August 15, 2008, Newsletter Issue #127: You have the Right to Information

Tip of the Week

Charity rating organizations seek to protect donors' right to information (including the right to be informed of the organization's mission and how the organization intends to use donated resources, and the right to know if the organization has the capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes).

You also have the right to be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities. You should:

Be able to access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
Be assured that the gifts you give will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
Receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition for gifts your give.

As a donor, you should be assured that information about your donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law, and you should expect that all your giving relationships will be professional. You also have the right to know whether those soliciting your donation are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors, and you have the right to ask for your name to be removed from mailing lists that will be shared.

*Most importantly and most generally, you, as a donor, should feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

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