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JustGiving: September 2019

Name and type of organisation: JustGiving, a fundraising platform

Fundraising method: Online fundraising

Code themes examined: Complaints handling

Code breach? Yes

The complaint

The complainant said that JustGiving had incorrectly removed Gift Aid from their recent donation. The complainant was concerned that the organisation’s systems were removing Gift Aid from other eligible donations.

What happened?

The complainant raised their concern about the removal of Gift Aid from a donation with JustGiving. JustGiving initially failed to explain why it had removed Gift Aid and how it could be re-applied.

JustGiving told the complainant the different reasons Gift Aid may be removed, and that JustGiving only have 12 hours to amend Gift Aid on donations. JustGiving said the complainant should contact the charity involved to request a refund of the donation, without explaining why.

The complainant stated that they were unhappy with JustGiving’s response as they did not want the donation refunded. The complainant was then advised that Gift Aid was removed as the address on the donation was a business address, which is ineligible for Gift Aid. JustGiving told the complainant that if Gift Aid was removed in error, they should request a refund of their donation from the charity and then resubmit their donation with Gift Aid added.

JustGiving advised us that it notifies donors when its automatic filters remove Gift Aid from donations. The complainant said that they noticed themselves that Gift Aid had been removed from their donation. However JustGiving told us that its systems showed that it had emailed the complainant to inform them of the removal.

JustGiving told us that it recently retrained its Customer Support Team on how to appropriately deal with complaints about Gift Aid removal. However, this training took place after the matters complained about.

Our decision

We found that JustGiving promptly investigated the complaint, however it did not properly respond to the complainant as it failed to initially tell the complainant why Gift Aid had been removed and why they should ask for their donation to be refunded. We also found that JustGiving failed to inform the complainant that they could contact the charity and advise them of their ability to claim Gift Aid on the donation if the charity wished to claim it. For this reason, we found that Just Giving breached the code, as it failed to properly respond to the complaint.

We found that the organisation had not breached the code in relation to learning from complaints handling as it had acted on learning from previous complaints. However we made recommendations about its complaint handling.

We found no evidence that JustGiving inappropriately removed Gift Aid from donations as its automatic filters were approved by HMRC, who undertake yearly checks on the organisation to confirm that it is appropriately applying for Gift Aid.

Recommendation

We recommended that Just Giving reviews the learning from this complaint and considers what action it needs to undertake to improve its complaint handling. In particular, we recommended that JustGiving reviews how it investigates complaints about Gift Aid removal and information provided to complainants.

Outcome

JustGiving confirmed that it accepts our findings and recommendation.