Code of Conduct and Ethics
Stand as One Ministry outlines the following codes of ethics that applies to all Board members, staff and volunteers involved with its charity. Stand as One Ministry operates within the guidelines of Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code, designed to ‘demonstrate to donors and the general public that Stand as One ministry is committed to ethical fundraising and financial accountability’.
Code of Conduct and Ethics
DONOR POLICIES AND PUBLIC REPRESENTATIONS*
1. REPRESENTING CHARITABLE STATUS:
a. Stand as One Ministry shall maintain its charitable status and follow financial guidelines for registered Canadian charities.
b. Stand as One Ministry shall prepare and issue official Income Tax receipts for monetary gifts and for gifts-in-kind according to any policy established and published on minimum amounts to be receipted and in compliance with all regulatory requirements. The charity shall acknowledge in writing contributions not entitled to be officially receipted.
c. All fundraising solicitations by or on behalf of the charity shall disclose the charity’s name and the purpose for which funds are requested. Printed and on-line solicitations (however transmitted) shall include its address or other contact information.
d. Stand as One Ministry or those fundraising on its behalf shall disclose, upon request, whether an individual or entity soliciting contributions is a volunteer, an employee or a contracted third party.
e. Stand as One Ministry shall not make claims that cannot be upheld or are misleading.
2. DONOR PRIVACY:
a. The charity shall honour donors’ requests to remain anonymous in respect to:
i. Being publicly identified as a supporter of the organization; and/or
ii. Having the amount of their contribution publicly disclosed.
b. The privacy of donors shall be respected. Any donor records that are maintained by the charity shall be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible. Donors shall have the right to see their own donor record, and to challenge its accuracy.
c. Stand as One Ministry policy is to keep all donor records strictly for its own use and not to share, exchange or rent out fundraising lists with other organizations. However, if, in the future this policy changes, any donor’s request to be excluded from the list shall be honoured.
3. DONOR RIGHTS AND PROTECTION:
a. Solicitations by or on behalf of the charity shall treat donors and prospective donors with respect. Every effort shall be made to honour their requests to:
i. Limit the frequency of solicitations;
ii. Not be solicited by telephone or other technology;
iii. Discontinue solicitations where it is indicated they are unwanted or a nuisance.
b. The charity shall have appropriate fundraising processes in place, including but not limited to gift acceptance, treatment of restricted or designated gifts, naming, and endowment policies. The relevance and appropriateness of the charity’s fundraising policies shall be reviewed regularly by the governing board.
c. The charity shall encourage donors to seek independent advice if the proposed gift is a Planned Gift and/or the charity has any reason to believe that the proposed gift might significantly affect the donor’s financial position, taxable income, or relationship with other family members.
4. DONOR RECOGNITION:
a. Donors will be recognized for their contributions in manners only as represented to donors. Stand as One Ministry will respect and act upon requests to remove donor recognition statements from promotional materials in a timely manner.
b. Recognition mechanisms created due to a gift shall not be arbitrarily changed or withdrawn. Unless otherwise negotiated at the time of the gift or changed through a joint agreement between Stand as One Ministry and the donor or the donor’s family or legal representative, the original form of the recognition mechanism will be maintained. If the mechanism cannot be physically retained, it will be changed to another consistent with the original agreement. If continuation of the recognition creates a reputational risk for the charity, it may be terminated or altered.
5. DONOR COMPLAINTS:
a. Stand as One Ministry shall post its complaints process and related contact information in a readily accessible location on its website. If the charity does not have a website, this information shall be included in readily accessible public materials or documents.
b. Stand as One Ministry shall respond promptly to a complaint by a donor or prospective donor about any matter that is addressed in this ethical code document.
1. REPRESENTATIONS TO DONORS:
a. Fundraising solicitations on behalf of Stand as One Ministry shall be truthful and accurately describe the charity’s activities and the intended use of the donated funds.
b. Stand as One Ministry shall not make claims that cannot be upheld. It shall refrain from using marketing materials or making representations that could be misleading. The charity shall not exploit its beneficiaries. It shall be sensitive in describing those it serves and fairly represent their needs and how these needs will be addressed.
c. When the charity conducts online solicitations its practices shall be consistent with or exceed the provisions of the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce (PCI compliant).
d. When the charity conducts face-to-face solicitations, including but not limited to door-to-door campaigns or street-side fundraising, its practices shall include measures to provide verification of the affiliation of the person representing the charity and secure and safeguard any confidential information, including credit card information, provided by donors.
2. SOLICITORS OF FUNDS: Volunteers, employees and third party consultants/solicitors who solicit or receive funds on behalf of the charity shall:
a. Adhere to the provisions of this Code of Conduct and Ethics document as well as applicable professional codes of ethics and standards of practice;
b. Act with fairness, integrity, and in accordance with all applicable laws;
c. Cease solicitation of a prospective donor who identifies the solicitation as harassment or undue pressure or who states that he does not wish to be solicited;
d. Disclose immediately to the charity any actual or apparent conflict of interest or loyalty; and
e. Not accept donations for purposes that are inconsistent with the charity’s objects or mission.
