Supporter FAQs

Our fundraising

How much of each £1 donated is spent on fundraising?

We know it is important to all of our generous donors that every penny donated to us counts. In 2022 for every £1 spent on fundraising, we generated £3.21. You can find more information in our Annual reports.

How much do you spend on appeals?

We plan every fundraising appeal very carefully, so on average each warm appeal to our supporters generates three to eight times as much in donations as we spend on the cost of the mailings. These funds go straight to work helping survivors of torture. We quite understand that not all our donors will feel able to respond every time, but we send the appeals and newsletters so you can keep up to date with our work and so survivors of torture have a platform to tell their stories.

Why do you print the newsletter in size A4?

In the past, we have asked our donors what size they would like The Survivor to be issued in. They told us in their feedback that they liked to receive the newsletter in size A4 rather than A5. While we keep costs as low as possible, we care that everyone who chooses to support our work can access our newsletters. Printing in A4 allows us to ensure that all of our supporters are able to read the latest updates – whether they might be older in age, living with a disability or speak English as a second language. 

Communication methods and frequencies

Why do you call supporters by phone?

We will be contacting supporters who have indicated they would be happy to hear from us by phone once a year. We will only contact you if you have given explicit consent to do so, to tell you about how you have helped, how you can further help survivors or to update communication or gift aid details.

We run all our supporters’ phone numbers through the telephone preference service (TPS), so if you have signed up to TPS, we will not call you for marketing reasons unless you have opted in to hear from us by phone as your opt-in overrides the TPS registration. Since 25 May 2018, when data regulations changed, we do not call any Freedom from Torture supporters for marketing reasons unless we have your consent.

For our telemarketing campaigns, we have chosen to work with a company called Return Fundraising. We have chosen Return Fundraising very carefully. Their fundraisers have met our staff, clients and have come in to our London centre to learn all about our charity. They are very invested and local to us. They are members of the Institute of Fundraising and are registered with The Fundraising Regulator. This is the Return Fundraising Promise. We make sure we are happy with the way they are speaking with supporters and follow up any queries immediately.

Why do you mail supporters?

Our biggest source of income is mainly small donations from individual people and we receive much more in voluntary donations from individuals than trusts or grants. We plan every mailing very carefully, so on average each appeal to our supporters generates three to eight times as much in donations as we spend on the cost of the mailing.  These funds go straight to work helping survivors of torture.

We quite understand that not all our donors will feel able to respond to each of the appeals and newsletters we send out, but as each appeal features real stories about the people you help, they are a great way to keep up to date with our work and read stories from survivors themselves.

Two or three times a year, we also send a mailing to people who may not have heard of Freedom from Torture before. This is a larger, crucial investment as each year Freedom from Torture naturally loses supporters as they pass away or can no longer afford to donate. These mail outs to people who have not heard of us before mean we can gain new supporters each year to make sure that Freedom from Torture’s voluntary funds do not drop and we can continue to fund services that help people who have been tortured.

Why do you email supporters?

Emailing supporters is the most cost-effective way of staying in touch, and allows us to link to our website and social media pages to ensure supporters have all the latest updates.

Why do you use third party agencies for fundraising?

Using third party agencies enables us to get the specialist help we need, but cannot afford to keep year round internally. The benefits of using third parties are that we are able to work with specialists and experts for a set time. We do not have internal telemarketing teams or fundraising designers in-house so using a third party means we can dip in and out – only paying for these services when they are needed. By accessing, and paying for, expert advice or services on specific projects we can use funds more effectively, covering what is needed at that time, rather than a year round internal resource.

Why do you use ‘face to face’ fundraisers?

We work closely with our face to face fundraising company, One Sixty, and have partnered up with them to fundraise. We have personally trained One Sixty at Freedom from Torture and have been working with them since 2019. It’s the first time we have chosen to fundraise like this in a very long time so we chose the company very carefully and have a close working relationship with them. 

Why do you send reminder appeals?

Our experience until now has been that reminder letters encourage many supporters to contribute in cases where the donor always intended to donate but simply mislaid our original letter or forgot about it. 

Communication preferences and Privacy

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is a law that we must abide by to make sure supporters personal details are safe, and only used in a way they would expect.

On 25 May 2018 data protection law (GDPR) changed to make sure people have more control over the post, telephone calls and emails they receive.

Freedom from Torture has sent a number of postal campaigns, emails and checked in with supporters by phone to update their communication preferences. It is important that we get up to date preferences from all supporters – or we might lose touch.

The only instance where we will continue to contact supporters without a communication update (consent) is by post to people who have made two positive actions towards Freedom from Torture, one of which is in the past two years. These two positive actions indicate to us that you are still interested hearing about our work. On interpretation of legitimate interest guidelines for postal communications, those could include:

  • Donating (including two regular gift donations)
  • Writing a message of support
  • Signing a petition
  • Taking part in an event
  • Updating communication preferences

For supporters to continue to receive emails, phone calls, or post (if they have not made a positive contribution in the past 24 months) they need to contact Freedom from Torture to ‘opt in’.

We will be contacting our supporters again in cycles, in order to ask for fresh and updated consent for phone calls and emails. However, if you would like to give this consent before then, please do get in touch with us so we can contact you by these means again.

If you would like more information about GDPR and your rights, please get in touch with our Supporter Care Team on 020 7697 7788 or [email protected]

If you would like more information about GDPR, please read our Privacy policy

Do you share my data?

We do not share any data with third parties for marketing purposes. Our privacy policy can be found here.


I’d like to change my regular gift or start a regular gift

If you would like to make a change to your regular gift, please contact our Supporter Experience Team on 020 7697 7788 or [email protected]

We just need to know the new amount you would like to give and the date you would like this to be effective from. We can also help with setting up a new regular gift; your chosen amount can be taken at the beginning, middle or end of the month. It can be monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually.

If you need to make any changes to your Standing Order, please get in touch with your bank directly as we are unable to make any changes to Standing Orders. You are able to amend or cancel a Standing Order when you like through your bank.

I would like to make a donation via bank transfer

Thank you so much for your support. If you would like to send us your funds via a bank transfer (BACs), just provide your bank our bank details below:

  • Bank:   
    • NatWest           
      • Huntingdon Branch
      • 92 High Street
      • Huntingdon
      • PE29 3DT 
  • Sort code: 60-11-30
  • Account number: 04877608
  • IBAN: GB03NWBK60113004877608
  • Swift ref: NWBKGB2L

So that we can track your transfer and thank you for your support, please include your name and post code as payment reference. Alternatively, you can email us on [email protected] and inform us of when you made the donation.

Can I make an oral Gift Aid declaration?

We understand in some cases it is easier for donors to provide a Gift Aid declaration verbally, e.g. when making a donation over the phone. Verbal declarations include the same information as hand-written or online declarations. We will send or give you a written confirmation of a verbal declaration. This will include the same information as hand-written or online declarations.

Please contact our Supporter Experience Team on 020 7697 7788 or [email protected]

Volunteering and Research

I’d like to volunteer

We have volunteering opportunities in throughout the year to help us with one-off or peak activities, projects or events for which we could do with short-term support and expertise. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please keep an eye on our vacancies pages as we advertise these opportunities there when they are available. Our vacancies can be found on our Jobs and volunteering page.

Carrying out research

Freedom from Torture is committed to supporting research and learning in the fields of torture rehabilitation, legal protection for torture survivors and accountability for torture. To this end, we welcome research proposals within these areas of interest.

Our multi-disciplinary Research and Ethics Committee will review all proposals for research involving Freedom from Torture staff, clients or client data, or other forms of research collaboration with the organisation, and the Committee must approve proposals before the research can proceed.

Our priority is to support research that will further the strategic aims of the organisation and that is in the interests of torture survivors. We will therefore carefully consider proposals with this in mind. We will also consider the quality and appropriateness of the proposed research and methodology, as well as research ethics and resource implications for the organisation.

Please see our guidelines for evaluating research proposals.

About Freedom from Torture

What is the difference between Freedom from Torture and other organisations that focus on issues related to torture?

The main difference is that we help people who have been tortured through practical and therapeutic work throughout our UK centres. We use the evidence we collect from seeing people, face to face to build reports that support our campaigning work, to stop torture in other countries and highlight the problems that survivors face when they are here in the UK.

Can’t torture survivors get the help they need from the NHS and social services?

The NHS often refers survivors to us and other organisations because of the high level of specialist care and knowledge we can offer to meet such complex needs. Torture survivors need time – sometimes it takes weeks, or even months, for them to find the courage to talk about what has happened – we can be here for them. It has taken more than 30 years for us to amass the expert knowledge that we now share through training staff in other organisations and agencies, to improve care and support. Working with survivors of torture requires multi-cultural knowledge and appropriate training to address the complex and diverse needs of each individual. Because of the holistic services we offer, we are able to help each person as a whole, taking into account how their medical, emotional and practical needs are interlinked.

How has the charity grown?

Over the past 35 years we are happy that we have been able help more and more people across the UK. With your help, we have opened five centres across the UK and sent out outreach staff to people who were travelling hours to our centres. Sadly, though, we still have to turn one in three people away because we simply do not have the capacity. 

Our aim is to help every survivor who needs us, and with your help, we really hope we can do that.

Last updated: March 2024