InterAction’s Standards of Excellence
Section 5.0: Communications to the U.S. Public
The member organization shall be committed to full, honest, and accurate disclosure of relevant information concerning its goals, programs, finances, and governance.
Fundraising solicitations shall be truthful; shall accurately describe the organization's identity, purpose, programs, and need; shall only make claims which the organization can fulfill; and shall avoid placing excessive pressure on donors. There shall be no material omissions or exaggerations of fact, no use of misleading photographs, nor any other communication that would tend to create a false impression or misunderstanding. Information in the organization's appeals should give accurate balance to the actual programs for which the funds solicited will be used. The organization shall not undertake negative advertising or criticize other member organizations to benefit themselves.
An organization's communications shall respect the dignity, values, history, religion, and culture of the people served by the programs. They shall neither minimize nor overstate the human and material needs of those whom it assists.
If an organization sells, rents, or exchanges the names of its donors, it shall notify the donors of its intention to do so, giving them the option to be eliminated from the list for sale, rent, or exchange.
If the organization engages in fundraising events or cause-related marketing, the amount of funds going to the charity shall be clearly described prior to, or in conjunction with, the effort.
Organizations shall control all fundraising activities conducted on their behalf. All fundraising contracts and agreements shall be reduced to writing.
Staff engaged in fundraising and public relations should meet the standards of the Association of Fundraising Professionals2 and Public Relations Society of America3, respectively.