In order to fund their operational and program costs and reach their objectives, most Chambers raise funds from outside their organization, via seeking voluntary financial support from foundations, corporations, individual donors, and government agencies. However, such financial support is not simply the movement of money from these sources to the Chamber. It is a two-way street, involving value for and obligations to the donor. As a recipient of such funds, it is important that the Chamber be open and transparent, be accountable to the donor, use the funds responsibly and according to the intent of the donor, and allow the funding individuals and organizations to be able to have insight into the project at all times. It is important that the fundraising activity also be consistent with the mission of the Chamber.
A. General Fundraising Principles
1. GOVERNING BODY
The governing body should be very active in the fundraising effort, including being active in solicitations and in making individual contributions.
2. CONSISTENCY WITH MISSION
The organization shall only accept funding that is consistent with its mission, does not compromise its core principles, and does not restrict its ability to address relevant issues freely, thoroughly, and objectively.
The organization must be truthful in all matters relating to the raising of funds and their use.
4. MISSION PRIORITY
Programs shall be designed to meet the mission of the Chamber and never designed simply to meet the needs of a funding source.
5. UNETHICAL ACTIONS
The organization must not tolerate any unethical activities such as double funding for one project, diversion of dedicated funds to uses other than the project for which funds were approved, or overstatement of achievements.
1. SOLICITATION MATERIALS
The organization shall be careful to ensure that all solicitation and promotional materials are accurate, and that they clearly and truthfully present the Chamber, its mission, and its programs. All solicitations are to correctly reflect the Chamber’s planned use of the solicited funds, and fundraising solicitations shall only make claims that the organization can fulfill. There shall not be any exaggerations of fact or material omissions, nor any communication or images that would create a false or misleading impression.
2. TAX BENEFITS
The organization shall ensure that donors receive informed, accurate, and ethical information regarding the tax implications of potential gifts.
3. FUNDRAISING PRINCIPLES
Fundraising shall be for the purpose of the Chamber’s mission, and free of coercion, improper motive, inappropriate conduct, unreasonable reward, or personal inurement.
4. EXCESS FUNDS
When funding for a particular purpose is invited from the public, there shall be a plan for handling any excess funds, and, where appropriate, the appeal should include information on how any excess funds will be used.
5. COMPENSATION TO FUNDRAISERS
The organization shall not provide compensation to fundraisers that is based on a percentage of charitable contributions raised or expected to be raised, nor should it provide a finder’s fee. Percentage-based compensation can be an impediment to keeping the donor’s and Chamber’s best interests primary, and may foster unethical behavior or inappropriate conduct on the part of the fundraiser. It likewise can be a hindrance toward maintaining a volunteer spirit and keeping the mission of the NGO at the forefront, and may offer reward without merit in the case of a large donation that may be the product of many individuals. The organization may provide compensation based on skill, effort and time expended, and performance-based compensation, such as bonuses, provided such bonuses are in according with prevailing practices of the NGO and not based on a percentage of charitable contributions raised.
6. SALES PROMOTIONS
Fundraising promotions involving the sale of products or services shall indicate the duration of the campaign, and the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the Chamber or program.
7. PERCENTAGE OF FUNDRAISING COSTS
The costs involved in fundraising shall be reasonable relative to the revenue generated. Over the course of a number of years, the Chamber’s average expenditure on fundraising activities should be one-third or less of the amount of revenue generated from these activities, and ideally fundraising costs should be less than 25% of fundraising income. An organization that does not meet this ceiling of 33 1/3% (fundraising costs/fundraising revenue) over a five-year period should demonstrate that it is progressing toward this goal or explain why its fundraising costs are reasonable (such as the higher fundraising costs of a newly-created organization, or unique donor, social or political factors).
8. INFORMATION ON SOLICITORS
The Chamber shall have policies in place to protect the donor’s right to be informed whether the solicitors are paid staff, volunteers, or agents of the Chamber.
C. Use of Funds
1. USE OF CONTRIBUTIONS
The organization shall ensure that contributions are used as promised or implied in fundraising appeals or for the purposes intended by the donors.
2. GRANT COMMITMENT
When the organization accepts a grant, it is entering into a contract to carry out the program activities in an agreed-upon manner, and has an ethical and legal responsibility to honor that commitment.
3. DONOR CONSENT FOR CHANGES
The organization may alter the conditions of a gift or grant only by obtaining explicit consent by the donor.
4. EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE USE
The organization shall ensure efficient and effective use of grants and charitable contributions.
1. TRACKING EXPENDITURES
The organization shall set up an organized system to track grant expenditures.
2. TIMELY REPORTS
The organization shall produce timely reports on the use and management of funds.
3. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Financial statements regarding donations shall be available upon request by the donor and interested parties.
E. Relationship with Donor
1. DONOR RELATIONSHIP
The directors, management, staff and volunteers of the organization shall not exploit any relationship with a donor or prospective donor for personal benefit or the benefit of any relative, friend, associate, colleague, and so forth.
Privileged or confidential information regarding the donor or donation must not be disclosed to unauthorized parties.
3. DONOR PRIVACY
A donor’s privacy shall be respected and an Chamber must safeguard any confidential information regarding the donor or the gift. Donors are to have the opportunity to remain anonymous, and to not have their names added to any lists that are sold, rented or given to others, unless the donor has had an opportunity to approve such lists or have their names removed.
5. UNETHICAL SOLICITATIONS
The Chamber or its agents must not use excessive pressure, coercion, undue influence or other unethical means in their solicitations.