Privacy & Confidentiality

United Way of the Wine Country values the tradition of giving and respects the privacy of our partners.

In order to protect individual privacy and ensuring confidentiality, United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) takes all reasonable steps to ensure an individual’s personal information is protected from misuse or unauthorized disclosure. See our: Confidentiality Policy (link jumps to policy below).

The Donor Bill of Rights

UWWC subscribes to the Donor Bill of Rights which was created by the Giving Institute (formerly the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

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. UWWC never sells, rents, shares, or trades its mailing or donor lists.
  • To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

UWWC’s Confidentiality Policy

UWWC recognizes the efficient operation of the organization requires the maintenance and management of extensive donor and prospect records. These records may contain sensitive information that has been shared with or developed by UWWC’s staff or volunteers on a confidential basis. (“Records” is construed to mean all files, including electronic data, containing information on donors or prospective donors to UWWC.) Donors and prospects may be attracted to UWWC on the basis of its ability to assure temporary or permanent anonymity. Protecting donor confidentiality is an essential part of providing good service to donors.

Additionally, care must be taken to preserve confidentiality of discussions that take place and information that is shared in the course of conducting United Way business.

The purpose of this policy is to codify the position of UWWC on confidentiality.

  1. Confidentiality of Records: The President/CEO or designee shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of donor and prospect records as well as fund information. Records will normally be available to staff as needed to fulfill their duties. At the discretion of the President/CEO, staff may make all or part of any record available to UWWC volunteers to assist them in executing their specific responsibilities. UWWC’s auditors, legal counsel, and other contractors are authorized to review donor/prospect and fund records as required for the purposes for which they are engaged.  All persons accessing donor/prospect or fund records in the conduct of UWWC business shall maintain the confidentiality of said records. This applies to agency endowment funds as well as to other types of funds. Staff may share information with donors, fund beneficiaries, and grantees pertaining to their own gifts, funds, grants, etc. Except in those instances, any copies of confidential information shall not be held outside UWWC’s office for extended periods and are to be destroyed based on UWWC’s Records Retention Policy.
  2. Publication of Donor Names: Unless otherwise requested by the donor, the names of all individual donors may be printed in the UWWC’s marketing, solicitation, recognition communications, and in other appropriate listings. UWWC will not publish the amount of any donor’s gift without the permission of the donor. Unless otherwise specified in the document, donors making gifts to the UWWC by bequest or other testamentary device are deemed to have granted such permission.
  3. Memorial/Tribute Gifts: The names of donors of memorial or tribute gifts may be released to the honoree, next of kin, or appropriate member of the immediate family, unless otherwise specified by the donor. Gift amounts are not to be released without the express consent of the donor.
  4. Anonymous Gifts: The President/CEO is authorized to accept anonymous gifts to UWWC and to handle them appropriately. The name of the donor and size of the gift may be withheld from the Board of Directors at the President/CEO’s discretion if so requested by the donor. When made known to Board members, they will respect the anonymity of any such gift.
  5. Giving Categories: If giving categories have been stipulated for a specific fund drive, challenge grant, or project, or as part of UWWC’s ongoing recognition program, then the donors, unless they otherwise specify, are deemed to have given permission for UWWC to publish their names associated with the particular giving category. Similarly, UWWC may publish giving categories associated with donor names in its annual report unless a donor specifies otherwise.
  6. No Disclosures to Third Parties: UWWC shall not release to third parties or allow third parties to copy, inspect or otherwise use UWWC records or other information pertaining to the identification of a donor or donor’s gifts. No disclosures to third parties of such information, including addresses and demographic information, shall be made without the donor’s consent.
  7. Confidentiality of Organization’s Business: Discussions that take place in the context of UWWC’s operations require discretion, including discussions pertaining to grantmaking, personnel issues, development activities, operational fundraising, investment management, etc. The positions or statements of individual board members, advisors, or staff should not be discussed outside of official UWWC meetings and processes. Likewise, the content of UWWC business, including documents or UWWC analysis of documents, should not be discussed or shared outside official meetings and processes.
  8. Public Disclosure: UWWC will comply with both the letter and spirit of all public disclosure requirements, including the open availability of its Form 990 tax returns. This Confidentiality Policy shall not be construed in any manner to prevent UWWC from disclosing information to taxing authorities or other governmental agencies or courts having regulatory control or jurisdiction over UWWC. However, all staff, volunteers, and contractors must hold strictly confidential all information of a private nature, including, but not limited to, all items explicitly discussed in this policy.
  9. Consequences of Policy Violation: Violations of the Confidentiality Policy are considered very serious and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal for employees or contractors, or removal from the Board or any committee for volunteers.

What information we collect:

* UWWC collects and uses personal information from donors including: addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, month and day of birth, anniversary dates, loyal contributor dates, and donation dates/amounts.

* Specific requests made by donors/volunteers are recorded. For example, requests to remain anonymous or to be excluded from certain mailings are respected. We also specify the relationship with UWWC, such as volunteer, private individual, company, etc.

How we collect the information:

* When donations are made to UWWC, whether solicited or not, the details provided by the donors are recorded in our database unless the donor has specifically requested to not be added to our database

* Personal details of volunteers who contact UWWC to offer their services are also entered into our database

* Individuals with a relationship to United Way through activity or participation in fundraising, programs, and events receive invitations, newsletters, surveys, and have access to web-based communications that enable UWWC to capture contact information. Through these channels, individuals are given the opportunity to provide their contact information and can specify whether they would like their details added to our database and in what capacity.

Storage and security of information held:

* All donor contact information, donations, designations and related paperwork are stored in a safe, secure location. UWWC’s relational database is password protected and we have a strict hierarchy of access rights in place.

How we use the information:

UWWC will use contact information (i.e., email, telephone number, and address) of donors for these purposes only:

  • To distribute receipts for donations
  • To send donor acknowledgement letters and thank donors for their donations
  • To inform supporters about upcoming fundraising and other activities of UWWC
  • For internal analysis and record keeping
  • For general mailings (e.g., direct mailing to all donors and/or volunteers)
  • Donors have the option to have their name publicly associated with their donation. Unless the donor explicitly chooses to remain anonymous, the default is all donations can be publicly announced.
  • Comments/testimonials given to UWWC staff/volunteers may be used in promotional materials with the express consent of the individual.

Access and Correction of Information:

Donors have the right to access and request corrections to personal information. To ensure recorded personal information is accurate and up-to-date, donors should notify UWWC of any changes to personal details as soon as possible through the following contact methods:

Phone: (707) 528.4485
Fax: (707) 528.2930
Mail: 975 Corporate Center Parkway, Ste. 160, Santa Rosa, CA 95407