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A Donor's Bill of Rights

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Glossary

We all share a need to make a difference in society. We give freely of our time, our expertise and our assets with no expectations in return. Or do we? We don’t want items of monetary value in return, but don’t we deserve some level of respectful appreciation? What are some expectations, some basic rights that we have as donors? Consider this bill of rights:

  1. You may expect fundraising professionals to be respectful, considerate and polite at every interaction.
  2. You may expect honesty from the organization to which you give, and that consistency and thoroughness among sources of information characterize honesty.
  3. You may expect that complete information about a proposed gift will be given, including risks and benefits to both you and the charity.
  4. You may expect fundraisers to exercise discretion and courtesy in the gathering of data that will inform the preparation of the gift request and that such requests will be based on the mutual interests of you and the charity, not on presuppositions of gender, age, family or region.
  5. You may expect fundraisers to act as your advocate, retaining both your own best interest and the interest of the charity in the evolving relationship.
  6. You may expect fundraisers to propose gifts in a timely way, based on an evolving relationship of mutual understanding and respect.
  7. You may expect such relationships to continue to be professional even if you decide to delay or reject a gift request.
  8. You may shape the expectations of the gift within the parameters of the law and of the mission of the charity to which the gift has been donated.
  9. You may expect to ask questions of or express concerns to the charity and to receive responses in a timely, honest and courteous manner.
  10. You have the right to experience the joy of giving in your philanthropy.


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 This web page does not provide legal or financial advice, nor is it a comprehensive review of the topic. You should consult your legal and financial advisors and Clarkson University before making or planning your gift. (rev. 5/2014)