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 assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
Donor Bill of 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 acknowledgement and recognition.
To be assured that information about their donations 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.
eDonor Bill of Rights
The “eDonor Bill of Rights” was created to address concerns and challenges arising from Internet charitable giving.
AFP continually works with other philanthropic organizations as well as online service providers to ensure that online donors have greater confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support.
The eDonor Bill of Rights relates to AFP’s long-standing Donor Bill of Rights, created in 1993 by AFP in conjunction with other fundraising and nonprofit groups. The document was developed to ensure donor awareness of the responsibilities that a charity has to its donors, and the expectations that donors should have of charities when making a charitable gift. The AFP Donor Bill of Rights lists ten rights that a donor has—ten best practices that all charities and donors should be always aware of.
Since the creation of the Donor Bill of Rights, the philanthropic landscape has changed dramatically. One critical change has been the growing use of technology to facilitate charitable giving, primarily through the Internet. While the Internet holds great potential as a charitable giving tool, it also creates new challenges—both for the donor and the charity. Because the Internet is a relatively new medium for giving, best practices are still being identified, and many donors and charities are unsure as to their online rights and responsibilities.
Principles of the eDonor Bill of Rights
The eDonor 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.