Your Rights as a Donor

Did you know that you, as a donor, have a Bill of Rights?[1] This document was conceived by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Non-Profits. 

The Donor Bill of Rights

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 nonprofit 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.

My Top Ten Principles of Christian Stewardship

The rights listed above are intended to empower donors as they make charitable giving decisions. As Christian stewards, we have a few other biblical principles that guide those decisions. Among those principles are these that I consider the top 10:

  1. God is the owner. I am the manager. (Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2)
  2. How I manage God’s resources reveals my heart. (Matthew 6:21)
  3. The most basic financial question in my life is “How much do I trust God?” (Philippians 4:19)
  4. If I am bound by debt or by greed, I am not free to serve God. (Matthew 6:24)
  5. Gratitude begets generosity. (2 Corinthians 8:1-2)
  6. Love gives abundantly. (John 3:16)
  7. Giving generously forms the character of Christ in me. (2 Corinthians 8:8-9)
  8. Faithfully (and regularly) stewarding God’s resources well creates capacity in my life for managing the more important resources God wants to entrust to me. (Luke 16:10-13)
  9. Cheerful giving results in greater blessings for the giver and recipient (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
  10.  I will give an account for the trust God has placed in me. (Matthew 25:14-30)

If you would like to study biblical principles of stewardship in more detail, I recommend the following books:

  • Rich in Every Way: Everything God says about Money and Possessions; 102 Supracultural Principles for Handling Material Possessions by Dr. Gene Getz
  • Generous Living: Finding Contentment Through Giving by Ron Blue
  • Your Money Counts: The Biblical Guide to Earning, Spending, Saving, Investing, Giving and Getting Out of Debt by Howard Dayton
  • The 33 Laws of Stewardship: Principles for a Life of True Fulfillment by Dave Sutherland and Kirk Nowery

An Opportunity to Exercise Your Rights and Live Biblical Stewardship Principles Through Johnson University

As 2016 draws to a close, it is our prayer that God will provide at least $275,000 in donations. These funds enable us to keep student costs low thereby helping them avoid excessive debt. Just this week we heard from Norm Able who attended a gathering of our alumni in Indiana. Norm has faithfully served God’s church since graduating from Johnson in 1950. Norm says, “Without the work study program at JBC I would never have been able to receive the training for ministry I did. I have a debt to the school that I will never be able to pay! That is why I support the school yearly ever since graduation!”

Thank you, Norm! And thank you to all our faithful partners!

Though $275,000 is a lot of money, when we break it down, it would only require each of Johnson’s current constituents to give $10 more than they normally give. Would you join us in one the following ways as we approach the end of the year?

  • Commit to praying for us. One of Ashley Johnson’s top three values was to pray as though everything depends upon prayer. We need your prayer support.
    • Pray for our students: for their safety while travelling over the holidays, for their success in school and internships.
    • Pray for faculty: for their safety, as well, for them to reach students not simply teach subjects
    • Pray for prospective students: for those whose missions and values fit with Johnson’s
    • Pray for partners: for those who will financially provide for the needs of our students, faculty, and staff
  • Commit to a gift.
    • $10
    • $20
    • $40
    • $75
    • $100
    • Other: ________________

God bless you! Merry Christmas!

[1] @2016, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), all rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission from the Association of Fundraising Professionals

Posted: 12/21/2016 8:45:28 AM


Opinions expressed are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent those of Johnson University.