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Providing Dog Guides to Canadians with Disabilities
Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code
Lions Foundation of Canada (LFC) and Dog Guides Canada (DGC) undertakes to adhere to the standards set out in the Imagine Canada Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code in its treatment of donors and the public, its fundraising practices and its financial transparency, and to be accountable through its Board of Directors for doing so.
  1. Donor Policies and Public Representations
    1. LFC/DGC shall maintain its charitable status
    2. LFC/DGC shall prepare and issue official Income Tax receipts for monetary gifts and for gifts-in-kind pursuant to any policy established and published on minimum amounts to be receipted and in compliance with all regulatory requirements. LFC/DGC shall acknowledge in writing contributions not entitled to be officially receipted, subject to any policy established and published on minimum amounts to be acknowledged.
    3. All fundraising solicitations by or on behalf of LFC/DGC shall disclose LFC/DGC's name and the purpose for which funds are requested. Printed and on-line solicitations (however transmitted) shall include its address or other contact information.
    4. LFC/DGC must demonstrate the utmost transparency and accountability through accurate and accessible disclosure of information in a readily accessible location on its website. If LFC/DGC does not have a website, this information shall be included in readily accessible public materials or documents. Information that should be disclosed includes, but is not limited to the following:
      • LFC/DGC most recent three years of annual reports and financial statements including notes as approved by the governing board;
      • LFC/DGC registration number (BN) as assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA);
      • any information contained in the public portion of LFC/DGC's most recent Information Return (form T3010) as submitted to CRA;
      • a copy of the LFC/DGC Investment Policy relating to its investable assets, if applicable (see C8);
      • a list of the names of the members of the LFC/DGC Governing Board; and
      • copy of this Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code
    5. LFC/DGC or those fundraising on its behalf shall disclose, upon request whether an individual or entity soliciting contributions is a volunteer, an employee or a contracted third party.
    6. LFC/DGC shall not make claims that cannot be upheld or are misleading.
    7. LFC/DGC shall encourage donors to seek independent advice if the proposed gift is a Planned Gift and/or LFC/DGC has any reason to believe that the proposed gift might significantly affect the donor's financial position, taxable income, or relationship with other family members.
    8. LFC/DGC shall honour donors' requests to remain anonymous in respect to:
      • being publicly identified as a supporter of the organization; and/or
      • having the amount of their contribution publicly disclosed.
    9. The privacy of donors shall be respected. Any donor records that are maintained by LFC/DGC shall be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible. Donors shall have the right to see their own donor record, and to challenge its accuracy.
    10. If LFC/DGC exchanges, rents, or otherwise shares its fundraising lists with other organizations, a donor's request to be excluded from the list shall be honoured.
    11. Solicitations by or on behalf of LFC/DGC shall treat donors and prospective donors with respect. Every effort shall be made to honour their requests to:
      • limit the frequency of solicitations;
      • not be solicited by telephone or other technology;
      • receive printed material concerning LFC/DGC;
      • discontinue solicitations where it is indicated they are unwanted or a nuisance.
    12. LFC/DGC shall have appropriate fundraising policies in place, including but not limited to gift acceptance, treatment of restricted or designated gifts, naming and endowment policies. The relevance and appropriateness of the charity's fundraising policies shall be reviewed regularly by the governing board.
    13. Recognition mechanisms created due to a gift shall not be arbitrarily changed or withdrawn. Unless otherwise negotiated at the time of the gift or changed through a joint agreement between LFC/DGC and the donor or the donor's family or legal representative, the original form of the recognition mechanism will be maintained. If the mechanism cannot be physically retained, it will be changed to another consistent with the original agreement. If continuation of the recognition creates a reputational risk for LFC/DGC, it may be terminated or altered.
    14. LFC/DGC shall post its complaints process and related contact information in a readily accessible location on its website. If the charity does not have a website, this information shall be included in readily accessible public materials or documents.
