Implementing Transparency and Donor Privacy

For a nonprofit, transparency is critical for trust, support, loyalty, and long-term sustainability. This means financial accountability, openness about mission and planes, and a holistic view of the organization.

Transparency also means that a donor’s rights are clearly informed. An organization’s internal work is directly related to the support it externally receives; therefore, nonprofits  should give priority to this crucial segment of information to communicate with prospective and existing donors and supporters.

Nonprofit organizations can implement the following Privacy and Donor Policy:

  • Fundraising will be truthful and accurately described.
  • Donations will be spent in accordance with the donor’s intent.
  • Donors will receive prompt, forthright answers to questions.
  • Donors have the right to be informed of the organization’s mission and purpose.
  • Fundraising will respect the dignity and privacy of those who benefit from the organization’s activities.
  • Donors will receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition for their gift.
  • The organization will respect the donor’s requests to remain anonymous.
  • Upon request, donors are entitled to promptly receive the organization’s most recent stewardship report and proof of 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt status.
  • Donors will have the opportunity to have their names deleted from mailing and fundraising solicitations. Their opt out request will be honored promptly.
  • The organization will respect donors’ privacy by not sharing, selling, or renting names and personal information.
  • Donors can expect that all relationships with individuals representing the organization will be professional in nature and that they will be treated with respect, compassion and dignity.

In today’s world, where the majority of transactions take place online or even through social media, it is imperative to remind donors why your non-profit is collecting the information it may need. Here are some additional guidelines that your nonprofit organization may implement for donor privacy:

  1.  Informing the donor that their information is confidential, and that your organization does not sell to or share donor information with anyone, including partners and affiliates.
  2. Informing the donor that your organization uses the information to accept and process gifts, and providing the donor with the option to receive updates such as mailings and newsletters.
  3. Informing the donor of the type of information that is gathered: name, address, credit card or payment method information, to properly process gift transactions, and that it is protected through a trusted solution for online security.

Informing donors of their rights ensures them that their monetary gifts are utilized with respect and gratitude. This also empowers donors in feeling that their giving is in their control, and provides them with autonomy regarding the personal information they may share. Philanthropy merits loyalty and dedication, and this is where non-profits are to uphold their end by honoring donor’s rights with integrity and compassion.


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