CODE OF ETHICAL STANDARDS
The Association of Fundraising Professionals believes that ethical behavior fosters the development and growth of fundraising professionals and the fundraising profession and enhances philanthropy and volunteerism. AFP Members recognize their responsibility to ethically generate or support ethical generation of philanthropic support. Violation of the standards may subject the member to disciplinary sanctions as provided in the AFP Ethics Enforcement Procedures. AFP members, both individual and business, agree to abide (and ensure, to the best of their ability, that all members of their staff abide) by the AFP standards.
ETHICAL STANDARDS (Adopted 1964; amended Oct 2014)
- not engage in activities that harm the members’ organizations, clients or profession or knowingly bring
the profession into disrepute,
- not engage in activities that conflict with their fiduciary, ethical and legal obligations to their organizations,
clients or profession,
- effectively disclose all potential and actual conflicts of interest; such disclosure does not preclude or imply
- not exploit any relationship with a donor, prospect, volunteer, client or employee for the benefit of the
members or the members’ organizations,
- comply with all applicable local, state, provincial and federal civil and criminal laws,
- recognize their individual boundaries of professional competence,
- present and supply products and/or services honestly and without misrepresentation,
- establish the nature and purpose of any contractual relationship at the outset and be responsive and
available to parties before, during, and after any sale of materials and/or services,
- never knowingly infringe the intellectual property rights of other parties,
- protect the confidentiality of all privileged information relating to the provider/client relationships, and/or
- never disparage competitors untruthfully.
- ensure that all solicitation and communication materials are accurate and correctly reflect their
organization’s mission and use of solicited funds,
- ensure that donors receive informed, accurate and ethical advice about the value and tax implications of
- ensure that contributions are used in accordance with donors’ intentions,
- ensure proper stewardship of all revenue sources, including timely reports on the use and management
of such funds, and
- obtain explicit consent by donors before altering the conditions of financial transactions.
- not disclose privileged or confidential information to unauthorized parties,
- adhere to the principle that all donor and prospect information created by, or on behalf of, an organization or a client is the property of that organization or client,
- give donors and clients the opportunity to have their names removed from lists that are sold to, rented to or
exchanged with other organizations, and
- when stating fundraising results, use accurate and consistent accounting methods that conform to the
relevant guidelines adopted by the appropriate authority.
- not accept compensation or enter into a contract that is based on a percentage of contributions, nor shall
members accept finder’s fees or contingent fees,
- be permitted to accept performance-based compensation, such as bonuses, only if such bonuses are in accord with prevailing practices within the members’ own organizations and are not based on a percentage of contributions,
- neither offer nor accept payments or special considerations for the purpose of influencing the
selection of products or services,
- not pay finder’s fees, commissions or percentage compensation based on contributions, and
- meet the legal requirements for the disbursement of funds if they receive funds on behalf of a donor or client.
Donor Bill of Rights
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It’s a tradition of giving and sharing that’s primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they’re asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
- To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use
donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board,
and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
- To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
- To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
- To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
- To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
- To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
- To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
- To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.
ADOPTED IN 1993 • COPYRIGHT AFP, AHP, CASE, GIVING INSTITUTE 2015 • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Descargue una versión en Español.
E-Donor Bill of Rights
An “E-Donor Bill of Rights” has been created to address concerns and challenges arising from Internet charitable giving. AFP is working with other philanthropic organizations as well as online service providers to ensure that online donors have greater confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support. The E-Donor Bill of Rights is intended to relate to AFP’s long-standing Donor Bill of Rights, created in 1993 by AFP in conjunction with other fundraising and nonprofit groups. The document was developed to ensure donor awareness of the responsibilities that a charity has to its donors, and the expectations that donors should have of charities when making a charitable gift. The AFP Donor Bill of Rights lists ten rights that a donor has–ten best practices that all charities and donors should be always aware of.
Since the creation of the Donor Bill of Rights, the philanthropic landscape has changed dramatically. One critical change has been the growing use of technology to facilitate charitable giving, primarily through the Internet. While the Internet holds great potential as a charitable giving tool, it also creates new challenges — both for the donor and the charity. Because the Internet is such a new medium for giving, best practices are just beginning to be identified, and many donors and charities are unsure as to their online rights and responsibilities.
Principles of the E-Donor Bill of Rights
The E-Donor Bill of Rights is intended to complement the original document and provide further and more detailed guidance for the new world of online giving. In addition to the rights outlined in the Donor Bill of Rights, online donors should demand the following of their online solicitors:
- To be clearly and immediately informed of the organization’s name, identity, nonprofit or forprofit status, its mission, and purpose when first accessing the organization’s website.
- To have easy and clear access to alternative contact information other than through the website or email.
- To be assured that all third-party logos, trademarks, trustmarks and other identifying, sponsoring, and/or endorsing symbols displayed on the website are accurate, justified, up-to-date, and clearly explained.
- To be informed of whether or not a contribution entitles the donor to a tax deduction, and of all limits on such deduction based on applicable laws.
- To be assured that all online transactions and contributions occur through a safe, private, and secure system that protects the donor’s personal information.
- To be clearly informed if a contribution goes directly to the intended charity, or is held by or transferred through a third party.
- To be clearly informed of opportunities to opt-out of data lists that are sold, shared, rented, or transferred to other organizations.
- To not receive unsolicited communications or solicitations unless the donor has “opted in” to receive such materials.