WorldShare seeks donations and support from individuals, organisations, churches, trusts and foundations in order to support its ministry partners overseas, and provides regular communication to its donors about the work of its ministry partners. We are committed to ensuring that fundraising activities are carried out in an ethical manner and that people portrayed in our communications materials are portrayed in a way that respects their dignity, values, language and culture. We are committed to making sure people are not put in danger or exposed to harassment as a result of WorldShare communications materials.
The purpose of this document is to identify WorldShare’s position on fundraising and communications practice and to document the standards expected in raising funds and communicating to the community.
This policy applies to the Board, casual, permanent and contract staff and volunteers. It applies to all fundraising activities conducted by WorldShare.
WorldShare is committed to conducting its communications and fundraising activities to the highest ethical standards, valuing privacy, confidentiality, trust and integrity. We seek to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with our supporters.
WorldShare is committed to the following standards:
- Fundraising activities carried out by WorldShare will comply with all relevant laws as well as the Australian Council for International Development Fundraising Charter.
- Fundraising materials will include WorldShare’s identity (name and ABN).
- Fundraising activities will not exploit our relationships with supporters, and we will not harass or intimidate our supporters.
- All monies raised via fundraising activities will be for the stated purpose of the appeal and will comply with the organisation’s stated mission and purpose.
- Fundraising material will not claim or imply that professional fundraising activities are carried out at no cost.
- Nobody directly or indirectly employed by or volunteering for WorldShare shall accept commissions for fundraising activities on behalf of the organisation or in any other way infringe our Conflicts of Interest Policy. We will maintain appropriate professional relationships with supporters in connection with gifts.
- Fundraising activities should not be undertaken if they may be detrimental to the good name or community standing of WorldShare.
- All printed appeals, newsletters, Prayer & Praise editions, video content, proposals and impact reports will require approval of the CEO and Head of International Partnerships; and mass-marketing emails will require approval of the CEO prior to distribution.
- If third party individuals or groups are known to be fundraising on behalf of WorldShare with their own fundraising materials, such parties will agree in writing to comply with this policy.
- If WorldShare outsources fundraising activities to professional fundraising agencies on our behalf, we will ensure that:
o Contracts are in place which meet all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements
o Specific expectations, responsibilities and obligations of each party are clear and in writing
o WorldShare is identified as the beneficiary of the funds, and
o Contractors are clearly identified.
- Informed Consent
Informed consent must be obtained for all photos, stories and videos that are used in WorldShare communications materials. To obtain proper informed consent the person featured in the material must have a full understanding of how that material will be used, including if it will be placed anywhere on the internet where it could be available in a public forum, and gives their permission for it to be used this way. In obtaining informed consent it must be made clear to the person that they can say no to sharing their story and/or image.
When a photo/story/video is being shared of a child permission must be obtained by the parent or guardian of that child along with the permission of the child, if they are able to provide it.
WorldShare partners are required to obtain informed consent for the communications materials they share with WorldShare, this is included in the WorldShare partnership agreement. Partners will also be trained on what informed consent is and how to obtain it.
WorldShare staff will use the WorldShare permission form when collecting communications material in the field or online.
Any communications to the public made in the course of carrying out a fundraising activity shall be truthful and non-deceptive. Descriptions of beneficiary situations should always be a truthful and accurate depiction of a real-life experience. Stories should always truthfully portray the situation with respect to the person’s context, experience and the country situation. The story should accurately reflect what the person has shared about their experience and should not be embellished for fundraising purposes. Negative situations should not be over-emphasised in an untruthful way for fundraising purposes. Negative behaviours of people involved in the story should not be stated to characterise the people or culture of that person unless there is evidence available that these are common challenges faced in that particular context.
Images and messages used for fundraising will portray people in a way that respects their dignity, values, language and culture. All people (including children) portrayed in WorldShare communication materials will be portrayed in a dignified, respectful and appropriate way. People should not be portrayed in a vulnerable, submissive or dehumanised manner.
