Donor Bill of Rights
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
- To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
- To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
- To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
- To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
- To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
- To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
- To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
- To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
Principles of the E-Donor Bill of Rights
The E-Donor Bill of Rights is intended to complement the original document and provide further and more detailed guidance for the new world of online giving. In addition to the rights outlined in the Donor Bill of Rights, online donors should demand the following of their online solicitors:
- To be clearly and immediately informed of the organization's name, identity, nonprofit or for-profit status, its mission, and purpose when first accessing the organization's website.
- To have easy and clear access to alternative contact information other than through the website or email.
- To be assured that all third-party logos, trademarks, trustmarks and other identifying, sponsoring, and/or endorsing symbols displayed on the website are accurate, justified, up-to-date, and clearly explained.
- To be informed of whether or not a contribution entitles the donor to a tax deduction, and of all limits on such deduction based on applicable laws.
- To be assured that all online transactions and contributions occur through a safe, private, and secure system that protects the donor's personal information.
- To be clearly informed if a contribution goes directly to the intended charity, or is held by or transferred through a third party.
- To be clearly informed of opportunities to opt out of data lists that are sold, shared, rented, or transferred to other organizations.
- To not receive unsolicited communications or solicitations unless the donor has "opted in" to receive such materials.
Ethical standards and principles are the foundation for maintaining donor and public trust. AFP provides a self-governed process for addressing ethical concerns and the only enforceable code of ethics in the fundraising profession.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals believes that ethical behavior fosters the development and growth of fundraising professionals and the fundraising profession and enhances philanthropy and volunteerism. AFP Members recognize their responsibility to ethically generate or support ethical generation of philanthropic support. Violation of the standards may subject the member to disciplinary sanctions as provided in the AFP Ethics Enforcement Procedures. AFP members, both individual and business, agree to abide (and ensure, to the best of their ability, that all members of their staff abide) by the AFP standards.
Learn more about AFP's Code of Ethics.