The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognizes October as ethics awareness month. Each day this month, the team at AFP is blogging about the tenets that make up their Code of Ethical Standards, which was originally adopted in 1964 and amended in 2014.
Unfortunately, within our field, we encounter misinformation as we engage with clients and potential clients. Therefore, we think it is important to pause and reflect on these standards.
Especially, item 21: “Members shall 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.”
As fundraising counselors, the team at Mollard Consulting cannot accept, nor would ever request, a percentage of dollars raised.
Imagine for a moment if you were the donor, and you learned that a percentage of your philanthropic gift was given to a major gift officer, development director, or consultant rather than for the program it was intended.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the major gift officer, development director, or consultant doesn’t get paid; rather, the compensation cannot be tied to the gift received. No fundraising professional should think about their personal financial gain while engaging with a donor. The focus should always be about the organization, its mission and impact, and how that aligns with a donor’s interests and values.
Nonprofit organizations are woven throughout the fabric of American life — from large institutions like universities, hospitals, and museums to community-based programs like food pantries, youth sports leagues, and civic associations.
And, all those nonprofits rely on the generosity and kindness of individuals, companies, and foundations to donate to their cause. Hundreds of billions of dollars are given every year in our country. Every donor and volunteer needs to know that the individuals who serve those missions are acting with the utmost regard.
The AFP code of ethics is that standard bearer.
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO