Fundraising policies are important and helpful to nonprofits. We recommend fundraising policies address revenue streams, fundraising activities and fundraising management gift acceptance information, board roles and responsibilities, cash handling procedures (if applicable), donor stewardship and fundraising events (if necessary).
Your financial policy will keep everyone on the same page. Board members will know how your nonprofit raises funds, including expectations for them. Staff will have clear guidance on how gifts are handled, what types of gifts are acceptable and how donors are acknowledged. Financial staff will know how to handle revenue to ensure checks and balances and transparency. Everyone will know which fundraising activity happens, when it happens and who is engaged.
The policy will be the foundation of your fundraising plan, another document relevant to all parties associated with your organization. A good fundraising plan will implement your policy and include all aspects of fundraising—timing, types of appeals, how frequent to ask, how to acknowledge and steward donors. Your fundraising plan may be revised ongoing, while your fundraising policies should be reviewed annually and revised as necessary.
Strong fundraising policies, when reviewed regularly and revised as necessary, send a positive signal to donors, constituents and your community that your organization is trustworthy. You are telling people you are using best business practices that are ethical and effective.
Your fundraising policy should answer any question posed about fundraising at your nonprofit. Your policy is the set of rules by which your organization’s fundraising will follow. As such, it provides guidance for staff on their roles and tasks, along with accountability information for assessing efforts.
A good fundraising policy sets forth details about the types of gifts acceptable. It offers a standard way of communication with donors. This policy informs the organizational and staffing plans for the fundraising office at your nonprofit.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals has a free publication,Developing Fundraising Policies and Procedures: Best Practices for Accountability and Transparency. This detailed guide explains the need for strong fundraising policies and provides resources and sample documents.
Find it at: AFP Fundraising Policy