The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) NL will be celebrating October as Ethics Awareness Month, an international campaign to highlight the importance of ethics in fundraising and the impact it has on the world.
This year’s third annual Ethics Awareness Month highlights the importance of ethics in fundraising, which, while always important, has become especially critical as charities navigate a new philanthropic environment dominated by the pandemic.
“With the pandemic changing so many aspects of fundraising, philanthropy and service provision, it is incumbent upon charities to continue to live by their ethics,” said Kelly Reid, president of the AFP NL. “Ethics in fundraising is so powerful because it speaks to how charities, donors, fundraisers, and the community all work together to create change while respecting the work and needs of each group. Ethical fundraising is a force for good, and all of us at the AFP NL are proud to sign the AFP Code of Ethical Principles every year and live every day by its principles and values.”
AFP, which was founded in 1960 to create a code of ethics for the fundraising profession, serves 26,000 fundraisers worldwide who work to generate philanthropic funding for a wide variety of charitable causes. The (AFP Newfoundland & Labrador) represents approximately 50 members in Newfoundland and Labrador.
AFP adopted its official Code of Ethical Standards in 1964, helping to foster the development and growth of fundraising professionals to enhance philanthropic and volunteer initiatives. The 25 standards in AFP’s Code address issues such as privacy, stewardship of funds, professional responsibilities and compensation, including a prohibition on accepting commissions or percentage-based fundraising.
October is an opportune time to focus on ethics because it is the beginning of the “giving season,” the last quarter of the year when most charities receive one-third to one-half of their overall yearly funds. And as racial and social injustice comes to light, it is critical that fundraisers and charities alike review their fundraising practices, ensuring that not only are they abiding by the highest ethical standards, but also demonstrating that a commitment to ethics must include a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access.
The main focus of Ethics Awareness Month this year will be a series of ethical situations that we hope will create conversation among chapters and members. Each of the four situations includes the following: the scenario, questions to ask for further discussion, resolution (if applicable), and commentary from the AFP Ethics Committee. On every Monday in October, AFP will release one of these situations in their Daily newsletter, AFP Global website and social media platforms. They will ask members to chime in with their own thoughts and perspectives on the situation. AFP NL will be doing the same thing on social and communications channels, as well as hosting a virtual chapter meeting to further educate the membership in late October.
Charities offer donors a chance to make a difference and offer communities a way to come together and transform,” said Kelly Reid. “In return, donors and communities put their trust in charities, and it’s important that we don’t let them down by faltering in our ethical responsibilities. The AFP Code of Ethical Standards, along with the Donor Bill of Rights, are powerful documents that all charities should use in their fundraising to demonstrate their commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in their work.”
For more information surrounding Ethics Awareness Month and to view the AFP Code of Ethics, please visit https://afpglobal.org/ethics. To learn about AFP’s commitment to IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and access), visit https://afpidea.org.