Editor’s Note: The following is the first in a series of columns from the Apra Ethics & Compliance Committee. Have a question for the Committee? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Someone with whom I used to work contacted me regarding one of my organization's current donors, who is also a donor to her current institution. Can I share any donor information with my former colleague? Or is all information off limits? What can I do?
Caught in the Middle
Dear Caught in the Middle,
It is never ethical or appropriate to share specific donor information. To be perfectly honest, your former colleague should not have even asked for it in the first place.
If you would still like to help your former colleague, I would suggest offering counsel that does not pertain to any specific donors. For example, “I’m sorry, I can’t give you specific information, but we tried xyz resource that really helped us find great information on our prospects.” It is not unethical to help out former colleagues, but it is to offer confidential information.