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Donor Transparency Policy

For Common Cause and the Common Cause Education Fund

Effective July 1, 2009

General Disclosure Policy

  • Information about donors who give $250 or more will be kept on file in Common Cause’s Washington Office and made available upon request. Donors will be listed by contribution range, name, and state of residence. We plan to make the disclaimer clear and prominent enough so that people understand our new policy. We will not show the amount that a person contributes, just the range of contribution. No mailing addresses or email addresses will be provided. While we occasionally share our supporter list with like-minded nonprofit organizations, we never include financial and/or donation information.  Nor do we ever share email addresses.
  • Donations in the aggregate of $2,500 or more will be listed in Common Cause’s Annual Report, which will also appear on Common Cause’s website, listed by contribution range, name, and state of residence. (Donations of under $2,500 may also appear in the Annual Report at the discretion of the President and/or CFO.) In addition, this information will be made available upon request.
  • Gifts of $2,500 or more from Donor Advised Funds will be listed in the Common Cause Annual Report by the name of the Donor Advised Fund.
  • All requests for donor information will be handled in accordance with the framework outlined in this Transparency Policy. Disclosure may be temporarily suspended when extraordinary circumstances suggest good cause for doing so. The decision to temporarily suspend disclosure will be immediately reported to the President and to the Executive Committee.

Anonymous Contributions

  • We will encourage ALL donors to contribute to Common Cause with the knowledge that we prefer full transparency, but exceptions can be made to permit anonymous donations as follows.
  • Common Cause will accept anonymous donations of $25,000 or more only after approval of the Executive Committee of Common Cause.
  • In addition, Common Cause will accept anonymous donations of less than $25,000 only after approval of the President (CEO) and/or the Vice President for Finance and Administration (CFO).
  • To assist both the Executive Committee and the Senior Staff in making the decision to accept or reject an anonymous gift, criteria will be developed by the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Finance and Administration Committee, based on actual anonymous donor requests to Common Cause. Because of the variety and complexity of individual donor requests, it is difficult at this time to determine a clear set of criteria.
  • The following disclaimer will appear on all future direct mail and/or online solicitations:

“Common Cause is committed to a policy of open and full transparency and therefore makes information about our funding sources, including individual donors, publicly available; however, anonymous donations may be accepted under certain circumstances upon request of the donor. For more information, please review the Donor Transparency Policy on our website: http://www.commoncause.org/donate/donor-transparency-policy.html.”

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