Social Media Fundraising Guidelines for Aussie Charities
Wednesday, 1st August 2012 at 10:29 am
In the rapidly-changing world of social media, the national peak body for fundraising – the Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) has launched what it says are the first, definitive best-practice guidelines for social media fundraising.
The FIA guidelines cover the management of donations, spamming, privacy issues and the use of images.
“Social media is fast becoming one of the easiest and most effective ways to encourage people to donate to a charity, particularly for peer-to-peer fundraising,” FIA Chief Executive Officer, Rob Edwards said.
“Now, in what is believed to be a world first, FIA has produced a code of practice for fundraising using social media.
“As the fundraising peak body, we were concerned there were no guidelines in place for our members or for the public on this fast-growing fundraising practice.
“The public can now be confident their online donation will be ethically raised and managed by charities belonging to FIA.
“Australians are amongst the highest users of social media globally and this high take up rate makes it crucial for fundraisers to meet the challenge of this exciting medium and do so using best practice.”
The Standard of Social Media Fundraising Practice requires fundraisers to engage in social media activity using three principles: transparency, accountability and respect.
Edwards said that all FIA members – including charities and professional fundraisers – must now automatically abide by the new Standard.
“The social media standard is the latest update to FIA’s Principles & Standards of Fundraising Practice. This means we now have 12 standards in our code of practice which we constantly monitor and update,” Edwards said.
“We want Australians to assert their right to be assured their charity is fundraising and managing their donations in a transparent and accountable manner.
“We urge donors to request or look for the symbols of FIA membership so they can be confident their online donation has been ethically raised and managed.
“The FIA code of practice is not just a document for fundraisers,” Edwards said. “It is also a bill of rights for donors.
“And we urge charities and fundraisers to use FIA’s new guidelines to ensure they have an ethical focus in managing their social media activities.”
Under the Social Media Guidelines:
Transparency: ensures that information on a social media site is truthful and accurate and if it is not, is removed quickly. Beneficiaries must not be identified without their consent and the charity relying on the social media is properly identified with contact details made available.
Accountability: covers the management of donations. The site must indicate how donations are to be collected; how funds will be protected (general information only is required); how donations will be receipted and how the donors’ identities will be protected from publication.
Respect: covers the way in which the charity, the event, donors and beneficiaries are to be treated. Comments which are likely to be misleading or deceptive or damaging in any way to the reputation of any of these groups will be promptly removed. Spam will be removed immediately from the site.
Full details of the new Standards can be found here.