The Donor Bill of Rights – What Is It and How Does It Apply to Me?

May 24, 2022

In this episode of the NP Local podcast, Jason Cass and Scott Niermann talk about the Donor Bill of Rights, which was created in 1993 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and The Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Nonprofits. 

Learn how to check your organization against these donor rights and expectations as NP Local discusses each point and how it is relevant to any organization today.

Episode Highlights:

  • Scott shares that the Donor Bill of Rights was adopted in 1993 by leading professional organizations in the field of fundraising. (3:30)
  • Scott explains that the Donor Bill of Rights states that the organization’s mission, the way it intends to use its donated resources, and its capacity to use the donations effectively for their intended purpose have to be disclosed. (6:00)
  • Scott shares that another point of the Donor Bill of Rights is to inform donors of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment and fulfill its stewardship responsibilities. (8:28)
  • Scott shares that the donors’ rights include having access to the organization’s most recent financial statements. (12:04)
  • Scott explains that the Donor Bill of Rights also requires that donors receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition. (15:01)
  • Scott discusses confidentiality and a professional relationship, two additional points in the Donor Bill of Rights. (16:39)
  • Scott explains that being informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors is also included in the Donor Bill of Rights. (18:00)
  • Scott shares that the last point of the Donor Bill of Rights is to feel free to ask questions when making a donation and receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers. (19:39)

Key Quotes:

  • “The social world that we live in, social partnerships, being partners in relationships, that’s what I’m trying to say, the relationship is what’s driving everything today.” – Jason Cass
  • “Confidentiality, I think, is not something that is a big problem in the sector. But it needs to be our guard on confidentiality. And that means enforcing it among board and staff.” – Scott Niermann
  • “It’s important that questions are answered, donors are responded to and they get the information they need. As you never know, that question may not be negative towards you or your staff or your organization, it may simply be to help a donor connect dots in their mind.” – Scott Niermann

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