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 assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit 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 donations 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.
I'm going to add one more:
Don't do this to your donors - particularly when they're YOUR PEOPLE.
That is a scanned image of the check I donated to the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America or WLSFA organization.
I was not home twenty-four hours before I received a letter from the CEO of the foundation and this image with the letters V O I D enscribed across it. I have not slept much yet - so - forgive my even sharing this with you -
I especially like how I wronged the sponsors. Because many of them are also mine. (*See sidebar. I love my sponsors. Click their links. Buy stuff.)
That feels really good, Antonia. That makes my heart swell with pride and stuff.
It's a day later and I've received no response as to what I did, aside from hand the WLSFA $1000 in a non-confrontational manner. I actually had to beg them to take it - we were skipped over in the first round of donation announcements - they took it publicly and gave it back like this.
The event itself? Was a non-issue. I only have two or three issues that I'd concern myself with -- and they wouldn't involve this check. At all. One issue was big enough for me to want to blog - but - I've refrained so far.
My bariatric support group's fundraising is obviously not wanted in this exclusionary non-profit. I do not know if it's legal to shun a cash donation from legal fundraising. Lawyers?
As a group we are more than disgusted. I have spent hours promoting this event, and spent thousands of dollars, and frankly I sit here ashamed that I asked my peers to donate to the cause.
Consider for a second how much I spent just for myself -
- BBGC Donation - $1000
- WLSFA Ticket - $150
- Carnie Wilson Luncheon - $99
- Flight - $600
- Hotel - $100+ night
- Travel (Shuttle, cabs, etc.)
- Discretionary stuff
- Ticket for a friend
I am more sickened that I suggested friends JOIN ME at the event -- and asked them to spend their hard-earned money on the event as well just to be shunned so specifically. Friends brought husbands -- this isn't cheap.
I am not a happy MM. I apologize to YOU. We learned a hard lesson here.
- Do your research before investing non-profits!
- ASK QUESTIONS!
- Start here: email@example.com I can't help you with this. They didn't tell me what I did.
- Also here: http://www.wlsfa.org/about/board-of-directors/ That list might be ... wrong?
We have have offers to take our GOOD elsewhere, of course. I got offers of help in the middle of the night. And we will, if you donated or made a purchase - your money is going to another reputable non-profit. Thank you.