Two women receive thermal blankets as part of UNHCR's winter assistance in Lebanon.

1. Policy Focus

The purpose of this policy is to outline Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR’s policy on refunds.

2. Principles

Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) and complies with FINZ’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (

Application of this policy should reflect the following principles:

  • A commitment to excellence in fundraising and quality donor service

  • A respect for our legal and regulatory obligations

  • A commitment to fairness and equity

3. Implementation

Aotearoa New Zealand will consider refunds on donations on a case-by-case basis and at our sole discretion.

When a request for a refund is received, an assessment of the reason given for the refund request will be undertaken by the Head of Donor Care and IT or their delegate. The following reasons will usually be considered in favour of the donor:

  • An error has been made by Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR. Should an error be made by Aotearoa New Zealand, its agencies or financial institution(s), full refunds will be made immediately upon notification of the error and all costs will be borne by Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR.

  • A donor's banking details are fraudulently obtained and used;

  • Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR has received a donor's details in error;

  • A donation has been made by a person in vulnerable circumstances;

  • A donor has previously requested that regular debits be cancelled, however the debits have continued. The refund will be to the maximum of the last debit amount unless a donor can provide proof of the original cancellation request;

  • Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR may refund on grounds of financial hardship – however this will be limited to the maximum of the last debit amount.

The following reasons will not usually be grounds for a refund to be given:

  • Change of mind on donation. Once you have donated to Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR we cannot give refunds if you change your mind. For this reason we ask that you make your decision to donate to us carefully.

  • Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR is under no obligation to give a refund for a donation if an error has been made on the donor’s part, but will endeavour to ensure that any genuine errors (such as the amount donated) are rectified.

Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR is a non-profit organisation and reserves the right to deduct any bank or transaction charges for any refund processed onto the donor.

In all instances Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR will not refund past the previous calendar year and/or if the funds have already been remitted overseas, unless there are special circumstances that are agreed with the Head of Donor Care and IT.

Where there are special circumstances and Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR has agreed to refund donations from a prior tax year the donor will be asked to confirm in writing that they have not claimed these donations on their tax returns. Where the requested refund is large enough it is at the discretion of the refund approver, to request that this confirmation be provided via a Statutory Declaration.

If a donor is not satisfied with the outcome of the refund request , the Head of Donor Care and IT will refer the issue to the Chief Operating Officer for a review of the decision. If the issue is still not resolved to the satisfaction of a donor, the Chief Operating Officer will refer the issue to the CEO. Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR may, depending on the nature of the complaint, also utilise other resources, both internal and external, to assist in the resolution of the issue. However in all cases every effort will be undertaken to resolve the issue internally.

If it is agreed that a refund is to be made a donor will be refunded within ten working days of the decision and will be returned to the bank account or credit card originally debited (if the account or credit card is closed, the refund will be by cheque).

Refund Requests

All requests for refunds must be made in writing and forwarded as follows. (This includes direct bank requests):

Email: [email protected]

Mail: Head of Donor Care and IT
Aotearoa New Zealand for UNHCR
PO Box 302324 North Harbour Auckland 0751 NEW ZEALAND

The request should include the donor’s full name as it appears in our records, Donor ID (if known), full mailing address and phone number, the details of the initial and subsequent donations including the date/s, amount/s, the receipt number/s and the reasons and circumstances supporting the refund request.

Should the refund be approved, any original receipt(s) issued immediately becomes void and invalid and cannot be used to obtain a tax credit with the Department of Inland Revenue. A new receipt will be issued where applicable.

It is the donor’s responsibility to submit only correct receipts to the Department of Inland Revenue.