Researchers Offer New Privacy Guidelines

The Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement issued its first guidelines on what its 2,000 members should do to protect donor privacy.

The association suggests that members limit information gathering to publicly held data needed to determine a donor's capacity to give, such as how much equity the person has in a public company.

The effort was prompted by new federal rules that let fundraisers at healthcare organizations use patients' names, addresses, ages and hospital-stay dates for solicitations. It also was triggered by the Internet, which makes information available that the association considers inappropriate.

The association represents fundraisers that collect background information about donors and potential donors.

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