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Principles of the eDonor Bill of Rights

The "eDonor Bill of Rights" was created to address concerns and challenges arising from Internet charitable giving.

AFP continually works with other philanthropic organizations as well as online service providers to ensure that online donors have greater confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support.

The eDonor Bill of Rights relates to AFP's long-standing Donor Bill of Rights, created in 1993 by AFP in conjunction with other fundraising and nonprofit groups. The document was developed to ensure donor awareness of the responsibilities that a charity has to its donors, and the expectations that donors should have of charities when making a charitable gift. The AFP Donor Bill of Rights lists ten rights that a donor has—ten best practices that all charities and donors should be always aware of.

Since the creation of the Donor Bill of Rights, the philanthropic landscape has changed dramatically. One critical change has been the growing use of technology to facilitate charitable giving, primarily through the Internet. While the Internet holds great potential as a charitable giving tool, it also creates new challenges—both for the donor and the charity. Because the Internet is a relatively new medium for giving, best practices are still being identified, and many donors and charities are unsure as to their online rights and responsibilities.

Principles of the eDonor Bill of Rights

The eDonor Bill of Rights is intended to complement the original document and provide further and more detailed guidance for the new world of online giving. In addition to the rights outlined in the Donor Bill of Rights, online donors should demand the following of their online solicitors:

  • To be clearly and immediately informed of the organization's name, identity, nonprofit or for-profit status, its mission, and purpose when first accessing the organization's website.
  • To have easy and clear access to alternative contact information other than through the website or email.
  • To be assured that all third-party logos, trademarks, trustmarks and other identifying, sponsoring, and/or endorsing symbols displayed on the website are accurate, justified, up-to-date, and clearly explained.
  • To be informed of whether or not a contribution entitles the donor to a tax deduction, and of all limits on such deduction based on applicable laws.
  • To be assured that all online transactions and contributions occur through a safe, private, and secure system that protects the donor's personal information.
  • To be clearly informed if a contribution goes directly to the intended charity, or is held by or transferred through a third party.
  • To have easy and clear access to an organization's privacy policy posted on its website and be clearly and unambiguously informed about what information an organization is gathering about the donor and how that information will be used.
  • To be clearly informed of opportunities to opt out of data lists that are sold, shared, rented, or transferred to other organizations.
  • To not receive unsolicited communications or solicitations unless the donor has "opted in" to receive such materials.



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