Code of Ethics: the complaint process
- Dowloadable form for complaints (.pdf file)
- Link to Adobe Acrobat Reader to download .pdf files
The complaint process permits any AFP member or person holding an AFP-sanctioned credential to report an alleged violation of the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, through an ethics query or formal complaint.
The process, sanctioned by the Ethics Committee, allows for the protection of the rights of both the complaining party and the accused.
- A query is a means for inquiring whether or not a practice warrants filing a complaint alleging a violation of the Code and to request assistance from the Committee to resolve an issue or practice of concern.
- The goal of a query is to bring about improvement in professional practice without resorting to formal Code enforcement proceedings.
- A query may be submitted via a confidential letter or memorandum to the office of the AFP President and CEO.
- A complaint is a formal allegation of violation of the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards.
- Formal complaints must be made on the complaint form and signed.
- The filing of a complaint initiates the Code's enforcement procedure.
- AFP requires complaining parties to agree that, upon request of the Ethics Committee, the complainant will give personal testimony in the presence of the accused.
- If the Ethics Committee finds that a complaint is supported by sufficient documentation, written notification is issued to the accused. The accused is given the opportunity to respond in writing to the complaint.
How to register a query about a possible code violation:
- Write a letter explaining the concern; include identification of the AFP member involved.
- Send signed query and a copy of any backup information corroborating your concern in a sealed envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL to: President and CEO; Association of Fundraising Professionals; 4300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300; Arlington, VA 22203-4168
How to file a complaint alleging a code violation
- The complaint must be filed within three years of the alleged ethical misconduct.
- The form may be downloaded from Attachments, below; this is a .pdf document requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader, which also may be downloaded for free under Related Links below. Forms also may be requested by telephone, fax, email or mail from the office of the President and CEO.
- Fill out the complaint form completely and sign it. Be sure that the description of alleged unethical conduct is clear and complete.
- Send the signed form and a copy of any backdrop information corroborating your allegation in a sealed envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL to: President and CEO; Association of Fundraising Professionals; 4300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300; Arlington, VA 22203-4168.