Celebrate Ethics Awareness Month: October 2023
That's right, we celebrate—because ethics makes philanthropy and fundraising possible. Without ethics, giving doesn’t happen. Fundraising doesn’t happen. Change and impact don’t happen.
Ethics makes it all possible, and THAT’S worth celebrating.
And while we celebrate in October, ethics is critical all the time. So our goal for Ethics Awareness Month is simple: helping you see yourself in ethical fundraising. Growing your ethical skills. And demonstrating your commitment to the highest ethical standards.
After all, AFP members have already demonstrated that commitment by signing the AFP Code of Ethical Standards. This October, share your commitment by joining the conversation on social media and using #SeeYourselfInEthicalFundraising and #EthicsAwarenessMonth.
Now Available: A toolkit to publicize Ethics Awareness Month and things you can do to help promote the month and celebrate!
Download the Toolkit
Ethics Awareness Month Resources
The Ethics of Leading with Empathy: Authentic leadership is more than a trending topic, it’s a culture shift that allows many of us —particularly nonprofit leaders with historically marginalized and underrepresented identities — to claim our strengths in the workplace. It takes both self-awareness as well as empathy to build an empathy-driven approach to the ethics of work culture in your sphere of influence. In this article, Kate McNeely, director of development at Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, previews her AFP LEAD 2023 session, Telling the Truth: How Authentic Leadership and Ethical Storytelling Lead Us Forward. Continue Reading
AFP Complimentary Webinar: How To Move Towards Ethical and Human-Centric AI?: We have been using more AI-based products in our personal and professional lives than we acknowledge. We are heading towards a future where embracing this technology will be the normal. In this webinar, we talk about those not-so-subtle points we must know and remember for the human-centric AI our nonprofit industry deserves. We will also brainstorm on some common questions when we start with AI. Register Now. Funding provided by the Claudia A. Looney Fund for Ethics in Fundraising at the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy.
AFP Complimentary Webinar: How to Handle Biases in Fundraising - Yours and Theirs: Not all of our choices are made consciously, which indicates that there is significantly more activity occurring in our minds than we believe there is. Both conscious and unconscious biases have the potential to influence how we think about our donors and how they think about our causes and organizations. It is helpful to have an understanding of exactly what these unconscious biases are and where they originate if one wants to be aware of these prejudices before making the ask. Register Now. Funding provided by the Claudia A. Looney Fund for Ethics in Fundraising at the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy.
Examine Real-Life Ethical Dilemmas
This Ethics Awareness Month, we asked AFP members to share ethical dilemmas they have faced in their careers and how they were able to resolve them, successfully or perhaps not so successfully. See more of these dilemmas here.
Conflict with Board Member over Donor Intent: I had started working at a small nonprofit as the director of development. Two months after I started, a long standing board member, and much loved and respected philanthropist in the community, passed away. Fast forward a year later and we learn he had left a $1M donation to be endowed. Another board member and friend of the deceased, tried to get me to use half of the funds to run a challenge campaign. He wanted me to tell donors that every donation would be matched by this bequest. Continue Reading.
Funding for Closed Programs: Our current organization is very large and has multiple programs at 30 different sites around the country. When a program is struggling to meet revenue goals through governement grants and private funding, it goes on a Watchlist prior to being closed within the budget year. The ethical dilemma is whether or not to continue fundraising for the program once it is on the Watchlist. Recently we were awarded a grant from a private foundation for a program that closed between the time of the application and when the check was received. Continue Reading.
Sexual Harassment from a Prospect: An employee of mine told me she was feeling uncomfortably harassed by a new potential large donor she had visited but still viewed as an excellent prospect. I asked if she would like to have me take over the solicitation with all financial credit for any subsequent gift(s) being credited to her for having found and nurtured the relationship. She thanked me but said she’d like to still work on it. I said OK as long as she felt she could manage it safely. As it happened, she left the company shortly after that for a new position in another state. Continue Reading
Booking Pledges Without Written Confirmation: My organization continually books pledges for donors and prospective donors without written confirmation from that individual. Oftentimes, a secondhand text message or email from a volunteer fundraiser, usually a board member, is used to secure the pledge, and then we are in a rush to "book it" so that the pledged amount will count toward the fundraising goal before the next board meeting, finance committee meeting, or other important metric review period. This practice was greatly encouraged by a former CEO who is no longer with the organization in any capacity, although it still happens on occasion. Continue Reading
Micro-Learning Videos Covering the "7 Major Ethical Dilemmas":
Ethics Conversations with AFP Leaders
Joyce Mitchell-Antoine, Chair of the AFP Ethics Committee shares the inspiration behind the upcoming changes to AFP's Code of Ethical Standards, how members were involved in the review process, and the larger conversations that were sparked as a result of this review.
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Tycely Williams, CFRE, former chair of the AFP IDEA Committee discusses the changes that are being made to the AFP Code of Ethical Standards, the changing nature of controversial donors, and how power dynamics factor into ethical decision-making.
Explore the AFP Code of Ethical Standards
Recursos de ética en español
Le mois de sensibilisation à l'éthique
Email your questions and comments about Ethics Awareness Month to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See all of AFP Global's Ethics Material
The Rebecca Powell Tribute Fund