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Donor Bill of Rights


The Donor Bill of Rights was created by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). It has been endorsed by numerous organizations, including NatureServe and its Development Department, and is offered on this site as a source of information for all donors.

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  • To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  • To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  • To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  • To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  • To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  • To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  • To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  • To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  • To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  • To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.


Donor Privacy Policy


NatureServe values the privacy rights of our Donors and Funders and recognizes the importance of protecting the information we collect about you. This policy statement describes how we collect information from you on NatureServe websites, email, phone, mail and in-person and how we use it. In this policy, “personal information” means information that is recorded in any form, both fact and opinion and that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. “Donor” and “Funder” refer to any individual or organization that contributes funds, securities or property to NatureServe.

NatureServe abides at all times by this policy.


NatureServe and its employees are responsible for all Donor personal information in our possession. The Development and Executive Divisions establish, maintain, and revise practices and procedures to ensure compliance with this Policy. Every reasonable precaution shall be taken to protect and preserve the confidentiality of our Donors’ personal information. All employees, agents and authorized service providers of NatureServe are individually required to safeguard each individual Donor’s personal information. Any outside contractors or third party service providers are selected with due care and must abide by this Policy. External service providers shall be required to agree to protect any personal information of Donors, use it for only the purposes set out in the scope of the contract with NatureServe, and to not keep the personal information on file.

Donors may notify NatureServe of a privacy-related issue or grievance by contacting the Development Associate or Chief Development & Engagement Officer. We will provide information about our privacy procedures and investigate the complaint. If a problem is discovered during the review, we will take all appropriate steps to revamp our policies and procedures if necessary.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

NatureServe collects, uses and discloses personal information only for certain purposes that are identified to the Donor. We may use it to establish and manage our relationship with a Donor, as well as providing requested information. Personal information can also help us understand a Donor and identify preferences and expectations. The main uses will involve raising money to advance our mission and to process gifts and return appropriate receipts. To publicly recognize and thank them for their generosity, we publically list the names and gift ranges of our Donors. In this case, other organizations and third parties will have access this information.

NatureServe holds special events to create publicity for our mission, thank supporters, and raise funds. At some of these events Employees may obtain personal information. If so, Donors will be advised of this fact and the information related to the event will be disposed of properly when it is no longer needed.

We collect Donor information for internal use only, and just to the extent required for our purposes. We obtain relevant personal information about Donors lawfully and fairly.

Sharing or Selling of Personal Information

NatureServe does not sell, trade or rent the information and contents of Donor files to others. We will not share Donor name, phone number, e-mail address, mailing address or any other information to third parties. An organization that receives NatureServe’s mailing list must agree to strict parameters which limit the use of the data and will never hold this data for their own use, but only to assist NatureServe in communicating with Donors.

Donor’s Consent

NatureServe only uses and discloses personal information with Donor permission. Donor permission can be in writing or implied, either verbally and/or electronically. A Donor may withdraw permission to collect, use, and disclose personal information at any time by giving NatureServe reasonable notice, subject to legal or contractual obligations. A Donor may opt out of subscription communications by clicking on the unsubscribe link on the bottom of NatureServe emails through iContact or by calling the Development Department. When a Donor has communicated to NatureServe a desire to opt out of the disclosure of his or her information, we will not include the Donor’s data to another organization or third party.

Donors who wish to avoid any public recognition may inform the Development Department when making a pledge or gift. The option to remain anonymous shall be made available to all Donors by NatureServe. This request for anonymity shall be honored by NatureServe until the Donor informs us otherwise.

Custody and Care of Personal Information

The personal information in our possession shall be kept accurate and up-to-date. Donors may always correct their personal information if they believe that our records are not correct. If a Donor feels that any of our information about them is inaccurate or incomplete, the Donor has the right to ask us to change it or delete it. If a Donor’s personal information is wrong in any way, NatureServe will make the required changes.

We operate under the assumption that any Donor, Funder or Donor prospect has the right to review his or her record maintained by our organization. Donors may request in writing to see personal information about them that is in the possession of NatureServe. Donors also have the right to know how the information is obtained and used. We will respond to Donor requests within a reasonable time (within 30 days or less) by either providing copies of the documents or access to the information. In some situations, NatureServe may not be able to provide access to all the personal information held on a Donor. Exceptions will be limited and specific as permitted or required by law, and the reasons for non-disclosure shall be communicated to the requesting party.

NatureServe will keep Donors’ personal information only as long as it is necessary to satisfy the purposes for which it was obtained, or as legally required. Access to Donor file materials containing personal information is restricted to NatureServe Employees and authorized service providers who need it to do their jobs.

NatureServe has established appropriate technical, physical and organizational security procedures to protect Donors’ personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized use, disclosure, or modification. These procedures will be monitored and reviewed at least annually and when needed to ensure their continued effectiveness. The safeguards employed by NatureServe include, but may not be limited to, the use of limited access storage areas, locked files, and the use of encryption, secure servers, and computer workstation passwords. Appropriate measures will be undertaken when personal information is destroyed in order to prevent access or inadvertent disclosure to any unauthorized parties.