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Fundraising Policies

Overarching Principles

  • All LWVUS/LWVEF development efforts shall be directed towards advancing the organizational goals and program priorities established by the LWVUS/LWVEF Board of Directors/Trustees.
  • The LWVUS/LWVEF shall not enter into any financial relationship (investment, fundraising, cause-related marketing, gift solicitation or gift acceptance) which is incompatible with the principles, priorities and mission of the LWVUS/LWVEF.  Management shall exercise appropriate discretion when identifying and soliciting prospective donors and partners.
  • Management will keep the LWVUS/LWVEF Board apprised of grants and gifts applied for and received. In those instances where an unanticipated major gift or grant is being contemplated and consultation is needed before the next Board meeting, Management will notify by email the LWVUS/LWVEF Board with information regarding purposes, commitments, understandings and details of the proposed gift or grant. If further information is needed or a decision required, any Board member may request that the President call a special Board meeting to discuss the unanticipated major gift or grant. As a guideline, a major gift or grant is one that has a significant impact on the organization, requires significant commitment of staff or volunteers, or is a significant proportion of an adopted budget.
  • Any concerns or conflicts that arise or unusual circumstances that should be considered in applying these development policies shall be referred to the Development Committee.

Coordinating League Efforts at All Levels

LWVUS/LWVEF projects are funded at the national level of the League.  The LWVEF seeks funds and in-kind contributions from foundations and corporations for projects that are national in scope.  In addition, the LWVEF seeks general support from national-level corporations and foundations.  The LWVUS also seeks corporate contributions for projects and general support.

A state or local League that wishes to approach a national-level corporation or foundation must first consult with the LWVUS/LWVEF about its plans.  This consultation process is designed to maximize financial support for the League at all levels by coordinating efforts and helping to avoid alienating funders who prefer not to entertain multiple proposals from the same organization at one time.

To begin the consultation process, the interested League is asked to contact the LWVUS/LWVEF Development Division.  (A local League should be prepared to provide evidence that its state League has endorsed the proposed contact with the funder.)  The development staff will review the League's plan to determine that the proposed funding request is appropriate for the intended funder and that the solicitation will not interfere with LWVUS/LWVEF fundraising efforts. 

Corporate Support — Cooperation with State and Local Leagues

The LWVUS/LWVEF will work with state and local Leagues to maximize corporate contacts and contributions in order to strengthen the League mission at all levels.  This includes providing training and consultation and ensuring good communication among all League levels in the cultivation, solicitation and acknowledgment of corporate contributions. 

Corporate donors will be offered information about all three levels of the League (and, where appropriate, the ILO level).  State and local Leagues will receive adequate advance notice before solicitations are made.

General and Restricted Support — Sharing with State and Local Leagues

General support contributions of $1,000 or more made by a corporation or corporate foundation are to be shared 10% with the state League and 10% with the local League where the contribution originates, except where there is an unfulfilled PMP obligation.  Any League with PMP in arrears for one year or more will first have its share of the general support contribution paid to the LWVUS or LWVEF to fulfill its PMP obligation.   

Restricted contributions, whether from corporations, foundations, or individuals, are not shared except in cases where the donor is willing and where

  • the state and/or local League is involved in the project to be supported by the restricted contribution, and/or
  • the state and/or local League is actively working to raise money to participate in the project.

The amount to be shared will be determined in consultation with the donor and will be based on the size of the contribution, the size of the project budget, the circumstances of the state and/or local League, and other relevant aspects of the project.

Contributions from associations or other membership entities are not shared with state or local Leagues.

Cause-Related Marketing

For purposes of this policy, cause-related marketing is defined as a business relationship whereby a company uses the League of Women Voters' name in its marketing or public relations campaigns.  The League is compensated for the use of its names and does not perform any services for that company as part of the agreement.  Any other relationship is considered a "partnership" and does not fall within these guidelines. 

Approval by the LWVUS/LWVEF Board of Directors/Trustees shall be required for any cause-related marketing relationship.