A non-disclosure agreement, or an NDA, is a legal contract in which one person agrees not to reveal or discuss specific information. The topics vary by situation but might include confidential data, financial details, or proprietary information. NDAs are often used to protect sensitive details exchanged in a business relationship, but they can also be useful in a nonprofit setting.
Your nonprofit’s volunteers are probably exposed to a range of confidential data. After all, they may need to access donor records, financial details, or personnel files to complete their work. While this access is necessary, it can also put your organization at risk. A volunteer who sits on a board of directors at another organization, for example, might be tempted to take your donors’ contact information to use in fundraising. Even an accidental privacy breach can break your donors’ trust and convince them not to give money in the future.
An NDA is a great solution; it legally prevents your volunteers from disclosing any confidential details, either in casual conversation or for business purposes. As an added bonus, it lets your volunteers know just how sensitive certain information is, so they may be more aware and careful.
As you write an NDA, it’s important to be specific. List the information that’s protected by the confidentiality agreement, such as donor names, contact information, donation amounts, financial account numbers, and any information in an employee’s file. Explain exactly how the volunteer can use the information. You might allow volunteers to share donor names in person, but only with specified employees. Your NDA should also lay out the consequences of breaching the contract, including fines, legal fees, and a permanent ban from your nonprofit’s activities. Specify the start and end dates for the agreement. By taking the time to write an NDA that’s tailored to your organization, you can keep confidential data safe and provide valuable guidance for your volunteers.