• The collection and use of information shall be done lawfully. 
  • Information sought and recorded may include all public records.  
  • Written requests for public information shall be made on institutional stationery clearly identifying the sender.
  • Whenever possible, payments for public records shall be made through the institution.
  • When requesting information in person or by telephone, neither individual nor institutional identity shall be concealed.  


  • Researchers shall state information in an objective and factual manner.  
  • Documents pertaining to donors or prospective donors shall be irreversibly disposed of when no longer needed (e.g., by shredding).  


  • Non-public information is the property of the institution for which it was collected and shall not be given to persons other than those who are involved with the cultivation or solicitation effort or those who need that information in the performance of their duties for that institution. 
  • Only public or published information may be shared with colleagues at other institutions as a professional courtesy.  
  • Prospect information is the property of the institution for which it was gathered and shall not be taken to another institution.  
  • Prospect information shall be stored securely to prevent access by unauthorized persons.  
  • Research documents containing donor or prospective donor information that are to be used outside research offices shall be clearly marked “confidential”.  
  • Special protection shall be afforded all giving record pertaining to anonymous donors.  


  • Prospect researchers shall urge their institutions to develop written policies based upon the laws of their state defining what information shall be gathered and under what conditions it may be released and to whom.  
  • Prospect researchers shall urge the development of written policies at their institutions defining who may authorize access to prospect files and under what conditions.
  • Prospect researchers shall urge their colleagues to abide by these principles of conduct.

Last Updated on June 21, 2019