NORTH Foundation

The NORTH Foundation is proud to be the registered charity for the Northern Sydney Local Health (NSLHD), including Royal North Shore, Ryde and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai hospitals and the Kolling Institute of Medical Research.

Our mission is to improve community well-being by supporting innovative health research and the delivery of exceptional patient care. We want the NORTH Foundation to be widely recognised as a major contributor to world class medical research and a community health system in which people enjoy improved health throughout their whole lives.


The objectives of this policy are to provide for:

  1. Fundraising Conduct & Principles
  2. Gift Acceptance Principles
  3. Data Protection & Donor Privacy
  4. Donor Stewardship


  1. This policy applies to all Foundation staff members, volunteers, board members or other individuals associated with the Foundation in a fundraising or cash handling capacity.
  2. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Foundation’s other policies, including but not limited to: a) NORTH Foundation Privacy Policy b) NORTH Foundation Fraud & Dishonesty Policy
  3. The Chief Executive Officer oversees and manages the enforcement of this policy in collaboration with the Foundation Board.

Policy Overview

  1. Donations, gifts and philanthropic incomes are a legitimate, sustained and important component of the Northern Sydney Local Health District’s income.
  2. The NORTH Foundation only accepts gifts that are consistent with the established priorities of the NSLHD and does not accept gifts when a condition of such acceptance may compromise the foundation or its beneficiaries’ integrity, autonomy or commitment to community well-being and health services.
  3. The Foundation is committed to:
    • Being transparent, informative and professional when soliciting gifts from donors;
    • Respecting donors’ privacy (including not selling or exchanging the personal details of donors) and having protocols for dealing with donor requests for anonymity and confidentiality;
    • Using gifts effectively, ethically and where possible in line with donor wishes; and
    • Acknowledging and recognising donors’ contributions by celebrating philanthropy
  4. Donors cannot direct the Foundation or its beneficiaries to give, nor can the Foundation or its beneficiaries give, undue consideration to the donor or anyone they designate, in the use of their gift. 
    • Choices about assessment, appointments to positions, selection of students, the design of research and the awarding of scholarships/awards are decisions that remain under NSLHD control.
    • Decision concerning infrastructure projects or property and asset management (including gifts in kind) remain under NSLHD control.
  5. The Foundation performs its due diligence and ethically researches appropriate prospective major donors.
  6. The Foundation acknowledges, receipts and recognises the gifts and where appropriate, reports to donors regarding their philanthropic giving.
  7. The Foundation is committed to protecting the information gathered about donors and prospective donors in accordance with our privacy policy.

Fundraising Conduct and Principles

  1. Employees, volunteers and fundraisers who solicit or receive funds on behalf of the Foundation or its beneficiaries must adhere to the following commitments:
    • Act with fairness, integrity and in accordance with all relevant laws
    • Adhere to the provisions of applicable professional codes of ethics and standards of practice
    • Disclose immediately to the Chief Executive Officer any actual or apparent conflict of interest; and
    • Ensure that no inappropriate benefit is secured in return for a gift. 
  2. Volunteers and fundraisers must adhere to this policy and other related policies and procedures
  3. Paid fundraisers, whether employees or consultants, are compensated by a salary, retainer or fee, but not by a finders’ fee or commission based on the number of gifts received or the value of funds raised. 

Gift Acceptance Principles

  1. Philanthropic funding is accepted from a wide variety of public and private sector sources who are willing to support the NORTH Foundation and its beneficiaries in achieving its goals and mission
  2. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that philanthropic gifts are managed in an efficient, effective and ethical manner for their intended purposes.
  3. The Chief Executive Officer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the Foundation Board can be made aware of the source of funding for any gift.
  4. Where necessary the Chief Executive Officer can refer gifts to the Foundation Board for review and to decide whether a gift can be accepted. The Board also can review any concerns raised about an existing gift and decide whether to return the gift to the donor (where possible by law) or refuse additional gifts.
  5. Gifts are not accepted that may:
    • Contravene state and/or federal laws in Australia;
    • Create unacceptable conflicts of interest;
    • Expose the Foundation or its beneficiaries to undue adverse publicity or reputational risk;
    • Cause any other damage, including financial damage, deterring other donors from associating with the Foundation or its beneficiaries; or
    • Conflict with the values and aims of the Foundation or its beneficiaries in any other way.

