Donor Privacy Policy

Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS) is the sole nonprofit rehabilitation agency in Allegheny County for persons who are blind and visually impaired. The organization fulfills its mission of building independence and strengthening individual choice through rehabilitation, screening, employment and support services. Every year, BVRS serves 900 adults and teenagers through comprehensive rehabilitation programs and 12,000 children through its vision screening program.

BVRS is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. BVRS is not affiliated with any blind or visually impaired organizations and it receives no support from them. BVRS receives approximately 35 percent of its annual operating budget from the state. Every dollar raised comes through earned revenue (program fees and sales of manufactured items), donations, bequests, and special events.

Contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations make up approximately 20 percent of BVRS’ base of support and our relationship with our contributors is the highest expression of our mutual commitment to the mission of engaging the hearts, hands, and minds of the community to help those with visual impairments and other disabilities.

The agency respects the privacy of its donors and has put into place a Donor Privacy Policy to honor these rights.


BVRS collects and maintains the following type of donor information when it is voluntarily provided to us.

  • Contact information, such as name, address, telephone number and email addresses
  • Giving information
  • Information on events attended, publications received and special requests for program information
  •  Information provided by the donor in the form of comments and suggestions

This confidential information is kept on file for IRS purposes. It is also used to analyze overall giving patterns in order to make more accurate budget projections, as well as to understand donors’ interests in our mission and to update them on BVRS’ plans and activities. This information is shared with staff, board of directors, volunteers and consultants only on a confidential and need-to-know basis.


BVRS does not sell, rent, trade or share its donor lists with any other organization. BVRS never sends out mailings on behalf of other organizations.


It is the policy of BVRS to communicate with donors according to their expressed preferences whenever possible. BVRS will discontinue or change the method used to contact any person upon that person’s oral or written request directed to the agency, its professional fundraising counsel or other agent.

BVRS will maintain a record of all requests by persons who indicate to BVRS, its fundraising counsel, or other agents, that they do not wish to be contacted by or on behalf of BVRS.

Upon a person’s (or a person’s authorized representative’s) request that BVRS discontinue further contacts, the person’s name and address will be promptly modified in the BVRS’ donor database to ensure that no further contact is made. BVRS will also take steps to ensure that no further contact is made with the individual and that the person’s name is removed from any external databases or records under BVRS’ control.

Permanent Record: Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh will maintain an electronic record of all requests for discontinuance of contacts, effective with the adoption of this policy by BVRS’ Board of Directors. Oral requests will be noted in writing by the staff of BVRS and then permanently recorded in the electronic database. The records of persons who have made such a request will be maintained by the BVRS staff to the extent necessary for legal or liability purposes.


BVRS subscribes to the Donor Bill of Rights, which was created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Non-Profits.

The 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 ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors or prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. To be informed of BVRS’ 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 judgment 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 are given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by the 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.



Please direct your questions about BVRS’ development policies to Leslie Montgomery-Reidenbaugh, director of development and public relations, at 412.368.4400 ext 2253 or