The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation Fundraising Practices

1. Fundraising solicitations on behalf of the Foundation will:


a.  be truthful; and

b. accurately describe the its activities and the intended use of donated funds.


SickKids Foundation: The mission of SickKids Foundation is to inspire our communities to invest in health and scientific advances to improve the lives of children and their families in Canada and around the world.


The Foundation embraces the following core values that together are reflected in the way we work toward our mission, with each other, and our community. These values were developed by Foundation staff and adopted by the Foundation’s Board of Directors:


Honesty and Integrity: We commit to the highest standards of conduct and ethical practice in all of our endeavours. 


Accountability & Responsibility: We demonstrate personal and collective accountability and responsibility in all of our programs and fulfill our promises to our stakeholders.


Respect & Teamwork: We are inclusive and supportive, both internally and externally, in our work together.


Excellence & Innovation: We create an environment where learning, initiative, and creativity flourish. We encourage innovation and manage risk in our pursuit of excellence.


Diversity & Balance: We respect and build upon individual differences and perspectives. We are sensitive to each other’s and our personal, family and employment goals.


2. The Foundation will not make claims that cannot be upheld. It will refrain from using marketing materials or making representations that could be misleading. The Foundation will not exploit its beneficiaries. It will be sensitive in describing those it serves (whether using graphics, images or text) and fairly represent their needs and how these needs will be addressed.


SickKids Foundation: In 2003, the Communications department established the SickKids Family Ambassador program. The Ambassador program is the Foundation’s primary means of capturing the stories of patients and families. Each story portrays the quality of family-centred patient families receive throughout the course of their child’s treatment, offers an inspiring account of how the family copes, and depicts SickKids as a world leader in child health research, education and care.


Currently, there are approximately 300 patients in our database; approximately 130 are active SickKids Family Ambassadors meaning that the Communications team has an ongoing communication with these families.


Patient ambassadors either self-select or are identified by a staff member. They are individuals and families who are willing and honoured to share their SickKids story for fundraising purposes. The Ambassador program gives families a way of giving back to the hospital for the specific care they received. Any time a patient or family is referred to the Foundation, Communications follow a mandatory protocol to ensure all privacy legislation and hospital policies and procedures are followed.


Patient stories are told through a variety of print and electronic media, such as publications, proposals, newsletters, brochures, websites, fundraising television and radio broadcasts. Patients and families are also called upon to act as spokespeople for media events or public events that require a personal story.


Communications are sensitive to the changing circumstances of the patient ambassadors, and will pull their story from circulation in order to respect family wishes and privacy.


When a family is selected for an event, Communications will ensure that the family is fully briefed about the nature of the event or project.


Consent and accuracy are key. A consent form must be completed for all new patients who have agreed to share their story. The consent forms are filed in Communications, SickKids Foundation.


3. When the Foundation conducts online solicitations its practices will be consistent with or exceed the provisions of the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce, which is downloadable.


SickKids Foundation: Foundation is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce.


4. When the Foundation conducts face-to-face solicitations, including but not limited to door-to-door campaigns or street-side fundraising, its practices shall include measures to:


a. provide verification of the affiliation of the person representing the Foundation; and,

b. secure and safeguard any confidential information, including credit card information, provided by donors.


SickKids Foundation: All employees and relevant third party organizations sign agreements with confidentiality provisions in place to ensure that the information is not accessed, disclosed or shared more widely than is necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was gathered. We also take measures to ensure the integrity of this information is maintained and to prevent its being lost or destroyed.


5. Volunteers, employees and third party consultants/solicitors who solicit or receive funds on behalf of the Foundation shall:

a. adhere to the provisions of the Imagine Canada  Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code;

b. act with fairness, integrity, and in accordance with all applicable laws;

c. adhere to the provisions of applicable professional codes of ethics, standards of practice, etc.;

d. cease solicitation of a prospective donor who identifies the solicitation as harassment or undue pressure, or who states that he does not wish to be solicited;disclose immediately to the Foundation any actual or apparent conflict of interest or loyalty; and

e. not accept donations for purposes that are inconsistent with the Foundation's objects or mission.


SickKids Foundation: As appropriate SickKids Foundation agreements contain provisions and ensure compliance with the above. Where appropriate, SickKids Foundation conducts training sessions to ensure a full understanding of the intent of the Imagine Canada  Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code.


6. The Foundation will provide, upon request, its best available information on the gross revenue, net proceeds and costs of fundraising activities.


SickKids Foundation: SickKids Foundation requires all requests for information to be submitted in writing. To ensure the accuracy of any financial information, SickKids Foundation provides information based on audited financials. Audited financials are available October 1 for the fiscal year ending on March 31st.


7. The Foundation shall not, directly or indirectly, pay finder’s fees, commissions or percentage compensation based on contributions.


SickKids Foundation: SickKids Foundation adheres to the Imagine Canada Ethical Code program with regard to compensation of its staff and consultants.


The Compensation Philosophy approved by the Board of Directors states:


a. compensation must be competitive in order to attract and retain highly competent staff

b. compensation practices will be in keeping with the best practices for the management of complex professional organizations, with special reference to comparable philanthropic organizations in North America

 c.  compensation is tied to the achievement of both strategic and operational goals with the overall aims of enhancing philanthropic relationships, moving SickKids Foundation towards organizational excellence and meeting or exceeding financial targets


The compensation philosophy is in place for the Foundation to achieve its business objectives:


a. attract and retain outstanding talent in fundraising, grant making and corporate and administrative support

b. encourage excellent performance at the organizational and individual employee levels


8. When undertaking  cause-related marketing in collaboration with a third party, we shall disclose how we benefit from the sale of products or services and the minimum or maximum amounts payable under the arrangement.


SickKids Foundation: SickKids Foundation will disclose this information upon request. Inquiries regarding dollars raised through Children’s Miracle Network are directed to their Canadian office.


9. The Foundation will not sell its donor list. If applicable, any rental, exchange or other sharing of the Foundation's donor list will exclude the names of donors who have so requested (as provided in section A8, above). If a list of the Foundation’s donors is exchanged, rented or otherwise shared with another organization, such sharing will be for a specified period of time and a specified purpose and must be limited to what is allowed under Federal and/or Provincial privacy legislations.


SickKids Foundation: As part of our Privacy Policy, SickKids Foundation does not sell, rent, or trade our donor lists.


10. The Foundation's governing board will be informed at least annually of the number, type and disposition of complaints received from donors or prospective donors about matters that are addressed in the Imagine Canada Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code.


SickKids Foundation: A report is provided by the Director, Communications for distribution to the Board of Directors at a Foundation board meeting.