then you may call them even if they are registered on the TPS. We know that many of our supporters are registered on TPS and yet our opt-out and complaint rates are exceptionally low (less than 0.003%), suggesting that our supporters are happy to hear from us and support in this way.

Raffles and lotteries

We recognise people want to support us in different ways. One method is through purchasing tickets in our raffles or entries in our lotteries. We take our responsibility to our supporters seriously when it comes to gambling. We have rules in place to limit who can take place in our draws and we no longer accept credit cards as a payment for entry. We promote details of how to self-exclude from our gambling products and also make the contact details for GamCare readily available. If you think you, or someone you know, have a problem with gambling - you can call GamCare on their National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) or visit

Face-to-face fundraising

Over the coming weeks and months, you may meet a member of our face-to-face fundraising team who will be working in different areas of the country. 

Face-to-face fundraising is the use of professional fundraisers who engage with members of the public either on the street or by going door-to-door and ask them to donate to a charity or cause. This method of fundraising raises millions of pounds every year for charities.  

Our work in this area is done by a team of professional fundraisers who are trained by us and who are passionate about our work and our mission to end kidney disease. They can have conversations about the work we do with people who want to support research into kidney disease and can answer any questions they may have. 

Our fundraisers aim to make you feel comfortable and will always respect your decision about whether to donate in this way.  

As members of the Fundraising Regulator, the governing body for the charity sector, we must adhere to its Code of Fundraising Practice at all times. 

If, at any time, you feel we or any of the teams who work with us have fallen short of these standards please let us know immediately. 

Our Promise

Our promise is that all our fundraising activity will be conducted in line with the Fundraising Codes of Practice and guidance outlined by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Our priority is to ensure the safeguarding of our relationships with our supporters.

Read our Fundraising Regulator promise.

Reviewed: April 2022

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