Governance Policy: Fundraising Standards
Fundraising is an integral component of OUTSERVE-SLDN’s mission and provides a key source of support for its work. Enlarging and strengthening networks of motivated friends who eagerly commit their time, talents and resources to OUTSERVE-SLDN’s mission is at the heart of OUTSERVE-SLDN’s fundraising efforts.
OUTSERVE-SLDN, as a non-profit organization, must conduct its fundraising activities in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws. However, these Standards go beyond what is required by these laws. Based on fundamental values -such as honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, responsibility, and accountability -these Standards describe how OUTSERVE-SLDN manages its fundraising activities and operations.
OUTSERVE-SLDN’s fundraising practices will be consistent with its mission, vision and goals, compatible with its organizational capacity, and respectful of the interests of its current and prospective donors.
OUTSERVE-SLDN Fundraising Standards
1. Truthfulness in OUTSERVE-SLDN Communications: All OUTSERVE-SLDN representations of facts, descriptions of financial condition, and narratives will be complete, truthful and accurate. References to past OUTSERVE-SLDN activities or events will be appropriately identified as such. OUTSERVE-SLDN will make every reasonable effort to avoid any statements, photographs, or any other communication that would tend to create misimpressions or misunderstandings.
OUTSERVE-SLDN solicitations will include a clear and current description of the programs and activities for which funds are being requested.
2. Communications and Donor Expectations: OUTSERVE-SLDN will make every reasonable effort to create realistic donor expectations of what can be accomplished with the donor’s gift or grant.
3. Communications and Donor Intent: All statements made in OUTSERVE-SLDN fundraising appeals about the use of gifts and grants will be honored by OUTSERVE-SLDN. If changed circumstances make that impossible, impractical or undesirable, OUTSERVE-SLDN will communicate with affected donors, if permission for redirection has not already been given. OUTSERVE-SLDN understands that its donors’ intentions are related to both what was communicated in the appeal and to any donor instructions accompanying the gifts or grants. OUTSERVE-SLDN is aware that communications made in fundraising appeals may create legally binding restrictions.
4. OUTSERVE-SLDN Reporting to its donors: As agreed with, or on request from its donors, OUTSERVE-SLDN will provide reports, including financial information, on the projects or activities funded by each donor.
5. OUTSERVE-SLDN Annual Reports: Annual reports will be available to all donors, and will include its vision, mission and goals, an annually-updated description of OUTSERVE-SLDN’s overall programs, activities and accomplishments; a complete list of its Board of Directors; a list of its senior staff; and a summary of its Financial Statements, which are prepared in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and certified by its independent auditors.
6. Accumulation of Funds Raised: In the interest of prudent management, OUTSERVE-SLDN may accumulate funds raised in restricted, reserved or endowment funds. OUTSERVE-SLDN will regularly disclose such accumulations to its donors and potential donors in its Financial Statements.
7. Percentage Compensation for Fundraisers: OUTSERVE-SLDN will not compensate its outside fundraising consultants or its own employees based on a percentage of the grants or donations raised.
8. OUTSERVE-SLDN Control over Solicitors: OUTSERVE-SLDN will make every reasonable effort to exercise adequate control over any Directors, volunteers, staff, consultants, contractors, other organizations, or businesses that are authorized or known to be soliciting contributions on behalf of OUTSERVE-SLDN. All these solicitors will be instructed to fully disclose their relationship with OUTSERVE-SLDN to all prospective donors.
9. OUTSERVE-SLDN Acknowledgment of Grants and Donations: OUTSERVE-SLDN will make every reasonable effort to timely acknowledge all the grants and donations it receives, in compliance with IRS guidelines regarding acknowledgments.
10. Grants and Donations for Donor’s Tax deduction or Benefit: OUTSERVE-SLDN will not accept grants or donations for any donor designated institution or individual, for activities unrelated to OUTSERVE-SLDN’s mission and purposes. OUTSERVE-SLDN will never accept any donations with the sole purpose of providing a tax deduction to any of its donors.
11. Acknowledgment of Gifts in Kind: Property or gifts in kind received by OUTSERVE-SLDN will be acknowledged describing the property or gifts accurately, without a statement of the gift’s market value, in compliance with IRS guidelines. OUTSERVE-SLDN understands that it is the responsibility of the donor to determine the fair market value of the property or gift in kind donated. OUTSERVE-SLDN will inform its donors of IRS reporting requirements for all gifts in kind in excess of $5,000.
12. Acting in the Interest of the Donors: OUTSERVE-SLDN will make every reasonable effort to avoid accepting a gift from or entering into a contract with a prospective donor which would knowingly place a hardship on the donor, or place the donor’s future well-being in jeopardy. OUTSERVE-SLDN solicitations will encourage only voluntary giving, will be free from undue influence or excessive pressure, and will be respectful of the needs and interests of its donors or potential donors. OUTSERVE-SLDN will encourage donors and potential donors to consider the broad interests of their family and other charities, and to use the services of their attorneys, accountants, or other professional advisors before making a final gift decision.
13. Donor Requests: OUTSERVE-SLDN will honor donor requests for confidentiality, anonymity, no future contact or solicitation, and for their names not to be exchanged, rented or sold. OUTSERVE-SLDN will not exchange, rent or sell any donor names with military addresses, unless given express permission by the donor.
14. Registration of Fundraising Consultants: Before engaging any professional solicitor or fundraising consultant, OUTSERVE-SLDN will ascertain that the consultant is appropriately registered with state agencies, where required.
15. Fundraising Expenses: OUTSERVE-SLDN will make every reasonable effort to keep its fundraising expenses at a minimum. In any fiscal year, the proportion of fundraising expenses to total expenses should not exceed 25 %.
16. Acceptance of Gifts: OUTSERVE-SLDN will generally accept donations from individuals, partnerships, corporations, foundations, governmental and inter-governmental agencies, or other entities, as long as OUTSERVE-SLDN considers that they abide by standards consistent with OUTSERVE-SLDN’s mission. From time to time, OUTSERVE-SLDN may, at its sole discretion, determine which donations are not to be accepted. Certain types of gifts need to be reviewed and approved by OUTSERVE-SLDN prior to their being accepted because they could create liabilities or impose special obligations on OUTSERVE-SLDN. The types of gifts requiring review, and the authority for their approval are as follows:
- Gifts of Real Property -land and/or buildings may only be accepted upon approval of the Board of Directors.
- Restricted Gifts -gifts that can only be used for those restricted purposes indicated by the donor, may only be accepted upon approval of the Board of Directors.
- Unusual Gifts -gifts that are out of the ordinary, differing significantly from the amounts or types of gifts that are routinely received by OUTSERVE-SLDN, may only be accepted upon approval of the Executive Director.
- Gifts of Personal Property -such as automobiles, furniture, business equipment, may only be accepted upon approval of the Chief Financial Officer.
- Gifts of Securities -stocks, bonds or other securities may only be accepted upon approval of the Chief Financial Officer.
OUTSERVE-SLDN may elect to refuse gifts of cash, securities, real estate or other items of value if there is reason to believe that such gifts are incompatible with the mission of the organization, conflict with its core values, or would create a financial or administrative burden. The Executive Director may refer questionable gifts to the Board of Directors for guidance on a case-by-case basis. OUTSERVE-SLDN Directors, volunteers, staff and consultants are encouraged to bring to the attention of the Co-Chairmen, the Treasurer, the Executive Director or the Chief Financial Officer any concerns they may have about the appropriateness of OUTSERVE-SLDN acceptance of any gift, or any questions or concerns regarding compliance with these standards.
Adopted October 1, 2005
Re-affirmed March 21, 2010