Donor Complaints Procedure (Europe)

At Mercy Corps we want to provide a high quality donor experience. However, we know that there may be times when we do not meet our own high standards or your expectations. When this does happen we want to hear about it, deal with the situation as quickly as possible and put measures in place to stop it happening again.

We take complaints very seriously and we treat them as an opportunity to develop. This is why we are always very grateful to hear from people who are willing to take the time to help us improve. We always thank people who contact us about their problems, concerns or worries. We will deal with all complaints in accordance with our values and Institute of Fundraising best practice.

This page is intended as a guide for donors who wish to make a complaint specifically about Mercy Corps Europe’s fundraising activities. For information on how to make a complaint about Mercy Corps programmes or other areas of work, please contact us.

We Commit To:

  • Provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use.

  • Make the complaints process and procedure easily available and accessible to the public.

  • Ensure that team members know how to handle complaints.

  • Investigate all complaints in a timely manner.

  • Resolve all complaints wherever possible and repair relationships with those involved.

  • Gather information which helps us to improve our fundraising practice.

  • Handle all complaint information sensitively, sharing information only when necessary and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For more information on our data protection procedures, please see our Privacy Policy.

The Procedure

Making a fundraising complaint in Scotland follows a three stage process. Each of these stages and how they are handled by Mercy Corps Europe are detailed below.

Stage one: How to make a complaint

If you have a complaint about Mercy Corps Europe’s fundraising activities, please contact us in the first instance and we will try to resolve it right away. You can contact us by calling our main office number +44 (0) 131 662 5160 and ask to speak to a member of the Fundraising team.

Alternatively you can email us at:

Or you can write to us at: Mercy Corps Europe, 96/3 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6LX, Scotland, UK

We ask that you give us as much information as possible when you contact us, to help us deal with your complaint quickly. Where relevant, please include:

  • Your contact details (if you require a response).
  • Details of your complaint/concerns.
  • Any materials to support your complaint.

We will always treat you with courtesy and respect, listen to what you say, keep you informed about our progress, provide you with a prompt response and tell you who to go to if you want to escalate your complaint further. Some complaints will require investigation before a response can be made, or you may request a formal response. In these cases, complaints will be registered as a formal complaint and move to stage 2.

From time to time we receive complaints that do not relate directly to Mercy Corps or that we are not in a position to comment on. This can mean not engaging in lengthy debates on issues that are unrelated to Mercy Corps’ work and there may be rare occasions when we choose not to respond to a complaint at all. These include:

  • When a complaint is about something that Mercy Corps has no direct connection to.

  • When someone unreasonably pursues a complaint that we have already responded to. They will be given escalation points but we may choose not to reply again, we will always inform you of our decision to do this.

  • When a complainant is being obviously abusive, prejudiced or offensive in their manner.

  • When a complainant is harassing a staff member.

  • When a complaint is incoherent or illegible.

  • When a complaint has clearly been sent to us and numerous other organisations as part of a bulk mailing or email. In this instance we can decide whether it is necessary for us to reply or not.

  • Mercy Corps cannot respond to complaints made anonymously. However, we will investigate the complaint and use the information to improve in any way that we can.

Stage two: Making a formal complaint

Formal complaints can be made verbally or in writing. They are either complaints which need to be investigated before a response can be made, or complaints which the complainant wishes to be dealt with formally. This may involve escalating your complaint to our Senior Leadership Team and/or Trustees, where appropriate. We will review the complaint and determine whether there is sufficient information to proceed with it and may ask the complainant for further information or clarification.

We keep a record of all comments, complaints and feedback in line with our Privacy Policy and we will use this information anonymously to help us learn and improve our services. We will not use your information for any other purposes and you will not be added to any mailing lists.

Team members who receive formal complaints by phone or in person will:

  • Write down the facts of the complaint.

  • Take the complainant's name, address and telephone number.

  • Note down the relationship of the complainant to Mercy Corps.

  • Tell the complainant that we have a complaints procedure and privacy policy and where to access these.

Mercy Corps will acknowledge any complaint in writing within 5 working days of receipt. An action plan and timeline will be written and recorded for each complaint and, as the complainant, you will receive a named contact at Mercy Corps who you can directly contact within this period. We will investigate your complaint and you will receive a final response, usually within 30 days of receipt.

If we require more than 30 days due to exceptional circumstances (for example a key member of staff is on sick leave) we will notify you in writing. At the end of the investigation, you will receive a report that will explain the outcome and conclusions of the investigation and any action(s) taken as a result of the complaint. At this point we will consider the complaint to be closed unless it is agreed that external assistance is required to resolve the complaint.

Stage three: Escalation of complaint to the Independent Panel

If you feel your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction then you have the right to refer your complaint to the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel (Good Fundraising). Before doing so, it’s important that you’ve followed stages 1 and 2 as the Panel will request details of this in their online complaints form.

You can also contact them by email at or call them on 0808 164 2520.

Our Pledge

We treat all comments and complaints as an opportunity to improve. We are happy to acknowledge the mistakes that we have made, sincerely apologise for them and then try to prevent them from happening again in the future. Thank you for helping us to provide a better service for your, our donors, and for the people your donations support.