A lot of donors reach out to us with this question: “When I send a donation, there is oftentimes a little checkbox that asks me if I want to send this gift anonymously. Am I actually anonymous if I click this box?” The simple answer is no, and we will explain why below.
What does this checkbox actually accomplish? If you check the box, it is an indication that the organization will agree to keep your name private. A lot of times an organization might include the individual names of supporters (both people and corporate donors) in their annual reports, or after the conclusion of a particular fundraising campaign. If you check that box, the organization is agreeing that they will not publish your name in one of those public-facing documents or generally in a public-facing fashion.
However, checking that box does not provide you with any anonymity from the organization to which you are donating. The organization will still receive all of your personal information. This does not really provide you any anonymity as a donor, as the staff members of the recipient organization will know exactly who you are! Since everyone at the nonprofit organization will know who you are, your anonymity as a donor can be undone by a simple overheard conversation or an accidental email.
You are also still going to be targeted by the organization with emails, physical mail, calls, and other messages because they have all of your information. If that nonprofit engages in the common practice of selling access to their contact list, you may now also be approached by a different nonprofit or charitable organization as a result – one that you never expressed any interest in supporting.
Checking that box only provides you with a cursory, superficial level of anonymity. Nonprofit and charity organizations are very focused on advancing their mission; they are not built upon a very strict foundation of privacy, nor do they have processes in place designed to maximize donor privacy like we do. When you use Silent Donor, the organization to which you are donating never receives any of your personal information. Silent Donor (and the Anondo Fund) is also committed to never sharing any donor information with any third parties, and fiercely protects the privacy of all who donate through the platform. Remain fully private and still give back by using Silent Donor!