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A code of ethics, a matter of trust

Oct 07, 2015

The Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Code of Ethical Principles and Standards has served as the cornerstone of ethical fundraising. The Kiwanis International Foundation adheres to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) code and even incorporates it into the fundraising training we provide to volunteers. Our foundation encourages other Kiwanis-family foundations to review and adopt the Code of Ethical Principles and Standards as part of their own fundraising efforts.

A few simple principles

When the AFP Code was adopted in 1964, it marked a major step forward for the fundraising profession. Today, fundraisers consistently list the code as the most important benefit of AFP membership. Although the Code encompasses 25 professional standards, they basically stem from a few simple principles. AFP members:

1.    Work to advance the missions of the organizations that employ them.
2.    Put their organizations’ interests ahead of their own.
3.    Behave honestly in all dealings.
4.    Obey the law.
5.    Avoid any conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such.
6.    Are open and transparent in their dealings.
7.    Are truthful about their qualifications, purposes of solicitations, and fundraising results.
8.    Do not accept compensation based on a percentage of funds raised.
9.    Protect the confidentiality of donor information.
10.  Put the interests of donors ahead of those of all others.
The importance of trust
Trust is the essential foundation for philanthropy. Donors give to organizations they trust—organizations that do what they say they will do with the donors’ money.
“Too often, the issue of ethics only comes up in a negative light, such as when there’s a controversy,” said Andrew Watt, president and CEO of AFP. “But ethics is exactly what makes philanthropy possible. It allows us to be professional fundraisers. We should celebrate ethics—and the trust that allows us to create connections with donors, which in turn leads to inspiration and impact.”
Thousands of members and clubs voluntarily give to our foundation every year. The Kiwanis International Foundation believes in the Code of Ethical Principles as a way of ensuring that they can trust us—and that their gifts truly do make an impact in the lives of children around the world.
Code of Ethical Principles and Standards
●      AFP Code of Ethical Principles (short version)
●      AFP Code of Ethical Principles (long version with guidelines)

Thank you to the Association of Fundraising Professionals for sharing this information.