Complaints Policy and Procedure
1. Policy Statement
Leeds Community Foundation (LCF) sees concerns and complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has raised the concern or complaint in the first instance.
The aim of this policy is to:
- Provide a fair procedure which is clear and easy to use
- Ensure everyone at LCF knows what the procedures are
- To make sure all concerns and complaints are dealt with fairly, consistently and in a timely manner
- To make sure that concerns and complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that strong relationships are maintained – To gather information which helps us to improve what we do
This policy does not cover concerns raised or complaints made by staff, who should refer to LCF’s Discipline and Grievance policies.
2. Definition of a Concern or Complaint
A concern is when someone is worried, troubled or unhappy about a decision or a situation, or has something that they would like to raise, informally, with LCF. A complaint is a more formal expression of dissatisfaction or discontent.
They may come from grant applicants, clients, donors, partner organisations or individuals from local communities. They can be received verbally (in person or by phone), by email or in writing.
All information received during a concern or a complaint will be handled sensitively, telling only those people who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements. Please see our data protection and privacy policies for further details.
Overall responsibility for adherence to this policy and its implementation lies with LCF’s Chief Executive and Senior Leadership Team (SLT).
5. Concerns Procedure
If someone has something they would like to raise with LCF informally, this should be done by phone or email. This may be something directly connected with the individual or organisation that are raising the concern and their links with LCF. Alternatively someone might want to inform us about a third party individual or an organisation. Examples might include: if you are unhappy about the results of a panel; if you have seen or heard something that you think we need to be alerted to; if something has been published or produced by or about LCF that you would like to draw our attention to.
A concern raised in this way is not treated as part of our formal complaints procedure. Accordingly it will not be formally logged or monitored but we will take whatever appropriate action we deem necessary to try to alleviate your concern(s). If a concern needs to be escalated into a formal complaint, then this will be discussed with the person or organisation that has raised the concern, and will then follow the procedures detailed below.
6. Complaints Procedure
This relates to a complaint raised about any aspect of our service. You are encouraged to raise this informally, in the first instance, with the member of staff concerned or a member of the SLT.
If you are not sure about who to contact, please ring 0113 242 2426 or email email@example.com. All staff that receive a complaint will record it, and the response, and will notify their line manager.
If the matter is not resolved informally, complaints should be set out in writing (letter or email) and addressed to the Senior Leadership Team at Leeds Community Foundation, 51a St Paul’s Street, Leeds, LS1 2TE or firstname.lastname@example.org. To help us deal with your complaint appropriately, your letter or email should include:
- What the complaint is about
- Member(s) of staff or any other people involved
- When the issue you are complaining about occurred and if it is still happening
- Whether you have tried to resolve your complaint informally by speaking to anyone at Leeds Community Foundation before making a formal complaint
- What you would ideally like to see happen as a result of your complaint
- Any suggestions you may have on how we could improve our methods that would help overcome the problem(s) you have identified
How a complaint will be dealt with
- Your letter or email will be acknowledged by a member of our SLT within 7 days of receiving it. You will be advised who in the SLT is dealing with your complaint.
- The person responsible will investigate the complaint. During this process we may contact you for more supporting information or evidence.
- We will respond within 28 days of first receiving the complaint. We will inform you of any action taken or recommendations for further action. If it is not possible to provide a full response within this time, you will be advised of this, and an interim response will be given including details of action still to be taken.
- All written complaints received, together with a copy of the response to the person or organisation who complained, will be notified to the Chair of the Resources & Governance Committee. They may determine that the nature of the complaint is such that the LCF board of trustees also need to be notified.
- Complaints will be recorded and monitored (in accordance with data protection regulations), and information from this will be fed into our internal planning, as appropriate, so as to enable us to improve our systems and processes.
Escalation of a complaint
- If the person or organisation complaining is not satisfied with the response, they may appeal in writing to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
- If the complaint involves the Chief Executive, the complainant should write initially directly to the Chair, marking any correspondence “Private and Confidential.”
- The Chair will acknowledge receipt of the letter within 7 days. They, or another member of the Board acting on their behalf, will carry out an investigation.
- The Chair will produce a decision within 28 working days of receiving the letter. They will notify the complainant of the decision and the reasoning behind it. The Chair’s decision is final.
- We have signed up to the Fundraising Regulator’s Fundraising Promise. If your complaint is regarding our fundraising practices and you feel our response is unsatisfactory, you can contact the Fundraising Regulator by using their online complaints form, by writing to them, or by calling them on 0300 999 3407.
This policy and procedure document was accepted by the trustees at its meeting on 23rd November 2017. It will be reviewed every three years.