3. FUNDRAISING COSTS:
a. Stand as One Ministry shall provide, upon request, its best available information on the gross revenue, net proceeds and costs of any fundraising activity (including the fundraising costs categorized as education and/or public awareness) it undertakes.
b. The charity shall not, directly or indirectly, pay finder’s fees, commissions or percentage compensation based on contributions.
c. Charities that undertake cause-related marketing in collaboration with a third party shall disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services and the minimum or maximum amounts payable under the arrangement. If no minimum amount is specified, the charity should disclose this.
4. DONOR RELATIONS:
a. The charity’s Executive Board of Directors shall be informed at least annually of the number, type and disposition of complaints received from donors or prospective donors about matters that are addressed in this Code of Conduct and Ethics document.
b. Stand as One Ministry will not sell its donor list. If applicable, any rental, exchange or other sharing of the charity’s donor list shall exclude the names of donors who have so requested. If a list of the charity’s donors is exchanged, rented or otherwise shared with another organization, such sharing shall be for a specified period of time and a specified purpose and must be limited to what is allowed under Federal and/or Provincial privacy legislations.
FINANCIAL PRACTICE AND TRANSPARENCY*
1. USE OF FUNDS:
a. The charity’s financial affairs shall be conducted in a responsible manner, consistent with the ethical obligations of stewardship and all applicable law.
b. All donations shall be used to support the charity’s mission, vision and goals as registered with Canadian Revenue Agency.
c. All restricted or designated donations shall be used for the purposes for which they were given unless the charity has obtained legal authorization to use them for other purposes. Alternative uses will be discussed where possible with the donor or the donor’s legal designate. If the donor is deceased or legally incompetent and the charity is unable to contact a legal designate, the donation will be used in a manner that is as consistent as possible with the donor’s original intent. If necessary, the charity will apply to the courts or the appropriate regulatory body to obtain legal authorization to use the donation for other purposes.
d. The cost-effectiveness of the charity’s fundraising programs shall be reviewed regularly by the governing board. No more will be spent on administration and fundraising than is required to ensure effective management and resource development. The charity shall disclose its process for evaluating its spending.
e. The charity shall, upon request, disclose the revenue and expense assumptions for its fundraising activity as approved by its Board in its annual budget.
2. FINANCIAL REPORTING: Annual financial reports are necessary to achieve transparency and accountability to donors and the public. All charities issuing receipts should produce them and make them easily accessible. Financial reports should:
a. Be factual and accurate in all material respects;
b. Disclose the gross amount of fundraising revenues (receipted and non-receipted);
c. Disclose the total amount of fundraising expenses (including salaries and overhead costs);
d. Disclose all donations that are receipted for income tax purposes;
e. Disclose the total amount of expenditures on charitable activities (including gifts to other charities);
f. Segregate undesignated and designated funds (for aggregate amounts over $100,000); identify government grants and contributions separately from other donations (for aggregate amounts over $100,000); and
g. Financial statement should be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and standards established by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, in all material respects (or disclose a discrepancy between the practice and GAAP).
3. FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY: The charity must demonstrate the utmost transparency and accountability through accurate and accessible disclosure of information in a readily accessible location on its website or through reports available upon request. Information that should be disclosed includes, but is not limited to the following:
a. The charity’s most recent three years of annual reports and financial statements including notes as approved by the governing board;
b. The charity shall make the following information publicly available on its website, in its annual report, in its financial statements within 6 months of its year end: total fundraising revenues, total fundraising expenses, total expenditures on charitable activities/programming;
c. The charity’s registration number as assigned by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA);
d. Any information contained in the public portion of the charity’s most recent Charity Information Return (form T3010) as submitted to CRA;
e. A list of names of the members of the charity’s governing board;
f. A copy of the charity’s Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code.
4. FUTURE REQUIREMENTS AS THE CHARITY GROWS:
a. If the charity has annual revenue in excess of $250,000, the financial statements shall be audited by an independent public accountant.
b. If the charity’s investable assets surpass $1,000,000, an investment policy shall be established setting out asset allocation, procedures for investment decisions, and asset protection issues. This shall be available through the website and through request.
c. If the charity receives, or anticipates receiving, gifts-in-kind of $100,000 or more in a year and has annual revenue in excess of $500,000, it shall establish a Gift Acceptance Policy (including valuation issues) for the receipt of gifts-in-kind.
d. Financial statements will be audited if annual revenues exceed $1 million. If between $250,000 and $1 million, a Chartered Accountant will do a full review of expenses but a formalized, financial audit is not required.