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Confidentiality Policy for Institutional Advancement and Plattsburgh College Foundation

Approved by Executive Council on May 8, 2007

Policy Number Policy Owner
9001.1 Institutional Advancement

Revision History:

Date Version Change Ref Section
5/8/2007 1.0 New Document  
8/30/2015 1.1 Minor Revisions  
1/6/2017 1.2 Minor Revisions  

Statement of Policy


The Office of Institutional Advancement acquires information about SUNY Plattsburgh constituents - alumni, students, parents, corporations, foundations and friends - that may be confidential and/or highly sensitive. Institutional Advancement staff, staff in other areas, faculty and volunteers, who are authorized recipients of confidential and/or sensitive information are responsible for protecting the privacy of our constituents.The Institutional Advancement database exists for the purpose promoting the College, building and sustaining relationships and securing charitable support from alumni, students, parents, corporations, foundations and friends. Using or sharing information, mailing lists and/or biographic information for private, commercial or political purposes, for the purpose of creating an independent database or for a purpose other than that which is approved by Institutional Advancement is strictly prohibited and will be considered a misappropriation of College property.

The preface of this confidentiality policy shall be attached to any constituent information that is shared with authorized recipients. Constituent information received by authorized recipients must be properly disposed of by shredding or deleting from a computer hard drive after it is used for its intended purpose.

Confidentiality Policy

  1. This policy details specific information that is considered confidential and/or sensitive, however, sound judgment shall prevail so that we may respect the privacy and dignity of all constituents with whom we come in contact.
  2. Institutional Advancement may provide basic constituent biographic information to employees of SUNY Plattsburgh and/or volunteers engaged in outreach and/or development activities that are coordinated by Advancement.
  3. Detailed constituent information will only be shared with employees and/or volunteers who are engaged in a high level of outreach and/or development activity that is coordinated and monitored by Advancement.
  4. General donor gift information such as giving levels published in the Plattsburgh College Foundation's Annual Report of Donors is considered public information for our constituents. However, gift or pledge information that includes specific dollar amounts, funding vehicles and/or other personal details is not shared with anyone except those engaged in a high level of outreach and/or development activity that is coordinated and monitored by Advancement or employees who are responsible for administration of the fund.
  5. Public announcements of major gifts are encouraged however, permission of the donor must be secured prior to an announcement.
  6. The Foundation may accept anonymous gifts provided acceptance of such a gift is consistent with the Foundation's Gift Acceptance Policy. The Foundation should explore with such donors the extent to which they wish to avoid publicity, and what, if any, disclosure of information related to the gift will be acceptable to the donor.
  7. Only the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, College President and/or President of the Plattsburgh College Foundation may request to be informed of the identity of an anonymous donor(s).
  8. The Office of Institutional Advancement does not disclose individual address, business, or any other information to any external party requesting such information. Office staff may forward mail or a message to a constituent.
  9. All requests for information about donors by the media or for information in legal proceedings, such a subpoenas, shall be forwarded or referred to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement.
  10. Individual constituent records are open to that particular individual constituent; hence that particular constituent may request to view their file. Constituent files are closed to the degree that individuals may not view constituent files other than their own.
  11. Sensitive information, such as a donor's will, trust instrument, or financial statements should not be copied or provided to College personnel unless authorized by the donor. To the extent possible, such information should be maintained only as a single copy in central files in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
  12. Students employed in the Office of Institutional Advancement shall be required to sign an agreement to comply with this confidentiality policy.
  13. Failure to comply with this policy can jeopardize the College's relationship with constituents and may be grounds for disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal.
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