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AFP's Donor's Bill of Rights is a Standard of Excellence for Charities

Love Your Country, Love Your Fellow Man Giving is patriotic.  The expression of “Love of Mankind,” through philanthropy is such a precious part of our expression and our culture as a Nation, that it cannot be undervalued nor overstated. I think the Association of Fundraising Professionals, (AFP) Donors Bill of Rights eloquently and thoroughly describes the very high standard to which every charity should reach. Please read the Donor’s Bill of Rights, and if you are involved with any charity as a staff member, board, or even as a donor, please share this column with them.

AFP 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 assure 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:
I. 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. II. 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. III. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements. IV. To be assured that their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. V. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition. VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law. VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature. VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization, or hired solicitors. IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share. X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers. These are the ideals to which I have subscribed throughout my career and the ideals to which the Community Foundation of Western Nevada adheres.  We additionally look for this level of professionalism when conducting due diligence of charities that receive grants from the Foundation. All gifts, large and small deserve to be properly stewarded, and all donors, large and small, deserve to have their donor rights respected and fulfilled.  If you would like help with your philanthropy, now or through your estate, to ensure that your charitable gifts are used as you intend, by charities who adhere to the highest standards, please give me a call. Chris Askin, President, and CEO Connecting people who care with causes that matter