Nonprofit Donors and Privacy, The Dirty Secret

Ribbon, Awareness, Support, Disease

In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg said that privacy was dead. I think Zuckerberg must feel a sense of irony with what he’s experienced this year over privacy and the transport of Facebook users’ information to Cambridge Analytica. I think it’s fair to say that this year, privacy has been a hot-button topic.

I’m not sure where things will ultimately end-up, and there is a great chance that, in actuality, privacy as we knew it’s finished. In fact, I think that may already be the case, but there is a distinct tension between privacy and sharing. We continue to discuss, voluntarily, our advice on social networking platforms and browsers, such as Google, continue to track us all over the net.

And, despite the General Data Protection Regulation, which was put into law in Europe, but impacts American businesses and nonprofits also, you have probably noticed by now that corporate lawyers have already figured out how to get around it. Mostly, you consent to monitoring, or whatever else they have clarified in their Terms of Service, or else you won’t have the ability to use the programs that will provide you the news, allow you to shop or entertain yourself.

Donor Privacy

The dirty little secret in the nonprofit sector is that many nonprofits have donor information, such as that of volunteers and supporters, but they have not taken the necessary actions to ensure that information isn’t stolen. They also do not take the opportunity to inform people about how their data is used, which is something that everyone with a site on the internet should do. Nonprofits have information such as names, addresses, emails, birthdates, credit cards, social security numbers (especially those organizations which have volunteers that go through background checks), phone numbers, etc.. It doesn’t take a genius to see how this information may be used in ways that aren’t appropriate.

In actuality, a colleague of mine who worked in the nonprofit sector as a fundraising consultant told me not too long ago when she has raised the issue of privacy, many nonprofit leaders have said to her they were unaware that donor privacy is such a priority to donors. They’ve expressed their support for transparent public privacy policies but have had no idea that they need to have terms of support or donor privacy policies which are readily accessible on their websites, for example, that explain what they do with data. Candidly, I don’t understand how that can even be a plausible idea in the world today.

Data and Nonprofits

Most donors ought to know or know that when they’re giving their advice to a nonprofit, there’s a likelihood that their name and information is sold. Some nonprofits do so as a matter or earnings because they earn money for the titles and data that they sell to agents. If you work at one of the numerous organizations that sell donor data to agents, as a point of ethics and ethics, you must clearly state that information for donors on your donor coverage details.

Furthermore, in recent years, criminals have picked up on the fact that nonprofits can be a wealth of information and it may be reasonably simple for them to crack the”secure” open. And, to make things even more about for nonprofit donors is that there have been instances when donor information has been criminally compromised, and it’s been decided not to make the information public for fear of inducing donations to dry up.

Protecting Data

Nonprofits occupy a unique position in our society, and it often includes tax-exempt status, largely , because of the work they do in improving the lifestyles of people in a community. As a result of this, nonprofits must provide a couple of minimum standards of advice to make sure that they are working with integrity and ethics when they accept donor and volunteer information.

They can remind people who enter their identifying information in their sites to remember to delete the internet”cookies,” which are files stored on a person’s computer, which link back to the site visited. Clearing this info will remove any remnants of names, addresses, credit card information, etc. from the web.
Nonprofits should make and publish a”Donor Privacy Policy,” which tells donors how donor and supporter information will be used. An example is provided by Charity Navigator.
Publish “Terms of Service.” Take a look at samples from leading charitable organizations. You can also look at an example from National Council of Nonprofits or TopNonprofits.
The reality is that each nonprofit–regardless of size–should have a donor privacy policy and terms of service that can be immediately reviewed on their website. If your organization doesn’t have the basics done, there is no reason you should expect people to support your group. There are probably plenty of charities that do demonstrate transparency and should be rewarded with fundraising dollars.

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