Largest Fundraising Association Expands Ethical Code to Include Businesses

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - The Association of Fundraising
Professionals (AFP) has expanded its Code of Ethical Principles and Standards
of Professional Practice, the only enforced ethical code for fundraisers in
the world, to apply to for-profit businesses involved in fundraising.
    The changes, which include the addition of seven new standards and the
alteration of one standard, now allows for-profit businesses to join AFP as
members and actively promote ethical and efficient fundraising.
    AFP has traditionally been an individual-based membership association and
represents more than 29,000 charitable fundraisers around the world. However,
the tremendous growth of fundraising has led to the creation of numerous for-
profit businesses working in the charitable sector, making it imperative for
ethical standards to be promulgated beyond just those individuals who directly
raise funds.
    "Thousands of organizations have sprung up that provide services and
programs to the fundraising profession, yet there is no organizational
guidance for them in terms of ethical behavior related to charities and other
clients," says Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE. "Many organizations have come
to us and asked how they could fall under the code's standards and principles,
and the new changes accommodate these entities."
    Maehara stressed that the changes do not alter or lower in any way the
standards that AFP applies to all its members. The new standards relate to how
business members interact with charities and their responsibilities to their
clients. The new standards include:
    Standard 7: Members shall present and supply products and/or services
honestly and without misrepresentation and will clearly identify the details
of these products such as availability of the products and/or services, and
other factors which may affect the suitability of the products and/or services
for donors, clients or nonprofit organizations.
    Standard 8: Members shall establish the nature and purpose of any
contractual relationship at the outset and will be responsive and available to
organizations and their employing organizations, before, during and after any
sale of material and/or service. Members shall comply with all fair and
reasonable obligations created by the contract.
    Standard 9: Members shall refrain from knowingly infringing the
intellectual property rights of other parties at all times. Members shall
address and rectify any inadvertent infringement which may occur.
    Standard 10: Members shall protect the confidentiality of all privileged
information relating to the provider/client relationships.
    Standard 11: Members shall refrain from any activity designed to
disparage competitors untruthfully.
    Standard 23: Members shall neither offer not accept payments or special
considerations for the purpose of influencing the selection of products or
    Standard 25: Any member receiving funds on behalf of a donor or client
must meet the legal requirements for the disbursement of those funds. Any
interest or income earned on those funds should be fully disclosed.

    In addition, language has been added to Standard 21 so it now reads:

    Any member shall not accept compensation or enter into a contract that is
based on a percentage of contributions; nor shall a member accept finder's
fees or contingent fees. Business members must refrain from receiving
compensation from third parties derived from products or services for a client
without disclosing that third-party compensation to the client (for example,
volume rebates from vendors to business members).
    The new code is the first set of enforced standards for the business
community serving the fundraising marketplace.
    Maehara noted that the charitable sectors in the United States and Canada
both account for more than seven percent of their country's Gross Domestic
Product and employ millions of individuals. "These changes will increase the
prevalence of our code of ethics in the business community at a critical point
when organizations and their vendors are raising billions of dollars
annually," said Maehara. "We hope these new standards will help unify the
profession - and those organizations that support it - and promulgate ethical
and effective fundraising."
    A copy of the expanded AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of
Professional Practice is available upon request.

    The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents over 29,000
members in more than 190 chapters throughout the world, working to advance
philanthropy and ethical fundraising through advocacy, research, education and
certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of
fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the
fundraising profession. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: Michael Nilsen, Director, Public Affairs, (425)
890-6628; or Jason Lee, Director, Government Relations, (703) 519-8484, both
of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Web Site:

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