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Donor’s Bill of Rights

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. 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.
  3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

The text of this statement in its entirety was developed by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE).

The Independent Institute cordially invites you to become an Independent Associate Member. Your generous support will enable the Institute to boldly redefine and redirect public debate over major social, economic, legal, and environmental issues. To receive further information on Independent Associate membership, please contact our Development department by phone at (510) 632-1366, fax to (510) 568-6040, or e-mail to

The Independent Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational foundation and subscribes to the Donor’s Bill of Rights. The Independent Institute does not support or oppose political candidates or proposed legislation. Contributions to the Independent Institute by individuals, corporations, foundations, partnerships, and other organizations are tax-deductible.

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(Updated: 10/25/16)

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Donor's Bill of Rights


Katherine Modesitt
Development Manager
Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland CA, 94621
(510) 568-2216 (direct)

(510) 632-1366
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