Ethical Fundraising & Financial Accountability Policy


To set standards of ethical conduct in managing our fundraising activities.


Employees, volunteers, Board members and external stakeholders.

Policy Statement

A. Responsibility to the Donor

1.Subject to the requirements of the Income Tax Act  all donors  to Mercy Ships Canada, which are not themselves registered charities, are entitled to receive an official donation receipt for income tax purposes for the amount of eligible donations made in cash or for the fair market value of the property donated. The Board of Directors have established a minimum amount of $10 for the automatic issuance of official donation receipts, in which case smaller donations will be receipted only upon request.

2.All fundraising solicitations by or on behalf of our organization will disclose our full legal name and the purposes for which funds are requested. Printed solicitations (however transmitted) will also include our address or other contact information.

3.Donors and prospective donors are entitled to receive the following information, promptly upon request:

a) our most recent annual report and audited financial statements as approved by the Board of Directors
b) our charity registration number (BN) as assigned by Canada Revenue Agency
c) any information contained in the public portion of our most recent Registered Charity Information Return (Form T3010)
d) a list of the names of the members of the Board of Directors.

4.Donors and prospective donors are entitled to know, upon request, whether an individual soliciting funds on our behalf is a volunteer, an employee or a fundraising consultant.

5.The privacy of donors will be respected, including their right to remain anonymous, unless information must be released by law. Donors have the right to receive a copy of their own donation record, which includes their name, contact information and gift amounts.

6.The donor or prospective donor list will not be sold, exchanged, rented or otherwise shared with other organizations.

7.Donor and prospective donors will be treated with respect.  Every effort will be made to honour their request to:

a) limit the frequency of contact
b) not be contacted by telephone or other technolog
c) receive printed material concerning the organization
d) discontinue contact
e) and to remain anonymous.

8.The organization will respond promptly to a complaint by a donor or prospective donor according to our Complaints Policy. The Board of Directors will be informed at least annually of the number, type and disposition of complaints.

B. Fundraising Practices

1.Our fundraising solicitations will:

a) be truthful
b) accurately describe our organizational activities and the intended use of donated funds and
c) respect the dignity and privacy of those who benefit from our activities in pursuit of our purposes.

2.Volunteers, employees and hired fundraisers who solicit or receive funds on our behalf shall:

a) follow our Code of Ethics Policy, Conflicts of Interest Policy and relevant administrative procedures
b) act with fairness, integrity, and in accordance with all applicable laws
c) cease contacting a prospective donor who states that he/she does not wish to be contacted and
d) not accept donations for purposes that are inconsistent with the organization’s mission.

3.Paid fundraisers, whether staff or consultants, will be compensated by a salary, retainer or fee, and will not be paid finders’ fees, commissions or other payments based on either the number of donations received or the value of funds raised. Compensation policies for fundraisers will be consistent with our policies and practices that apply to all our staff.

4.If an external fundraiser is retained, access to our donor list will be limited and will be kept under strict control.

5.Our donors will be kept fully informed with comprehensive and current information about our organization.

6.Donors will be encouraged to seek independent advice if the proposed gift is a Planned Gift and/or the organization has any reason to believe the proposed gift might significantly affect the donor’s financial position, taxable income, or relationship with other family members.

7.Where Mercy Ships Canada has formally entered into a cause-related marketing agreement with a third-party, we will  disclose in all related materials we produce, how we benefit from the sale of products or services and  the minimum or maximum amounts payable under the arrangement. If no minimum amount is payable, we will disclose this.

8.When Mercy Ships Canada collects funds online, our practices are consistent with or exceed the provisions of the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce.

9.Mercy Ships Canada will accept donations that are directed to be applied to specific Board approved programs and projects, with the understanding, which will be documented in a Terms of Reference, that when the need for such a program or project has been met or cannot be completed for any reason, any remaining restricted contributions will be applied as directed by the Board.

Any proposed gift with such a direction will be reviewed by the Board.

C. Financial Accountability and Organizational Integrity

1.The Board of Directors shall be comprised of individuals:

a) the majority of whom are Canadian residents
b) who are not employees of the organization, or otherwise receive compensation from the organization except as authorized by law.

2.The Board of Directors shall:

a) hold at least two full-agenda meetings each year
b) create policy for the organization
c) maintain effective control over the organization
d) establish a proper financial reporting system which permits the production of annual operating statements and a balance sheet, showing reasonable detailed information that:

(i) is factual and accurate in all material respects

(ii) identifies government grants and donations separately from other donations

(iii) is prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles established by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

e) ensure that the organization at all times operates within the limits of, and in accordance with, the purposes in its governing documents
f)  take seriously its responsibility to be conversant with and comply with federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations
g) ensure that the organization is open and accurate in all its dealings
h) not permit a member of the Board of Directors, or staff member of the organization to receive royalties for the use of any property of such person that is used for fundraising or promotional purposes by the organization
i)  not permit the payment of fees for service that is based on a percentage of funds raised or is based on another form of paying commission
j)  ensure that the organization appropriately serves the interests of donors and potential donors
k) avoid questionable motives or programs that are not factual, or negate the donor’s sound judgement
l)  require responsible stewardship on the part of our staff through effective training and cost controls
m) ensure that the organization, or its staff, does not by any means, either directly or indirectly, induce a donor or other constituent to transfer to it a benefit from any other organization
n) ensure that all government prescribed returns such as the Registered Charity Information Return (T3010) and voluntarily produced reports will be prepared factually, accurately and on a timely basis
o) ensure that sufficient funds will be spent on administration and fundraising (where appropriate) to assure effective and efficient management of our resources
p) ensure that the organization meets or exceeds its disbursement requirements imposed by section 149.1 of the Income Tax Act, Canada.

3.The following policy will be published as follows:

“Spending of funds is confined to Board approved programs, projects or activities and is at the discretion of the Board.”

Other Policies