Privacy & fundraising policies
Donor Privacy Code
Yonge Street Mission respects your privacy. We protect your personal information, and adhere to all legislative requirements with respect to protecting privacy. We do not rent, sell or trade our mailing lists. Your name and address and other information you provide will be used to deliver services and to keep you informed and up-to-date on the activities of Yonge Street Mission, including programs, services, special events, funding needs, opportunities to volunteer or to give. If at any time you wish to receive less mail or wish to be removed from any of our communications, simply contact us by phone at 416-929-9614, ext. 4212 or 1-800-416-5111 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will gladly accommodate your request.
Our organization is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal information of its employees, members, clients and other stakeholders. We value the trust of those we deal with, and of the public, and recognize that maintaining this trust requires that we be transparent and accountable in how we treat the information that you choose to share with us. During the course of our various projects and activities, we frequently gather and use personal information. Anyone from whom we collect such information should expect that it will be carefully protected, and that any use of or other dealing with this information is subject to consent.
Defining Personal Information
Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. This information can include an individual’s opinions or beliefs, as well as facts about, or related to, the individual. Exceptions: business contact information and certain publicly available information, such as names, addresses and telephone numbers are published in telephone directories, are not considered personal information. Where an individual uses his or her home contact information as business contact information as well, we consider that the contact information provided is business contact information and is not therefore subject to protection as personal information.
Personal information gathered by our organization is kept in confidence. Our personnel are authorized to access personal information based only on their need to deal with the information for the reason(s) for which it was obtained. Safeguards are in place to ensure that the information is not disclosed or shared more widely than is necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was gathered. We also take measures to ensure that the integrity of this information is maintained and to prevent its being lost or destroyed. We collect, use and disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in light of the circumstances. We routinely offer individuals we deal with the opportunity not to have their information shared for purposes beyond those for which it was explicitly collected.
Website and Electronic Commerce
We use password protocols and encryption software to protect personal and other information we receive when a product or service is requested and/or paid for online. Our software is routinely updated to maximize protection of such information.
We regularly review our privacy practices for our various activities, and update our policy. Please check this website on an ongoing basis for information on our most up-to-date practices.
Ethical Fund-Raising & Financial Accountability Code
- Financial Disclosure
- We act promptly to provide the information requested in its most current form.
- We provide information that will reasonably add to the public’s understanding and confidence in our operations and methods and cost of fundraising.
- Our financial statements and annual reports are accessible, user-friendly, complete, understandable and truthful.
- Our financial statements accurately present the financial activities and overall financial position of our organization.
- Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in all material respects, and with all other guidelines adopted by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
- If we release a financial summary or extract, it is clearly related to and consistent with the information provided in our full audited financial statement, including notes.
- Restricted and Designated Donations
- 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.
- We honour all statements we make regarding the use of a contribution.
- Donors are advised in advance that funds raised over and above those needed for a campaign will go towards projects of a similar nature. If they are not advised in advance, prior to processing the gift, they will be asked whether they would like their funds re-directed or returned.
- Our accounting system tracks funds that are restricted and/or designated for a specific use.
- We review documentation to ensure we adhere to donor intentions in the administration of gift funds.
- We only raise funds for board-approved programs and projects.
- As members of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, we adhere to their Standards of Stewardship, as follows: Spending of funds is confined to programs and projects approved by the organization. Should a donor choose to restrict a contribution for use in a particular program or project, we will honour that restriction, with the understanding that, when the need for such a program or project has been met or cannot be completed for any reason as determined by the organization, the remaining restricted contributions will be used where most needed.
- Fundraising Costs
- Our Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the way in which fundraising costs are incurred and reported.
- Our Board of Directors approves and monitors our organization’s fundraising activities and the disclosure of fundraising expenses.
- Our administrative and fundraising costs are kept to the minimum necessary to meet our objectives, as registered with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
- All allocation of expenditures to administration, fundraising and program services reflect our organization’s mission and actual activities.
- Collection, Maintenance, Use and Confidentiality of Donor Records
- We guard against making unwarranted or intrusive inquiries into a donor’s or prospect’s gift history or personal life, and gather only information that is relevant and necessary to our fundraising efforts.
- We make reasonable efforts to ensure the personal information we collect is complete and accurate.
- All data collected supports a current or future connection to YSM.
- We encourage donors to review, correct and update personal information.
- We require a donor’s consent before confidential information is released to outside parties.
- We have established that seven years is a reasonable time frame for the retention and disposal of printed information relating to donors. Computer records are purged if no activity occurs for seven years.
- We have established special security safeguards to protect donor information and limit access to donor files.
- We give special protection to all records pertaining to anonymous donor records.
- We recognize that our duty to ensure the confidentiality of donor records continues, even after our relationship with a donor or prospect has ended.
- We obtain a donor’s oral consent regarding the proposed use of their personal information when collected by phone.
- We provide donors with an opportunity to remain anonymous and to request that the donor’s name and/or the amount of their gift not be publicly released.
- Rental or Exchange of Donor Lists
- We neither rent nor sell our donor lists.
- Donor Complaints
- Our organization has designated responsibility for responding to donor complaints, in accordance with this Code, to the Director of Development.
- Our Board of Directors reviews the fundraising practices and policies on a regular basis, and tests 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 our organization and its beneficiaries.
- Our fund-raising policies, practices and expectations are clearly communicated to all staff.
- Supervision of Fundraisers
- Our organization observes the following practices when monitoring and supervising the activities of volunteers, employees or paid solicitors who solicit or receive funds on our behalf:
- We take reasonable steps to ensure that every person participating in our fundraising program is aware of and complies with this Code.
- We inform our fundraisers about the provisions of all municipal, provincial and federal laws applicable to our fund-raising practices and ensure that our fundraising activities are carried out in accordance with the law. This includes following Income Tax Regulations under the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
- We complete all reports that must be filed as part of applicable regulatory regimes properly and in a timely fashion.
- Our fundraisers are asked to adhere to the professional code of conduct as established by the Association of Fund-Raising Professionals.
- 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 enquiries in this regard.
- Conflicts of Interest
- Volunteers and professional fundraisers must operate within our Conflict of Interest Guidelines. This means they must act in the best interests of our organization rather than in furtherance of their personal interest or the interests of third parties.
- We instruct all fundraisers to avoid situations where their personal interest conflicts or appears to conflict with their duties within our organization.
- We instruct all fundraisers to evaluate their conduct in light of the impact on our organization.
- We require our fundraisers to disclose both actual and apparent conflicts of interest.
- Our conflict-of-interest disclosure procedures are clearly articulated, and we believe well understood by all.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fundraiser Compensation
- Fundraisers are compensated on the basis of their experience, expertise and the time requirements of the position. We do not allow for percentage based fundraising activities.