Public Information Policy - Story County Community Foundation | Grants & Tax Credits

Public Information Policy

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This policy is based upon that of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines (CFGDM) Public Information Policy.  As the Story County Community Foundation (SCCF) is an affiliate of CFGDM, gifts to SCCF are also treated as gifts to CFGDM.

The Story County Community Foundation (SCCF) recognizes that the efficient operation of the SCCF requires the maintenance and management of extensive donor, prospect and fund records.  (“Records” includes all files, including electronic data, containing information on donors or prospective donors to the SCCF.) These Records may contain sensitive information that has been shared with or developed by the SCCF staff or volunteers on a confidential basis.  Donors and prospects may be attracted to the SCCF based upon its ability to assure temporary or permanent anonymity.  The SCCF encourages donors to share their philanthropy with the public, with the belief that sharing this might encourage others to be similarly philanthropic.  However, protecting donor confidentiality is an essential part of providing good service to donors.

In view of the mission of the SCCF and the nature of its activities, the Board of Directors adopted this Public Information Policy to set out the practices of the SCCF regarding disclosure of information held by it and the procedures for requesting information.  The SCCF believes that information held by it should be as open to public inspection as possible, while still respecting the privacy rights of donors, prospective donors, and SCCF employees, and without compromising the SCCF’s ability to secure and steward funds for the continued success of the SCCF.

I. Confidentiality of Records:  The Executive Director 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.  The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and SCCF’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 SCCF business shall maintain the confidentiality of such Records.  Staff may share information with donors, fund beneficiaries, and grantees pertaining to their own gifts, funds, grants, etc.

II. Publication of Donor Names:  Unless otherwise requested by the donor, the names of all individual donors may be printed in the SCCF’s annual report and in other appropriate listings.  The SCCF 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 SCCF by bequest or other testamentary instrument shall be deemed to have granted such permission.

III. Memorial/Tribute Gifts: The names of donors of memorial or tribute gifts may be released to the honoree, the honoree’s next of kin, or to an appropriate member of the honoree’s immediate family, unless otherwise specified by the donor.  Gift amounts are not to be released without the express consent of the donor.

IV. Anonymous Gifts:  The Executive Director and other staff are authorized to accept anonymous gifts to the SCCF, and to handle them appropriately.  This would include informing the SCCF Advisory Board Chair of the gift and the need to maintain anonymity as part of the Chair’s oversight responsibilities.

V. Disclosures to Third Parties:  The SCCF shall not release to third parties or allow third parties to copy, inspect or otherwise use SCCF 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.

VI. Public Disclosure:  The SCCF will comply with public disclosure requirements, including the open availability of its Form 990 tax returns.  This Public Information Policy shall not be construed in any manner to prevent the SCCF from disclosing information to taxing authorities or other governmental agencies or courts having regulatory control or jurisdiction over the SCCF.  Except as provided herein, or as may be required (a) by law in the opinion of the SCCF’s legal counsel, or (b) by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, all employees, Board members and officers, 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.

VII. Procedures for Requesting Public Information:  It is the SCCF’s goal to make reasonable accommodations for those who wish to examine publicly available information held by the SCCF.  Much of the SCCF’s public information is available on the SCCF’s website () and the CFGDM website (http://www.desmoinesfoundation.org). Additional information may be requested by contacting the SCCF’s Executive Director at 515.232.9200.

The SCCF will make every effort to assist an organization or an individual in obtaining requested information, but for administrative and legal reasons it is not obligated to create a Record that does not exist at the time of the request.  In addition, while the SCCF will make every effort to accommodate requests, the SCCF may deny requests for unreasonable amounts of information.
 
VIII. Documents Not Covered by the Policy
: To the extent the SCCF receives requests for information not accounted for in this policy, the Board of Directors or its designee will evaluate such requests within a reasonable time and determine whether the requested information can be disclosed consistent with this policy.

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