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Donor Bill of Rights

This Bill of Rights for charitable givers was developed by the following four industry experts: American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, National Society of Fund Raising Executives. It is industry-accepted and all quality charities should subscribe to the beliefs espoused here.

"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 that they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers."

Accountability Policy

The Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province and its Advancement Office in particular adhere to an accountability policy put forth by the National Council of Catholic Bishops and furthered by the National Catholic Development Conference.

The very nature of religious fund raising places the fundraisers, viewed here particularly as the responsible religious organizations seeking the funds, in special relationships of accountability: to God in whose name they ask, to the Church whom they represent, to those whom they serve and to the benefactors whose partners they are in this apostolic work. The relationship between fundraiser and benefactor goes far beyond the transfer of money. The fundraiser must recognize that giving as an expression of religion has a sacramental nature and is in itself an apostolic activity. As every person is accountable to God for his or her stewardship, fundraisers are accountable to the donor for the disposition of monies received. As a first step, this accountability demands that funds be used for the causes promoted, always respecting the specified wishes of the donor. Furthermore, fundraisers should make available to donors an appropriate report of significant financial aspects and the apostolic dimensions of the endeavor to which they have contributed.

Accountability Guidelines

  1. Accountability requires the fundraiser to provide timely reports on the extent to which promises expressed or implied in the solicitation of funds have been fulfilled.
  2. Fund-raising reports should be prepared in scope and design to meet the particular concerns of those to whom reports are due: namely, the governing body and membership of the fundraising organization itself, religious authorities who approved and must monitor the fund-raising effort, donors to the particular organization and the giving public at large, and those who are beneficiaries of the funds given.
  3. Fund-raising reports should provide both financial information and a review of the apostolic work for which the funds were raised. The availability of these reports to benefactors on a regular basis or on reasonable request should be publicized.
  4. Fund-raising organizations should provide their governing bodies with an annual audit prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and, where size warrants, by a certified public accountant.
  5. All financial reports of a fundraiser should be consistent with the annual audit. At minimum, a fundraiser's report, regardless of scope, should set forth the amount of money collected, the cost of conducting the fund-raising effort, and the amount and use of the funds disbursed.
  6. Donations should be acknowledged with promptness; reasonable requests from donors for information about their particular gift should be met.

Any questions about the application of this statement on accountability should be directed to Mr. John Fitzpatrick, Director of Advancement. He may be reached at 800.325.9924. He may also be contacted via email at jfitzpatrick@jesuits.org.