Ethical Gift Acceptance Policy

Policy Overview

The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) is a Canadian non-profit, charitable organization based out of Vancouver, BC. SPEC relies on a diversity of funding sources to fulfill its mission and run its urban sustainability programs in the community. Part of these funding sources include donations and grants from individuals, foundations and businesses. The following gift acceptance policy provides guidance to the SPEC Board and staff as well as donors and grantors regarding what donations and grants can and cannot be accepted by the organization.

SPEC only accepts donations that will support the organization’s mission, vision, values and programs. These donations include:

  • Gifts in cash, cheque, credit card or online.
  • Publicly traded securities (including stocks, mutual funds and bonds). Our policy is to sell the securities upon receipt and convert to cash and issue a tax receipt for that cash value,
  • In-kind gifts including real estate, art, tools and materials relevant to our programming (such as garden tools) and computer equipment, etc.

SPEC will not accept donations that:

  • Could damage its reputation,
  • Threaten its integrity,
  • Violate international, federal, provincial or municipal laws or human rights;
  • Restrict its liberty of action,
  • Carry additional and uncertain risks or potential liabilities
  • Have restrictions, except those considered acceptable by both the donor and SPEC;
  • Involve excessive financial or administrative commitments, which are disproportionate to the value of the donation.

SPEC reserves the right to decline any donation. Donations are vetted by SPEC’s Executive Committee when necessary.

The Donor Bill of Rights

SPEC adheres the following principles developed by The Donor Bill of Rights was created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Giving Institute:

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.