When we talk about donor’s rights, it seems like the conversation often centers around privacy issues. Another popular right is the ability to see the organization’s financial statements. This week there was a court case that will no doubt contribute to legal precedent concerning a portion of the Donor’s Bill of Rights.
Section IV of the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Donor’s Bill of Rights states that donors have the right “To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.” This seems to be obvious, and I dare say that many or most organizations hold this as important in their business dealings. Every once in a while, inadvertently but sometimes on purpose, charities fail to meet the standard. Today’s donors are often personally involved with charities that they support, and information is more readily available with the proliferation of social media and the World Wide Web. Additionally people are living longer now as compared to even 30 years ago. All of this means that if you are not acting ethically, your chances of being caught are at an all-time high.
This article was recently posted and needs to be read by professional staff in every nonprofit organization in the US and abroad. Click here to read the article.
The bottom line is that as fund raisers we have an ethical responsibility to ensure that donor intent is honored. Additionally we are nearing a time when there will be legal precedent to enforce it – and not only in New Jersey.
Have a good weekend,