Creating a Donor-Initiated Fundraising Policy

Community foundations are often faced with requests from donors or local volunteers who wish to express their support by raising money for the community foundation or for a particular fund. Allowing individuals or a group of volunteers to engage in fundraising activities on behalf of the community foundation (a practice called donor-initiated fundraising) can be a great way to increase foundation assets and boost name recognition in the community. However, this approach to fundraising also comes with risks. The community foundation is delegating its authority to individuals or groups who are neither staff nor board members of the community foundation. Before allowing others to fundraise on the foundation’s behalf, foundations should understand the key issues and create a strong policy to guide fundraising activities. The fundraising policy should be carefully explained to potential donor-fundraisers before fundraising begins.
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