Confidentiality Policy

Washington County Community Foundation Policy on Confidentiality


The nature of WCCF's role to its donors and as a funder, leader, convener and decision-maker in the community results in the acquisition of extensive information that is considered privileged. Much information is shared with the Foundation because of its reputation for trust and its ability to make fair decisions. To safeguard the Foundation's integrity as a responsible decision-maker and to protect its capacity to gather data necessary to make those decisions, the Foundation subscribes to specific policies on confidentiality.

The WCCF, its Trustees, its employees, its volunteers, and its agents have an ethical and legal obligation to respect the privacy of our donors, and to protect and maintain the confidentiality of all information that we learn about our donors, their family members and friends in the course of providing services to them. Donor records are legally protected confidential records and must be treated as such. Donors' records shall never leave the office, except as permitted by the President & CEO.

The Washington County Community Foundation recognizes that the efficient operation of the Foundation requires the maintenance and management of extensive donor and prospect records. These records often contain sensitive information that has been shared with or developed by the Foundation employees on a confidential basis.

Additionally, donors and prospects are frequently attracted to the Foundation on the basis of its ability to assure temporary or permanent anonymity.

All employees, Trustees, volunteers and agents are required to adhere to the Confidentiality Policy as set forth in the Personnel Manual. Failure of an employee to follow this Policy shall result in discipline, up to and including termination.

Definitions

The following terms shall have the following definitions, as also set forth in the Confidentiality Policy:

  1. Donor and Prospect Records: All files, including electronic data, containing information on donors or prospective donors to the Foundation.
  2. Confidential Information: For purposes of the Confidentiality Policy, "confidential information" include the following, regardless of the form in which the information exists (spoken/oral, electronic, printed, or otherwise), and is not necessarily limited to:
    1. Donor and prospect records.
    2. Confidential financial information regarding the Foundation (this includes, but shall not necessarily be limited to, the following: payroll records or any other information regarding amounts paid to, contributed by or deducted from an employee's pay.) This shall not be applied to prohibit any employee from discussing his or her own salary and related items.
    3. Hiring and other personnel records. This shall not be applied to prohibit any employee from discussing personnel matters relating to himself or herself.
    4. Non-public information regarding the Foundation's independent contractors.
    5. Other non-public and/or proprietary information of the Foundation including, but not limited to, positions or statements of individual Trustees, employees, volunteers or agents; the content of Foundation business, including documents for Foundation analysis of documents.

Rules

Except as otherwise provided herein and in addition to the rules set forth in Preamble, individuals covered by the Confidentiality Policy may not disclose, divulge, or make accessible confidential information to any person, including relatives, friends, and business and professional associates, other than to persons who have a legitimate need for such information and to whom the Foundation has authorized disclosure. Individuals covered by this Policy shall use confidential information solely for the purpose of performing their roles relative to the Foundation.

All individuals covered by this Policy must exercise good judgment and care at all times to avoid unauthorized or improper disclosures of confidential information. Conversations in public places must be limited to matters that do not pertain to confidential information. In addition, such individuals must be sensitive to the risk of inadvertent disclosure and must, for example, refrain from leaving confidential information on desks or otherwise in plain view and refrain from the use of speaker phones to discuss confidential information if the conversation could be heard by unauthorized persons.

The President & CEO shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of donor and prospect records. She may, in her discretion, make all or part of any record available to other employees, Trustees, volunteers or agents to assist them in executing their responsibility.

Other Confidentiality Policies

Employees are also obligated to follow the confidentiality requirements of the Clean Desk Security Policy and Electronic Communications and Other Information Systems Policy.

Special Cases/Exceptions

  1. The Foundation's auditors are authorized to review donor and prospect records as required for the purposes for which they are engaged.
  2. Publication of Donor Names: Unless otherwise requested by the donor, the names of all individual donors will be listed in the Foundation's annual report and/or in other appropriate vehicles. The Foundation will not publish the amount of any donor's gift without the permission of the donor. Donors making gifts to the Foundation by bequest or other testamentary device are deemed to have granted such permission unless specific direction has been provided either by the donor or the donor's agent.
  3. Donors should be aware that it is the Foundation's policy to, from time to time, publish the current market value of its funds, from which a reader may be able to determine the approximate size of a donor's gift.
  4. Honor/ Memorial Gifts: The names of donors of memorial or honor 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.
  5. Anonymous Gifts: The President & CEO is authorized to accept anonymous gifts to the Foundation. In the event the President & CEO is uncertain about the desirability of accepting an anonymous gift, she/he shall consult with the Executive Committee.
  6. The Confidentiality Policy is not intended to prevent disclosure where disclosure is required by law. This Policy shall not be construed or implemented to deny any employee the right to discuss information regarding wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment, to the extent that employees, who are covered under the National Labor Relations Act and its implementing Regulations or any similar provision of state law or regulation have the right to discuss the same, or to take any other action or exercise any other right protected by such laws or regulations. All questions regarding confidentiality obligations are to be directed to the President & CEO. All individuals subject to this Policy shall be required to annually sign the Confidentiality Statement for Trustees, Employees, Volunteers, and Agents.

Date of Adoption: November 2017