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Fundraising Practices

Policy Statements

  1. Potluck Café Society (Potluck) is committed to diversifying its programs and funding base.  Fund development strategies arise from the strategic/business plan, grant and project funding opportunities and from the ongoing assessment of program and service needs for the community we serve.

  2. Potluck focuses its fundraising and charitable donation activities to maintain or expand existing programs and services and to develop new ones.

  3. Potluck is committed to being a responsible custodian of donated funds and to exercise due care concerning fundraising and financial reporting.  All donations will be used to support Potluck’s stated objectives.

  4. Potluck fundraising practices are transparent and respectful of donors and accountable to the Board of Directors.

  5. To demonstrate transparency and accountability, Potluck will post information on the website including annual reports, names of Directors and summaries of fundraising priorities and as appropriate, donor recognition.

  6. All fundraising solicitations by Potluck will accurately describe the organization’s activities and the purpose(s) for which funds are sought, and include Potluck’s legal name, address and other relevant contact information.  

  7. Potluck prohibits the practice of paying finder’s fees, commissions or other payments to employees or external contractor based on either the number of donations or value of funds raised.

  8. Potluck ensues those individuals who seek or receive funds on behalf of the organization are authorized by Potluck and have been briefed on the policies and expectations of Potluck regarding fundraising. These shall include:

    1. Acting with fairness and integrity and in accordance with Potluck policies and procedures;

    2. Disclosing to the Executive Director any actual or apparent conflict of interest;

    3. Identifying themselves, including their role with Potluck when requested by prospective donors;

    4. Informing prospective donors of Potluck policy regarding issuing of Official Income Tax receipts, including the policy that receipts not be issued for donations under $20.00 [d1] or for donations in kind[d2] ; and

    5. Contacting the Executive Director as soon as possible whenever there are any questions about accepting a donation because its source or purpose does not appear to be consistent with Potluck interests.




Donor Relations

Policy Statements

  1. Potluck establishes effective communications and working relationships with all foundations, government and other agencies, corporations and individuals that make grants or donations.  Contributors will receive the Potluck Annual Report [d3] (hard copy or a digital version) and such other reports as agreed.

  2. Potluck is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal information of donors.  The organization values the trust of donors and recognizes that maintaining trust requires that all personal information in its control be kept confidential and carefully protected.  Donors have the right to see their own record and to challenge its accuracy.

  3. Potluck treats all donors and prospective donors with respect and will seek to honour requests to: limit the frequency of solicitations; not be solicited by telephone or email, receive information; and discontinue contact.

  4. Potluck honours donors’ requests to remain anonymous with respect to being publicly identified and/or having the amount of their contribution publicly disclosed.

  5. Potluck acknowledges all donations in writing and issues Official Income Tax Receipts in accordance with the Canada Revenue Agency guidelines for donations of $20.00 or more that qualify as charitable donations.

  6.  Potluck does not permit the use of its donor list by any other organization.

  7. The Executive Director is responsible for addressing all concerns Potluck receives about its fundraising practices and informs the Board of Directors at least once a year of the number, type and disposition of all complaints about fundraising practices.





Donation Acceptance

Policy Statements

  1. Potluck encourages the solicitation and acceptance of donations for purposes that will help to fulfill its mission.  Restricted or designated donations are accepted when these are aligned with Potluck’s mission and core values, when the terms are not too onerous or costly for Potluck to administer, or when there is no implication that would compromise the reputation of Potluck.

  2. Potluck reserves the right to decline any donation that it believes is not in its best interest.

  3. Potluck is committed to meeting all its legal and regulatory obligations and retains the right to determine such obligations in its sole discretion. Potluck will seek legal advice about acceptance of donations when required.

  4. Potluck encourages potential donors to seek advice from independent legal and tax professionals in matters relating to tax and/or estate planning consequences relating to their planned donations.

  5. Potluck will accept real property, securities in the form of publicly traded shares and bonds.  The Board of Directors retains the right to make all decisions about the disposition or retention of such donations in accordance with its investment policies.

  6. All proposals for donations-in-kind to Potluck will be reviewed individually to ensure that acceptance will not result in financial commitments more than budgeted items or obligations disproportionate to the use of the donation.

  7. Potluck will consider naming programs, endowments and other funds in honour of significant financial contributions.  The acceptance of donations that involve naming programs and/or creating endowment funds are conditional on approval by the Board of Directors.

  8. Potluck will use each restricted contribution as designated with the understanding that when the need for the program or project has been met or the Board of Directors determines that the program or project cannot be completed, then Potluck may seek the donor’s (or donor’s legal designates) permission to reassign the donation that fits with Potluck’s priorities and is in keeping as much as possible with the donor’s original intent for the funds.


Donor Recognition

Policy Statements

  1. Potluck ensures that donors receive recognition for their donations that is timely, appropriate, equitable and consistent.

  2. The purpose of the Potluck donor recognition program is to express gratitude to donors, publicly acknowledge their philanthropy and garner the interest and support of prospective donors.

  3. The level of donor recognition is determined at the time of the contribution [d4] or based on the total amount contributed in a fiscal year.



Business and Corporate Donations and Sponsorships


There has been a decrease in funding sources in the non-profit sector across Canada so Potluck must continue to find new ways of securing funds to support its activities and new initiatives, including capital expenditures. To do this, Potluck will seek funding from a range of sources, including businesses and corporations.  Consequently, Potluck sets out policies establish an overview process and criteria for evaluating potential relationships with businesses and corporations.  The policies must also protect the mission, integrity, and reputation of Potluck while supporting its fundraising efforts.  These policies were drafted with the following considerations:

  1. Potluck’s approaches to potential business sector organizations should be seen as opportunities to build relationships and supporters for the long term.

  2. The criteria for review should be reasonable and realistic.

  3. The review and oversight process should not be overly cumbersome or time-consuming.

  4. Over time, the review process will build a body of knowledge for soliciting and accepting business and corporate donations and sponsorship.

  5. The policies apply to solicited and unsolicited ‘significant’ donations from businesses and corporations.

  6. Significant donations [d5] are deemed as $10,000+ or more than 50% of the project’s funding – whichever is less.

  7. These policies do not apply to government contribution agreements, grants and contacts, and grants from independent foundations.


Policy Statements

  1. Potluck will solicit and accept business and corporate support for projects and activities that are consistent with the organization’s mission.

  2. Acceptance of donations or sponsorships must enhance, and shall not impede, Potluck’s ability to provide programs and services to seniors.

  3. Potluck’s name, logo and other intangible assets must be protected at all times.

  4. All potential corporate donors shall be advised of relevant Potluck policies and procedures regarding the review and acceptance process.

  5. Potluck will not endorse or advertise or otherwise promote the products or services of a business or corporate donor and will not permit the donor to use its relationship with Potluck to promote or advertise its products or services or solicit the members of Potluck.

  6. Potluck will not accept [d6] donations of any kind from tobacco companies, and manufacturers of firearms, ammunition, armaments, and weapons of mass destruction.

  7. Whether solicited or unsolicited, all corporate donations and sponsorships valued over $10,000[d7] , and in some circumstances as determined by the Executive Director, below this threshold, shall be reviewed before being accepted to ensure sufficient congruence between Potluck and the reputation and express intent of the donor.

    1. The Potluck review will consider whether the practices of the corporation fit with adopted policies of Potluck and recognized responsible practices in assessing the benefits and risks to Potluck of accepting donations and sponsorships from businesses and corporations.  This includes but is not limited to:

      1. The types of core products or services produced or provided;

      2. Occupational health and safety conditions under which products or services are produced;

      3. Employment practices, including commitment to gender equality, diversity, and a living wage.

      4. Commitment to sound environmental practices;

      5. Record of regulatory compliance;

      6. Marketing and advertising practices;

      7. Research and development policies and practices;

      8. Human rights record;

      9. Relevant public policy positions;

      10. Record of support to community services and ethno-cultural and arts organizations;

      11. Actual or potential conflict of interest for Potluck Board members and/or staff;

      12. History of a relationship with Potluck; and

      13. Other past activities that can be weighed against Potluck’s public policies and public reputation.

    2. The Potluck review will also consider the following issues:

      1. Potluck maintaining control over the content of its programs and services;

      2. Potluck’s duties to protect the privacy of its staff and members;

      3. Potluck having prior review and approval of any public statement by the donor about the donation;

      4. Potluck having control of all funds and materials donated; and

      5. Expectations of Potluck in regard to public recognition, ongoing responsibilities, methods of implementation, responsibilities, and duration of funding.

    3. The Potluck review will be conducted as follows:

      1. An initial review will be made discreetly by the Executive Director or Potluck staff under the direction of the Executive Director leading to a report and recommendations.

      2. The report and recommendations will be forwarded to a Committee of the Board consisting of the President, Past-President and Treasurer [d8] for consideration.  This Committee will be authorized by the Board to approve arrangements that it deems to be acceptable under the policies.

      3. The Committee will report its activities to the Board at the next scheduled meeting and, if a proposed donation is deemed problematic, will present the matter to the Board for final decision.




Policy Drafts Provided by LOVEfundraising:                               May 4, 2022

Policy Draft Review by Executive Director:                                  May 8, 2022

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