Not to Be Indelicate, but …
With advancements in search-engine caching technology — namely Google’s — self-searching can unearth cached pages of VolunteerMatch.org containing people’s names, and organizations they once had been interested in.
“Typically, the individual had forgotten they’d opted-in to list their name publicly on our site and subsequently asked that we remove them,” she says. “To prevent this from occurring in the future and to safeguard users’ privacy, we’ve removed this feature from our site.”
Do it for the donors
“We feel our policy communicates to users that we are committed to safeguarding their private, personal information, which in turn strengthens the trust they feel in us and what we do,” she says.
When President Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 — requiring financial institutions to protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of consumer information — fundraisers scratched their heads, wondering what, precisely, constitutes a “financial institution.” The Federal Trade Commission noted in its analysis that “nothing in the definition of a ‘financial institution’ excludes nonprofit entities,” opening the floodgates for subjective interpretation as to whether a charity is “substantially engaged in activities ... financial in nature.”
This has complicated efforts of planned-giving fundraisers who foster trust relationships. The FTC states that when a financial institution serves as a trustee of a trust, neither the grantor nor the beneficiary is a consumer or customer under the rule. The trust itself is the institution’s customer, so the rule doesn’t apply because the trust is not an “individual.” Thus, nonprofits that meet the definition of a financial institution need not send disclosure notices to donors and beneficiaries of charitable trusts.