Monday, April 13, 2015

Donor Privacy Policies

One of the concerns we hear about most from donors is that their support to one charity they truly want to fund will result in them being inundated with solicitation requests from other charities that they never intended to hear from or fund. A donor who decides to support a charity with their hard earned money should know, up front, as to how their personal information will be handled. Charity Navigator makes that point as clear as day to donors by virtue of our charity ratings.  

Since 2004, our ratings have included an assessment of each charity’s donor privacy policy. More recently, our analysts noticed some policies that were less than 100% clear. Such cases left donors to wonder if their contact information was only protected if they donated online and not if they contributed by mail. To remedy this, we've implemented more stringent donor privacy policy disclosure requirements. Our standards require that charities be crystal clear in regards to all aspects of how they protect their donors' information in order to be eligible for full credit for our privacy metric. 

While some charities may take exception and consider list sharing/selling a common practice that is justified, we do not.  When a donor enters into a funding relationship with a charity, that relationship should be coveted and not taken for granted nor abused.   

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