Fundraising principles, policies and practices
Adopted from the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Code of Ethical Principles and Standards.
AIGA adheres to the highest standards in its approach to fundraising. All interactions with potential and actual donors will be conducted with greatest respect for their generosity and commitment.
Donor’s 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 AIGA as a nonprofit organization, and the programs they are asked to support, AIGA respects donors’ rights:
- To be informed of AIGA’s mission, of the way AIGA intends to use donated resources, and of AIGA’s capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on AIGA’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
- To have access to AIGA’s most recent financial statements.
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. To receive appropriate acknowledgement 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 AIGA or hired solicitors.
- To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that AIGA may intend to share, although AIGA typically does not share or sell its mailing lists, as a matter of policy.
- To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
AIGA materials and other communications addressed to donors and the public will clearly identify the organization and be accurate and truthful.
AIGA understands that charitable solicitations—whether in print, via the Internet, over the phone or in person—are often the only contact a donor has with a charitable organization. Clear and accurate solicitation materials help potential contributors to contact AIGA and obtain information necessary to distinguish this organization as one with a solid history of service to the community from one that may claim a similar name or purpose, but whose fundraising appeal is misleading.
A donor has the right to know the name of anyone soliciting contributions, the legal name and location of AIGA, a clear description of its activities, the intended use of the funds to be raised, a contact for obtaining additional information, and whether the individual requesting the contribution is acting as a volunteer, employee of the organization or hired solicitor. Descriptions of program activities and the financial condition of the organization must be current and accurate, and any references to past activities or events should be dated appropriately. (From time to time AIGA may partner with another nonprofit organization to solicit funds for a specific program. In this case, as with all solicitations, the donor will be provided with the information described above.)
AIGA will clearly indicate in its solicitations how donors may obtain proof of that status. AIGA posts a copy of its IRS letter of determination on its website or provide a copy of the letter to donors who request it. If the solicitation promises any goods or services to the donor in exchange for contributions, the materials should also clearly indicate the portion of the contribution (that is, the value of any goods or services provided) that is not tax-deductible.
Oversight of fundraisers
AIGA will provide appropriate training and supervision of the people soliciting funds on its behalf to ensure that they understand their responsibilities and applicable federal, state and local laws, and do not employ techniques that are coercive, intimidating or intended to harass potential donors
Acknowledgements of charitable contributions
AIGA will provide donors with specific acknowledgements of charitable contributions, in accordance with IRS requirements, as well as information to facilitate the donors’ compliance with tax law requirements.
Compensation of fundraisers
Compensation for fundraising activities should reflect the skill, effort and time expended by the individual or firm on behalf of the charitable organization. Many professional associations of fundraisers prohibit their members from accepting payment for fundraising activities based on a percentage of the amount of charitable income raised or expected to be raised. Basing compensation on a percentage of the money raised can encourage fundraisers to put their own interests ahead of those of the organization or the donor and may lead to inappropriate techniques that jeopardize the organization’s values and reputation and the donor’s trust in the organization. Percentage based compensation may also lead to payments that could be regarded by legal authorities or perceived by the public as “excessive compensation” compared to the actual work conducted. Percentage-based compensation may also be skewed by unexpected or unsolicited gifts received by the charitable organization through no effort of the fundraiser.
A similar logic applies to employees. AIGA may choose to provide bonuses to employees for exceptional work in fundraising, administrative or program activities. If so, the criteria for such bonuses will be clearly based on the quality of the work performed, rather than on a percentage of the funds raised.
AIGA does not compensate internal or external fundraisers based on a commission or a percentage of the amount raised.
Respect for donors’ privacy
AIGA will respect the privacy of individual donors and, except where disclosure is required by law, will not sell or otherwise make available the names and contact information of its donors without providing them an opportunity to opt out of the use of their names.
Preserving the trust and support of donors requires that donor information be handled with respect and confidentiality to the maximum extent permitted by law. AIGA will disclose to donors whether and how their names may be used, and provide all donors, at the time a contribution is made, an easy way to indicate that they do not wish their names or contact information to be shared outside the organization.
AIGA will immediately remove a donor’s name from any lists upon request and will ensure that all donors are provided information about how they may request that their names and contact information not be shared outside the organization.