Social Media Policy

This policy applies to the Fairfield County Foundation’s personnel, members of its board of directors, and to any other persons, such as committee members, who may possess confidential or proprietary information about the Foundation.  This policy refers to such persons as “Foundation personnel.”

In order to communicate freely and openly with donors, grantees, and members of the public, the Foundation itself maintains a social media presence, including through its web site, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blog.  The Foundation continually seeks out new and improved methods of communication and will add different forms of social media as it deems appropriate.  Accordingly, the Foundation has given authority to certain Foundation personnel to maintain its social media presence and may invite others to submit postings.  This policy does not cover these activities.

The Foundation takes no position on your decision to start or maintain a blog or participate in other social media or social networking (collectively referred to as “Social Media”) activities.  However, it is the right and duty of the Foundation to protect itself from unauthorized disclosure of confidential and/or proprietary information and from having Foundation personnel indicate that they are speaking on behalf of the Foundation when they are not authorized to do so. 

Social Media includes, but is not limited to, personal blogs: sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, video or wiki postings, chat rooms, personal websites, or other similar forms of online journals, diaries, or personal newsletters not affiliated with the Foundation.

Personal Use of Social Media – What is Prohibited?

The Foundation respects the right of its personnel to write blogs and use social media and social networking sites.  The Foundation does not want to discourage its personnel from self-publishing and self-expression, and the Foundation takes a neutral position toward personnel who use Social Media in connection with personal interests and affiliations, or for other lawful purposes.  However, Foundation personnel are expected to follow the guidelines and policies set forth to make clear that your comments and posts are made by you as an individual, not by you as an employee, agent, or representative of the Foundation.

Unless specifically authorized in writing by the Executive Director, Foundation personnel are not authorized to, and therefore are restricted from, speaking on behalf of the Foundation through Social Media.

Foundation personnel must adhere to the Foundation’s Policy on Confidentiality in their use of Social Media.  This means they may not discuss any confidential and/or proprietary work-related matters or information through Social Media.  Likewise, personnel may not post through Social Media confidential and/or proprietary donor, grantee or Foundation-related documents, or post any information that would violate the Foundation’s Policy on Confidentiality.

You are personally responsible for your commentary and posts through Social Media.  You can be held personally liable for commentary that is considered defamatory, threatening, intimidating, harassing, obscene, proprietary or libelous.

As with all personal use of the Foundation’s information technology resources, use of the Foundation’s IT resources to conduct personal Social Media activities should be kept to a minimum and not disrupt work activities. Excessive or inappropriate personal use of the Foundation’s IT resources for Social Media purposes will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

When using Social Media, you must use your personal e-mail address and may not use your Foundation e-mail address as your means of identification and communication.

If you choose to identify yourself as a Foundation employee, board member, or volunteer through Social Media, please understand that some readers may view you as a spokesperson for the Foundation.  Because of this possibility, we ask that when using Social Media, you state clearly that you are speaking on behalf of yourself, that your comments, posts, and views are your own, and that you are not authorized to speak on behalf of the Foundation. 

Monitoring

Personnel are cautioned that you should have no expectation of privacy while using Social Media.  Your postings can be reviewed by anyone, including the Foundation.  The Foundation will monitor comments, posts, blogs, forums, and discussions about the Foundation, its personnel, its donors, its grantees and community foundations generally that are posted on the Internet or otherwise publicly available.

Reporting Violations

The Foundation requests and strongly urges employees to report any violations, or possible or perceived violations, of this policy to Executive Director.  Board members and volunteers are encouraged to report violations to the Board Chair or the Foundation Executive Director.  In particular, the Foundation would request that you provide a snapshot and/or printout of the page(s) that you believe contains the violation so that the Foundation may examine the entire context of the alleged violation. 

Discipline for Violations

In the case of Foundation employees, violation of the Foundation’s Social Media policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, depending on the nature and severity of the violation.  The Foundation reserves the right to take legal action against personnel who engage in prohibited or unlawful conduct.  Violations by members of the board and other volunteers may lead to dismissal from the board or committee on which the volunteer serves.