Ethical Fundraising Code

A. Financial Disclosure

Policies and Practices

The Laurel Foundation observes the following practices when responding to requests from donors and prospective donors for financial information:

  1. we act promptly to provide the information requested in its most current form
  2. we provide information that will reasonably add to the public’s understanding and confidence in our operations and methods and costs of fundraising
  3. our financial statements and annual reports are accessible, user-friendly, complete, understandable and truthful
  4. our financial statements are prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") in all material respects and with all other guidelines adopted by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants ("CICA") that apply specifically to our type of charitable organization
  5. if we release a financial summary or extract, it is clearly related to and consistent with the information provided in our full financial statement including Notes

B. Restricted and Designated Donations

Policies and Practices

The Laurel Foundation adheres to the following fundraising practices as they relate to restricted or designated donations:

  1. we recognize that donors who restrict their donations or designate them for a specific use have a right to expect that their donation will be applied according to their specific directions
  2. we honor all statements we make regarding the use of a contribution
  3. we have a procedure or policy in place to deal with donations that cannot be applied to a specific project; and, surplus funds raised over and above the requirements of a given campaign
  4. our accounting system tracks funds that are restricted or designated for a specific use
  5. we review documentation to ensure that we adhere to donor intentions in the administration of gift funds

C. Fundraising Costs

The Laurel Foundation observes the following practices when incurring administrative and fundraising costs:

  1. our Governing Board is responsible for overseeing the way in which fundraising costs are incurred and reported
  2. our Governing Board approves and monitors The Laurel Foundation’s fundraising activities and the disclosure of fundraising expenses
  3. our administrative and fundraising costs are kept to the minimum necessary to meet our objects, as registered with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
  4. the allocation of expenditures to administration, fundraising and program services reflect The Laurel Foundation’s mission and actual activities and conform to GAAP and all other appropriate guidelines adopted by CICA that are applicable to our type of charitable organization

D. Collection, Maintenance, Use and Confidentiality of Donor Records

Policies and Practices

The Laurel Foundation observes the following practices when collecting donor information, maintaining and using confidential donor records, and protecting donor anonymity:

  1. we guard against making unwarranted or intrusive inquiries into a donor or prospect's gift history or personal life and gather only information that is relevant and necessary to our fundraising efforts
  2. we make all reasonable efforts to ensure the personal information we collect is complete and accurate we require attribution for all data that we collect
  3. we encourage donors to review, correct and update personal information
  4. we require a donor’s consent before confidential information is released to outside parties
  5. we have established and follow reasonable time periods for the retention and disposal of donor information
  6. we have established special security safeguards to protect donor information and limit access to donor files
  7. we give special protection to all records pertaining to anonymous donors
  8. we recognize that our duty to ensure the confidentiality of donor records continues even after our relationship with a donor or prospect has ended
  9. we obtain a donor’s oral consent regarding the proposed use of their personal information when information is collected by phone
  10. we provide donors with an opportunity to remain anonymous and to request that the donor’s name and/or the amount of the gift not be publicly released

E. Donor Complaints

The Laurel Foundation has designated responsibility for responding to complaints, in accordance with the Code, to staff member(s) or volunteer(s), and upon request, the designated individual or individuals will be identified to donors or prospective donors.

F. Governance

Policies and Practices

Our Governing Board reviews our fundraising practices and policies on a regular basis and tests them for continuing relevance, legislative compliance and applicability. Adjustments are made, as required, to ensure that the maximum amount possible is applied to our charitable activities in a manner that is consistent with the long-term interests of The Laurel Foundation and its beneficiaries.

G. Supervision of Fundraisers

Policies and Practices

The Laurel Foundation observes the following practices when monitoring and supervising the activities of volunteers, employees or paid solicitors (collectively referred to as "fundraisers") who solicit or receive funds on our behalf:

  1. we take reasonable steps to ensure that every person participating in our fundraising program is aware of and complies with the Code
  2. we inform our fundraisers about the provisions of all municipal, provincial and federal laws applicable to our fundraising practices and ensure that our fundraising activities are carried out in accordance with the law
  3. we complete all reports that must be filed as part of applicable regulatory regimes properly and in a timely fashion
  4. we encourage our fundraisers to adhere to the applicable professional codes of conduct, such as the Canadian Association of Gift Planners’ Standards of Professional & Ethical Practice, the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Ethical Practice, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy’s Statement of Professional Standards and Conduct.
  5. we recognize that donors and potential donors have a right to be informed of the exact nature of the employment or contractual relationship we have with our fundraisers and respond promptly and honestly to all inquiries in this regard

I. Conflicts of Interest

Policies and Practices

We address actual or perceived conflicts of interest in the following manner:

  1. we define a conflict of interest for our fundraisers and advise all fundraisers that they must act in the best interests of The Laurel Foundation rather than in furtherance of their personal interests or the interests of third parties
  2. we instruct all fundraisers to avoid situations where their personal interest conflicts or appears to conflict with their duties within The Laurel Foundation
  3. we instruct all fundraisers to evaluate their conduct in light of the impact on our organization
  4. we require our fundraisers to disclose both actual and apparent conflicts of interest
  5. our conflict-of-interest disclosure procedures are clearly articulated and we believe well understood by all staff
  6. our fundraisers recognize that the duty to disclose even an “apparent” conflict of interest, requires a consideration of public perception when evaluating whether a conflict of interest is present
  7. we are mindful of our fiduciary duty to ensure the disclosure of any conflict of interest that would be of material interest or relevance to a donor or which may influence a donor’s decision to give
  8. where a donor elects to make a gift in spite of the presence of a conflict of interest, we encourage that the donor obtain independent legal advice regarding his or her gift

J. Fundraiser Compensation

Policies and Practices

The Laurel Foundation observes the following performance-based compensation practices:

  1. fundraisers are compensated on the basis of their experience, expertise and the time requirements of the position
  2. where a fundraiser’s performance exceeds job expectations and additional compensation is merited:

    eligibility for and calculation of the amount of compensation to be paid is not based on a percentage of income (e.g., in the form of donations, gifts, grants and similar funds) received by The Laurel Foundation as a result of the fundraiser’s efforts and we have a performance-based compensation policy in place that applies to all our staff whose efforts surpass expectations and performance goals for all staff are pre-established and mutually agreed-upon and our governing board has approved our performance-based compensation policy

  3. we undertake the institutional planning, board development and volunteer recruitment necessary to make our fundraising program successful over time