The Better Business Bureau outlines voluntary standards to promote ethical practices.
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability were developed to assist donors in making sound giving decisions and to foster public confidence in charitable organizations. The standards seek to encourage fair and honest solicitation practices, to promote ethical conduct by charitable organizations and to advance support of philanthropy.
Standard #19 instructs cause marketers to:
Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation:
a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold),
b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October),
c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).