DMA Nonprofit Federation Announces New Fundraising Principles
- The nonprofit organization must always - both by terms of the agreement and in practice - be in control of the program, message delivery, and the collection of funds.
- The nonprofit must always be in control of, and have immediate access to, all donor names and contact information generated from efforts on its behalf. There should be clear understanding of whether and how the commercial entity will use the donor names generated from campaigns.
- A nonprofit should avoid all actual and perceived conflict of interest between nonprofit/client and partner/vendor. This includes organizational conflicts of interest, as well as those that may exist for any staff or board member. For example, a principal within the vendor company should not also serve on the nonprofit organization's board of directors.
- A contract needs to include a clearly defined, reasonable payment schedule for services and materials to avoid real or perceived conflict of interest. A conflict occurs when proceeds are tied to payment terms and the beneficiary of such proceeds (donations) is not in fact the nonprofit as the fundraising appeal states, but is the vendor.
- It is incumbent upon the nonprofit to understand contract terms before signing an agreement - including payment requirements - and ensure contract terms will not hinder the nonprofit's ability to execute and further advance the mission of the organization.
- A commercial entity partnering with a nonprofit organization should not knowingly or carelessly hurt or endanger the financial health and/or the good work or good reputation of the organization. For example, a savvy and unscrupulous vendor should not take advantage of inexperienced staff at a nonprofit to enter into what would be an ill-advised agreement if adequate legal and fundraising marketplace advice were brought to bear.
- The commercial partner should meet all federal and state requirements for working with nonprofits on fundraising, and all required filings should be complete and up-to-date.
The DMANF will host ethics compliance webinars and training for its members on the Fundraising Principles in the coming months to ensure compliance, and members will be asked to adhere to these standards in addition to DMA's current Ethical Guidelines. For questions or comments, please contact DMANF General Counsel Senny Boone at SBoone@the-dma.org.
The DMA Nonprofit Federation is: