Volunteer Fundraiser Policies
Definition of Role
Volunteer Fundraiser is a role that allows individuals to do fundraising for activities within Bridge Foundry’s wide network of impact. This policy outlines the support Bridge Foundry agrees to provide to Volunteer Fundraisers, and what the Volunteer Fundraiser agrees to do in return. This could be for a one-time fundraising effort or ongoing activity as part of a general fund-raising committee or collaboration with a Community, Chapter or Bridge.
If a member of an Independent Community serves as a Volunteer Fundraiser, they are a volunteer of Bridge Foundry in this specific fundraising capacity. This agreement does not imply that their Community’s activities are part of Bridge Foundry’s legal operations.
Volunteer Fundraisers have a term of one year (365 days). If they wish to continue raising funds after a year, Bridge Foundry will ask them to complete another Volunteer Agreement. This is for multiple reasons: so that we have an accurate record of the current number of Volunteer Fundraisers with up-to-date contact information and to ensure that everyone remembers what they have agreed.
Bridge Foundry's Responsibilities
During your term as Volunteer Fundraiser (as long as you follow policies), Bridge Foundry will:
- Provide materials about Bridge Foundry that you can use in conversations with donors
- Answer your questions about processing donations
- Allocate funds you raise to the chapter, program, or purpose indicated on the volunteer agreement as long as there are active volunteers who need funding for mission-aligned activities, consistent with our operational policies.
Volunteer Fundraiser's Responsibilities:
By signing the Volunteer Agreement, Volunteer Fundraisers agree to:
- Explain to donors that donations are technically raised as “unrestricted funds,” which Bridge Foundry will apply for the specific purpose you’re raising them for to the extent practical and that they may also be applied to other activities in support of Bridge Foundry’s mission if there are leftover funds or a group of volunteers becomes inactive. (See “unrestricted funds” note below.)
- If any online fundraising component is approved for my fundraising campaign, include specific language provided by Bridge Foundry on the campaign page about the funds being unrestricted
- Refrain from soliciting particular donors if requested by Bridge Foundry (See "solicitation limitations" note below.)
- Gather the donor’s legal name, address, and email (for companies, gather a legal company name and a contact person name)
- Direct donors to one of Bridge Foundry’s approved online giving portals or submit an invoice request so they can pay Bridge Foundry directly. Volunteer Fundraisers may not accept cash, checks or other forms of payment directly from the donor. (See "payment methods" note below.)
- Coordinate with Bridge Foundry staff for any solicitations for Bridge Foundry general funds (vs. for a specific purpose, chapter or community)
- Let Bridge Foundry know if they want to raise funds using a platform, payment method or approach that is different from the primary methods the organization explicitly supports (as described in this Operations Guide).
- If Bridge Foundry indicates that we aren’t able to support that method currently, agree not to raise funds that way.
- If Bridge Foundry does approve the method, communicate with Bridge Foundry staff, who will set up any required accounts. Volunteer Fundraisers do not have authority to bind the organization into agreements or open accounts in its name.
- Example: If I wanted to do a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, Bridge Foundry would need to discuss and determine whether they could support that well in advance of launching the campaign.
Unrestricted Funds: While most Volunteer Fundraisers step into this role to help raise money for a specific activity, chapter, community, or program, it’s important for us to explain to donors that these funds are unrestricted. That’s because it gives Bridge Foundry freedom to use the money as makes sense without checking back in with the donor. For example, if you have leftover money from one workshop, we can apply it to the next one. If your chapter or community becomes inactive and it doesn’t look like it’s going to start back up but it still has some money leftover, we have the ability to use that money to support a new group somewhere else. And, if we don’t have a good reason like this to move the money around, we aren’t going to. We appreciate your efforts in helping communicate this balanced view: that on the whole the money will be used for the purpose you are describing to the donor, and we may reallocate it to other mission-aligned activities under certain circumstances.
Solicitation limitations: We plan in the near future to define some sponsorship guidelines, including some indicators of how to avoid partnering with companies or individuals who are not aligned with our mission. We may also coordinate centralized giving from major donors, and we may ask you to coordinate with us if you have an idea for how to engage with specific companies. These are both examples of cases in which we may, in the future, ask Volunteer Fundraisers not to solicit some donors.
Payment methods: Volunteer fundraisers primarily solicit donations from corporate donors and then request that Bridge Foundry send them an invoice, which they can then pay via check, credit card, or ACH payment. If other methods of accepting funds are desired, we can discuss options, but Bridge Foundry needs to accept the donations directly. We expect acceptance of ongoing donations through a donation portal on websites to be available to Chapters soon.