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Ethics Awareness Month




The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) promotes October as Ethics Awareness Month. This is a time to reflect on the ethics and best practices for our profession and check out AFP’s ethics resources.


Other than attending an annual program at your local AFP chapter, how do you keep ethics in the forefront of your day-to-day fundraising work? I would venture to say that most of us don’t think about it much. We do our work honestly and take our responsibilities to our donors and organizations seriously. We probably have not been confronted with a controversial donor, questionable gift, or suspicious circumstance where our ethical code has been challenged.


Proactive Fundraiser

Being an ethical fundraiser means being a proactive one. This means understanding and embracing the ethical standards of our profession and our professional association. We can’t wait until we’re in a precarious situation before we look up the AFP Code of Ethical Standards. The AFP Global website has a wealth of information for the benefit of its members. Here are just a few of the resources available to you, an AFP member:

  • Examples of real-life ethical dilemmas and how they were resolved

  • Micro-learning videos

  • Deep dive essays on each of the Standards of the Code

  • Articles, videos and other resources in Spanish and French

  • A marketing toolkit to help local chapters promote Ethics Awareness Month


Being an ethical fundraiser involves more than how we interact with our donors and handle their financial gifts. It is also how we interact with our co-workers, the power dynamics that come into play, and our own implicit biases.


Ethics Task Force

An Ethics Task Force has been working to update the Code by taking into consideration behavior-based issues, increasing awareness of cultural competencies, and providing guidance on equity, access, diversity, inclusion. The Code of Ethical Principles and Standards was originally adopted in 1964 and amended in 2007.


The month of October is a good time to consciously become an ethical fundraiser, not just a lucky one. Check out the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for their ethics section HERE.



Michelle Crim, CFRE


Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.


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