    15. LFC/DGC shall respond promptly to a complaint by a donor or prospective donor about any matter that is addressed in this Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code.
  2. Fundraising Practices
    1. LFC/DGC fundraising affairs shall be conducted in a responsible manner, consistent with the ethical obligations of stewardship and all applicable law.
    2. Fundraising solicitations on behalf of LFC/DGC shall:
      • be truthful; and
      • accurately describe LFC/DGC's activities and the intended use of donated funds.
    3. LFC/DGC shall not exploit its beneficiaries. It shall be sensitive in describing those it serves (whether using graphics, images or text) and fairly represent their needs and how these needs will be addressed.
    4. When LFC/DGC conducts online solicitations its practices shall be consistent with or exceed the provisions of the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce, which is downloadable here
    5. Should LFC/DGC conduct face-to-face solicitations, including but not limited to door-to-door campaigns or street-side fundraising, its practices shall include measures to:
      • provide verification of the affiliation of the person representing LFC/DGC; and,
      • secure and safeguard any confidential information, including credit card information, provided by donors.
    6. Volunteers, employees and third party consultants/solicitors who solicit or receive funds on behalf of LFC/DGC shall:
      • adhere to the provisions of this Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code;
      • act with fairness, integrity, and in accordance with all applicable laws;
      • adhere to the provisions of applicable professional codes of ethics, standards of practice, etc.;
      • cease solicitation of a prospective donor who identifies the solicitation as harassment or undue pressure, or who states that he does not wish to be solicited;
      • disclose immediately to LFC/DGC any actual or apparent conflict of interest or loyalty; and
      • not accept donations for purposes that are inconsistent with LFC/DGC's objects or mission.
    7. LFC/DGC shall provide, upon request, its best available information on the gross revenue, net proceeds and costs of any fundraising activity (including the fundraising costs categorized as education and/or public awareness) it undertakes.
    8. LFC/DGC shall not, directly or indirectly, pay finder's fees, commissions or percentage compensation based on contributions.
    9. Should LFC/DGC undertake cause-related marketing in collaboration with a third party LFC/DGC shall disclose how LFC/DGC benefits from the sale of products or services and the minimum or maximum amounts payable under the arrangement. If no minimum amount is specified, LFC/DGC should disclose this.
    10. LFC/DGC shall not sell its donor list. If applicable, any rental, exchange or other sharing of LFC/DGC's donor list shall exclude the names of donors who have so requested (as provided in section A8, above). If a list of LFC/DGC's donors is exchanged, rented or otherwise shared with another organization, such sharing shall be for a specified period of time and a specified purpose and must be limited to what is allowed under Federal and/or Provincial privacy legislations.
    11. LFC/DGC's governing board shall be informed at least annually of the number, type and disposition of complaints received from donors or prospective donors about matters that are addressed in this Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code.
  3. Financial Practice and Transparency
    1. LFC/DGC's financial affairs shall be conducted in a responsible manner, consistent with the ethical obligations of stewardship and all applicable law.
    2. All donations shall be used to support LFC/DGC's objects, as registered with CRA.
    3. The cost-effectiveness of LFC/DGC's fundraising programs shall be reviewed regularly by the governing board. No more will be spent on administration and fundraising than is required to ensure effective management and resource development.
    4. LFC/DGC shall accurately disclose all costs associated with its fundraising activity.
    5. LFC/DGC shall make the following information publicly available (e.g. on its website, in its annual report, in its financial statements) within 6 months of its year end.
      • Total fundraising revenues
      • Total fundraising expenses
      • Total expenditures on charitable activities/programming
    6. LDF/DGC shall have their financial statements audited by an independent licensed public account.
    7. Since LDC/DGC's investable assets surpass $1,000,000, an Investment Policy is established setting out asset allocation, procedures for investment decisions, and asset protection issues.
Updated July 21, 2011 (LFC/DGC)