The Guardian states that data management is essential for charities despite it being a daunting task to accomplish. And indeed, collecting ample information about the donor, volunteer, sponsor, and charity partners is vital, especially when it comes to the purpose of connecting to them for future events and activities. Aside from that, the right set of data can also aid charities in receiving donations and financial support from anyone. But then again, gathering personal information should be done with utmost confidentiality and security, which is why charity data retention policies are important to establish.
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6. Basic Charity Data Retention Policy
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How to Establish a Data Retention Policy in Your Charity
According to Wired.com, data keeps donors and givers to keep on giving. Why? Because nonprofits or charities can use the data to identify an individual’s preferences. For instance, charity organizations that focus on helping those in need outside the country will send out targeted emails to potential donors who have already expressed their interests in international charity events. On the one hand, animal shelters and charities can send facts and information about animals in the wild to their donors’ emails to entice them in supporting financially or by any other means. But, charities must not abuse anyone’s information, and they must ensure that the information will be used appropriately by the authorized charity personnel. And one way to remind anyone in the charity about that is by creating a data retention policy for your charity. Read on the tips below to guide you in establishing policy statements that are efficient in addressing confidentiality concerns:
1. Define Your Purpose and Reasoning Of Making the Policy
Defining your purpose will allow you to share with the rest of the organization the reason why data retention policies are essential and must be made immediately. You can back up your reasoning by presenting information about data privacy laws, including data distribution plan and record-keeping. Also, you will be able to focus more on meeting the purpose and reason as you begin creating your policy, and that makes it easier to establish rules that are relevant and effective for protecting the data of everyone involved in the charity.
2. Specify the Data to Protect
There are various sorts of data that your charity can collect and receive from your members, charity volunteers, sponsors, and anyone who’s involved in the organization. Therefore, you must specify which data that the policy protects. On the one hand, if you are making the policy for general data protection, then you should still indicate the data categories. Doing this helps in avoiding confusion and denial of the data to protect, keep in private, and distribute.
3. Choose Resources and Actions for Data Management
One of the mistakes that organizations make is simply keeping various documents in folders and put them in boxes or a room. This type of process leads to concerning data management methods, especially when it comes to the time when a piece of particular information needs to be acquired, either for verification or deletion. So, for your charity or nonprofit organization, state a plan on maintaining a protocol of how the authorized personnel in your organization will handle and store information and documents in the policy. Aside from that, you must also indicate how the data will be distributed or when it will be destroyed when its no longer relevant to be used in the organization.
4. Indicate in the Policy Who Are Permitted
Regardless of the number of people involved in your charity, you must indicate who the authorized ones are. This way, you’ll be able to limit who can have access to the data and information recorded in the organization.
5. Keep Your Policies Professional Looking
There are formats that you must consider if you want your policies to have a professional-looking aesthetic. Firstly, you should only use font styles that are easy on the eyes or readable, such as Arial and Times New Roman. Second, you must keep your list of policies organized and well categorized based on their relevance and connections. Lastly, you should include laws or rules of the state that regulates and supports your policies about data retention in your charity.
Does a charity data retention policy limit what can be collected in a charity?
It depends on the charity who made the policies. Some charities will only focus on indicating what can be done to the data collected, while others can specify what the members of the charity can only collect and record.
Is a charity data retention policy a legal policy?
Some states and countries have data retention policies, while others don’t. So, it highly varies on the charity on what content to put and include in the policy, but they should still adhere to the data protection acts and laws if there are any in the state where the charity got registered and approved.
Is a charity data retention policy an agreement between the owner of the information and the charity who keeps the information?
No, a charity data retention policy is by no means an agreement or a form of contract that binds the owner of the information and the charity. But, it acts as a verified instruction manual for the involved charity personnel who’s assigned to keep and manage the data. However, some charities incorporate a list of their policies inside charity contracts for their assigned personnel to make them liable and the ones responsible for safekeeping private information. And in that case, the policy becomes a “part” of the agreement, but not the only or sole agreement itself.
Establishing charity data retention policies are one of the most fundamental methods in protecting and ensuring that data collected in your charity organization will be used based on the need of the organization and the approval of the data owner. So, what are you waiting for? Download our sample forms and templates now!
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