Policies Policies

Confidentiality Policy

The Toronto Public Library Foundation will ensure that the privacy of all donors, volunteers, business information and employees’ personal information in the custody or control of the Toronto Public Library Foundation is protected in keeping with best practices and relevant legislation.


The Foundation’s mandate is to provide essential resources for the enhancement of Toronto Public Library and to allocate funds to priority needs not supported by municipal funding. It is essential that the Foundation maintains the trust and confidence of its donors, and encourages their continued support.

Because we deal with individuals and information about those individuals, it is essential that we protect the privacy of that information. Although the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) does not apply to most Foundation activities, we always strive to embrace best practices, and are therefore following the principles of the CSA Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information upon which PIPEDA is based.

Additionally, the Foundation is guided by and undertakes to adhere to the standards set out in the Imagine Canada Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code in its treatment of donors and public representations, its fundraising practices and its financial practice and transparency.

The Toronto Public Library Foundation has also endorsed the Association of Fundraising Professionals Donor Bill of Rights, which affirms the right of donors to expect the Foundation to be guided by the values of accountability and integrity in its work. These values speak to the need for openness, and responsibility in all operations.


This policy applies to all information held by the Foundation, including general information relating to its operations, to personal information collected from donors, and to personal information relating to Foundation staff and volunteers.


This policy applies to the Toronto Public Library Foundation donors, staff and volunteers.

All volunteers will be required to sign annually, a Confidentiality Agreement that confirms the volunteer’s understanding of the Confidentiality Policy and confirms that s/he agrees to be bound by the policy while a volunteer with the Foundation.

All employees, including temporary, seasonal or part-time employees, will be required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement annually, that confirms the employee’s understanding of the Confidentiality Policy and confirms that s/he agrees to be bound by the policy as an employee of the Foundation. A copy of the signed Confidentiality Agreement is kept in each employee’s file.

An employee may be disciplined for any breach of the Confidentiality Policy, up to and including termination of employment.

The conditions of this policy remain in effect even after employees and volunteers are no longer associated with the Toronto Public Library Foundation.

Privacy Commitment

The Toronto Public Library Foundation upholds the highest standards of professionalism, and takes the matter of confidentiality and privacy very seriously. We recognize that information is precious, and that our donors, volunteers and employees trust us to treat that information appropriately; we are committed to protecting the confidentiality of this data.

Furthermore, the Foundation recognizes that donors’ choices about how much information about their donation is made public and the ways in which the Foundation communicates with them are matters of personal choice. The Foundation therefore will make every reasonable effort to ensure that these personal preferences are met.


Donor Bill of Rights

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:


  1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgement in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

Developed by:

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)

Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Non-Profits

Endorsed by:

Independent Sector

National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC)

National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG)

Council for Resource Development (CRD)

United Way of America


Complaints Policy

Underlying Principles

  • It is in the interest of all parties that complaints are dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible.
  • Review of complaints is fair, impartial and respectful to all parties.
  • Complainants are advised of their options to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome.
  • Complainants are provided clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints.
  • Updates are provided to complainants during review processes.
  • Complaints are used to assist in improving services, policies and procedures.


This policy applies to complaints received by the Toronto Public Library Foundation, about its activities, programs, services, staff or volunteers.


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, actions, or lack of action by the Toronto Public Library Foundation as an organization or a staff member or a volunteer acting on behalf of the Toronto Public Library Foundation. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • perceived failure to do something agreed upon
  • failure to observe policy or procedures
  • error made by a staff member or volunteer
  • unfair or discourteous actions/statements by staff member or volunteer

Complaint Receipt and Handling

A complaint may be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail, fax, email). An employee or volunteer who receives a complaint should first determine the proper person to handle it. This will generally be the person who has the primary relationship with the complainant or has specific knowledge that is needed to resolve the problem. It is the responsibility of the person who receives the complaint to either resolve it or transfer it to another person who can resolve it. If the complaint is transferred, the recipient must acknowledge to the transferor that he/she has received it and will act on it.

The person who initially receives the complaint should acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted on either by him/herself or another employee. If a timeframe for action can be determined, that should be included in the acknowledgement. Basic contact information including the name, phone number and email address should immediately be recorded.

Resolving the Complaint

Every effort should be made to resolve complaints received in a timely fashion. When receiving a verbal complaint, staff should listen and seek to understand the complaint, and may attempt to resolve it immediately. Complaints received in writing should be acknowledged within 2 business days and staff should attempt to resolve the matter within 10 business days.

Where a complaint cannot be easily resolved, it should be escalated to the appropriate manager. If the manager cannot resolve the complaint, it will be escalated to the President. If the complaint is about the President, it will be handled by the Chair of the Governance Committee. Complainants should be kept informed of the status of their complaint. Every attempt should be made to resolve escalated complaints within an additional 10 business days so that all complaints are resolved within a month of having been received.

Documenting the Complaint

It is necessary to keep a record of any complaint that involves a dispute over money as well as any complaint that cannot be resolved immediately (on the same day it is received). Information about such complaints must be recorded on the complaints tracking worksheet. Information recorded on the worksheet includes a description of the complaint, who handled it, what was done to resolve the complaint, timeframe and description or resolution.

A summary of the complaints received including number and type will be reported to the Toronto Public Library Foundation’s board of directors annually.