people make gifts to support a non-profit organization,
they extend more than financial support. Their donations
convey considerable trust and confidence in the
integrity of that organization. They expect the
organization to deliver on its promises, both spoken
Organizations such as NCPG and AFP, among others,
have provided fundraising "Codes of Conduct."
They provide guidance to fundraisers as they interact
with donors, and help identify areas in which
ethical concerns may arise. They are helpful tools.
These Codes are the products of an important discussion.
Ethical behavior, however, is a process, not
a product. And while a Code of Conduct may represent
an important product or tool, as with any tool,
its effective use requires proficiency.
What ethical concerns can arise when organizations
"streamline" their fundraising efforts? In an
effort to create efficiency, have organizations
"commoditized" the donor's experience of philanthropy?
Is it ethical to suggest a planned gift that you
do not understand to a potential donor? Is it
ethical to leave this understanding to others,
if your organization is making the recommendation?
The answers to these and other questions are not
Ethics is a process, not a product.
For more information, please contact Bill Albrecht
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-927-7510.