      This is determined at the absolute discretion of the Foundation CEO & Board.
  6. When a donor makes a philanthropic gift, they must transfer absolute control of the gift to the Foundation. The Foundation has discretion to determine the appropriate ongoing involvement of, and relationships with donors in this regard.
  7. When a donor wishes for the gift to be used for a specific purpose – where it is possible to do so the Foundation will honour these wishes. If the donation is to establish an endowment for an ongoing purpose, that purpose should be defined as broadly as possible, to prevent subsequent failure of the trust, or difficulty in performing the trust terms, should circumstances change.
  8. Should it become impractical or impossible to carry out the donation’s expressed purpose(s), or where the Foundation or the relevant beneficiary reasonably believes that the original expressed wishes are no longer a suitable and effective means of using the gift, the Foundation will communicate with the donor or the donor’s nominated representative in order to review or change this purpose.
  9. Undesignated gifts not subject to specific trust terms may be used to advance the Foundation and its beneficiaries’ mission and priorities as determined by the Chief Executive Officer, Foundation Board and NSLHD Board or the appropriate delegate.

Data Protection and Donor Privacy

  1. The NORTH Foundation Privacy Policy applies to handling personal information of donors and, upon request, the NSLHD Privacy Officer can advise on privacy matters related to donors and prospective donors.
  2. We collect personal information reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions or activities as a charitable foundation. The types of personal information we generally collect includes, but is not limited to, donor’s name, date of birth, address, telephone numbers, email address and financial/donation details (such as credit card or bank details). Depending upon the purpose of our interaction with you, we may collect additional personal information (such as your research interests, hospital affiliations, event attendance, etc.).
  3. Some of the main ways and reasons in which we use or disclose personal information we collect includes, but is not limited to:
    • Processing donations and communicating with our donors and supporters (including sending them information via phone, post, email or other electronic means directly from us or a third-party mailing house); or
    • Communicating with donors and supporters, patients and their family members, employees and volunteers (including responding to queries and complaints); or
    • Distributing our publications (including Impact Reports and Annual Reports), conduct fundraising events, fundraising for donations/support and to raise awareness about our fundraising activities and overall mission.
  4. The Foundation is committed to only using your personal information:
    • For the purpose for which it was collected; or
    • For a directly related purpose; or
    • When we have the appropriate consent to do so; or 
    • As otherwise required, permitted or authorised by law.
  5. The Foundation does not sell, rent, loan, trade or lease the contact information we have, to anyone outside of our beneficiaries, for any purpose.
  6. The Foundation have security measures in place to safeguard your personal information from misuse, and unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure and retain your information in accordance with the State Records Act 1998 (NSW).
  7. The Chief Executive Officer must ensure Foundation staff deal appropriately with information gathered and held on donors, prospective donors, other individuals and organisations.
    1. When using external agencies or when data may be shared with a third party, for example mailing houses, the Chief Executive Officer (NORTH Foundation) must ensure that Foundation staff confirm that:
      • all issues, such as data ownership, fitness for use and confidentiality, are governed by a legally binding contract; and
      • A One-way Confidentiality Agreement is signed by the receiving party, detailing obligations such as limiting access to the confidential information on a need-to-know basis and returning any confidential information to the Foundation at any time upon the Foundation’s written request.

Donor Stewardship

  1. All donors are entitled to receive an official receipt, appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  2. Requests for anonymity will be respected, honoured and confidentially enacted.
  3. Every gift or pledge made to the Foundation or its beneficiaries will be acknowledged in a timely manner consistent with the size and designation of the gift or pledge, and with the donor’s wishes.
  4. Where the necessary donor data is available, receipts for philanthropic gifts to the Foundation or its beneficiaries will be issued.
  5. Annual reports can be provided upon request to appropriate donors on the financial management, expenditure and impact of endowed and significant gifts.
  6. The Foundation will strive to produce a general annual impact report or other publication to provide our donor community with an update on the impact of their philanthropic support.