Donor Confidentiality Policy


The Manatee Community Foundation recognizes that the operation of the Foundation requires the maintenance and management of extensive donor and prospect records. Donor records often contain sensitive information that has been shared with or developed by the Foundation staff on a confidential basis. “Records” means all files, including electronic data, containing information on donors or prospective donors to the Foundation.

Donors and prospects are frequently attracted to the Community Foundation on the basis of its ability to assure temporary or permanent anonymity. The purpose of this policy is to state the position of the Foundation on donor confidentiality and donor anonymity.


Confidentiality of Records

The Executive Director shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of donor and prospect records and will ensure that all staff have clear direction regarding the confidentiality of records through the establishment of appropriate operating procedures. He/she may, in his/her discretion, make all or part of any record available to staff members or volunteers if essential to them in executing their responsibilities. Disclosure decisions will honor the wishes of donors related to disclosure unless a larger legal issue is related.

To carry out its responsibilities, the Board of Directors may need to review donor/prospect records. All directors shall respect the Foundation’s significant interest in protecting the sensitive nature of those records and shall maintain these policies for donor confidentiality.

The Foundation’s auditors are authorized to review donor and prospect records as required for the purposes for which they are engaged.

Fund agreements are considered “strictly confidential information” and are not public documents. Particulars of a fund document will not be shared with the general public or with fund recipients unless the donor has granted permission to do this or unless these details are essential to be shared in order for the fund to be administered as desired by the donor.

Fund Representatives:

The donor or donors who sign the founding documents are the Fund Representatives. The CEO of a nonprofit agency that has an agency endowment is the fund representative. A donor may petition the Community Foundation in writing to designate another fund representative or representatives. Previously designated successive generation donor advisors will be fund representatives once they receive donor privilege upon the death of a donor.

Only Fund Representatives are authorized to receive fund statements of information concerning activities of the fund. The Community Foundation will provide the chief financial officer of a nonprofit agency information about their named endowment. Release of fund information to auditors will be done only upon written request of the Fund Representative. For memorial funds, the family will designate a Fund Representative.

For unrestricted, field or interest, administrative endowment or other funds created by the Board of the Community Foundation, it will be the Community Foundation’s discretion to designate others as Fund Representatives.

Publication of Donor Names

The names of all individual donors will be listed in the Foundation’s annual report and/or in similar public relations communications. Exceptions will be made for any donor who specifically requests anonymity.

The Foundation will not publish the specific amount of any donor’s gift without the permission of the donor. Donors making gifts to the Foundation by bequest or other testamentary device are deemed to have granted such permission.

Donors should be aware that it is the Foundation’s policy, from time to time, to publish the current market value of its funds from which a reader may be able to determine the approximate size of a donor’s gift.

Honor/Memorial Gifts

The names of donors of memorial or honor gifts may be released to the honoree, next of kin, or appropriate member of the immediate family, unless otherwise specified by the donor.

Gift amounts are not to be released without express consent of the donor.

Anonymous Gifts

The Executive Director is authorized to accept anonymous gifts to the Foundation. In the event the Executive Director is uncertain about the desirability of accepting an anonymous gift, he/she shall consult with the Executive Committee.

The Executive Director shall disclose to the Executive Committee, upon a request by a majority of the Executive Committee, the names of any anonymous donors.

Disclosure of Pending Gifts

In the event that the Executive Director concludes that the Foundation is likely to receive, in the immediate future, a gift equal to or greater than five percent of its then existing assets, the Executive Director shall notify the Chair. The Chair and the Executive Director shall apply all requirements of the gift acceptance policy and determine the appropriate course for notifying the Board of Directors.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, January 19, 2006