All people (including children) portrayed in WorldShare communication materials, in photos and videos must not be naked or portrayed in a sexualised manner or in a way that seems to be sexually suggestive.
Stories, pictures and videos should not be used if they in any way may endanger the people they are portraying. Images should not feature dead bodies or dying people.
Children and vulnerable people
Special care must be taken to portray vulnerable people (people with a disability, medical condition, marginalised groups, the elderly and children) in a dignified and respectful manner. Where a photo is included of a person with a disability or medical condition the focus must be on the person and not on their disability or medical condition. Children should be portrayed as part of their community and images should be an honest representation of the context and the facts.
Parents and guardians of children should be portrayed and referred to in a respectful manner. Children should not be referred to as orphans or without a parent or guardian unless this has been verified to be the case.
Special care should be taken when portraying people with a sensitive story such as:
- where the person in the story has been the victim or perpetrator of abuse
- cases of alcohol or substance abuse
- cases that deal with mental health issues
- where the person has been involved or is involved in a situation of exploitation
- where the person could face stigma from their community due to breaking social or cultural taboos
- cases which could invoke government discrimination or retribution due to persecution on religious or other grounds or due to disagreement with government decisions.
The names used in sensitive stories must be changed to protect the person’s identity unless the person has expressly given consent for their name to be shared with their story.
Published photos and videos of people with a sensitive story must be taken in a way that you cannot identify the person from the image unless the person has expressly given consent for their image to be shared.
5. Internet use
Special consideration needs to be given to communications materials that will be available on the internet where they could be viewed by people known to those featured in the stories and by government officials. Online messages move faster, further and leave a permanent record. Extra care needs to be taken when considering if photos, stories or videos are appropriate to share on freely accessible internet platforms such as a website, YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. Consideration needs to be given to cultural and political context and if the information could cause harm to the person sharing it.
6. Interactions with supporters
WorldShare is committed to treating supporters (including prospective supporters) with respect and will:
- Promptly and courteously respect and comply with a supporter’s:
o decision to not make a donation
o request to not receive any future communication
o request to be contacted at a more convenient time or by a different method, and
o request to limit the number, type or frequency of donation requests
- Readily make available, on request, information about our fundraising, including:
o WorldShare’s objectives and how we intend to use the donated funds
o fundraising costs, fees and expenses and the way funds are raised
o WorldShare’s most recent Annual Review and/or Financial Report
o WorldShare’s governance and Board of Directors, and
o whether funds are being raised by volunteers, employees or suppliers.
- Ensure a supporter has given consent prior to any public recognition of their gift.
- Ensure appropriate security measures are in place to protect supporters’ information at all times.
Copyright is the bundle of rights in certain creative works such as text, artistic works, music, sound recordings and films. The rights are granted exclusively to the copyright owner to reproduce the material. WorldShare is committed to ensuring that our communication materials do not breach copyright, specifically that:
- WorldShare ministry partners who supply WorldShare with creative works sourced from third parties have permission to share those materials with WorldShare for its communication purposes;
- WorldShare meets the ‘fair dealing’ exception requirements when using a copyright material (other than a photograph) in reporting on a current event. A ‘fair dealing’ with a literary, dramatic, musical, artistic or audio-visual work is not an infringement of copyright in the work if it is used ‘for the purpose of, or associated with, reporting news’. Under this exception, news can be reported in the following mediums:
o in a newspaper, magazine etc provided that a sufficient acknowledgement is made; or
o by means of a communication or in a cinematograph film. A communication covers material made available online or electronically transmitted in some way.
WorldShare is committed to efficient and transparent administrative procedures including:
- Providing supporters with accurate and dated receipts, in a timely manner
- Producing financial reports that comply with national and international accounting standards
- WorldShare may decide at its absolute discretion to decline a gift. Financial contributions may for instance be declined if WorldShare considers that the supporter lacks capacity to make a decision to donate, if conditions are attached to the gift which may limit WorldShare’s ability to carry out its mission fully and impartially, if the donation gives rise to a real or apparent conflict of interest, or could adversely affect WorldShare’s reputation.