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Ethics Papers and Articles

Guidance: Investing in the Charity of Your Choice
A broad overview and perspective that donors and charities should take into consideration to evaluate their giving and fundraising effectiveness.

Guidance: Measuring and Reporting Fundraising Costs
A paper designed to help nonprofit board members address issues of cost and performance, both in their internal oversight of the charities they govern and in their external communications with constituents and the general public.

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Process for Development of AFP Position Papers
So how does AFP write and develop position papers?

An invitation to participate in a discussion on ethics in the charitable sector
(Sept. 25, 2012) The Ethics Resources Committee of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter continues to reach out to AFP members across the country to invite participation in a special ethics survey. We want to gain an understanding of your needs relating to your knowledge of ethics, top ethics concerns, and how the various AFP Ethics Resources Committees can best serve their membership and the charitable sector.

Ethics Isn’t About Judgment—it’s About Assessment, Reflection and Personal Improvement
(August 14, 2012) Paul Pribbenow knows what you think about ethics. And what you think about webinars on ethics. And he wants to change your mind.

Is There a Lake Wobegon Effect in Fundraising?
(Oct. 22, 2014) In honor of the 50th anniversary of AFP’s Code of Ethics, take the Ethics Assessment Inventory and find out how to improve your organization’s ethical performance. Don’t be afraid—you might find out you’re like those kids in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon and be “above average” or better!

Position Paper: Face-to-Face Fundraising Guidelines (Canada)
These guidelines represent voluntary principles that apply to charitable organizations, non-governmental organizations, paid fundraisers and relevant third parties who utilize face-to-face fundraising as part of their fundraising activities.

Top Ten Canadian Charity Law Compliance Issues, Part 1
(May 22, 2012) A great deal has been written about legal compliance surrounding charities in Canada. Much of that material however, is highly specialized, hard to understand and sometimes esoteric. As a result, it can be extremely difficult for charities, employees and volunteers to focus in on the issues that are generally most important for charities.

Top Ten Canadian Charity Law Compliance Issues, Part 2
(June 31, 2012) A great deal has been written about legal compliance surrounding charities in Canada. Much of that material, however, is highly specialized, hard to understand and sometimes esoteric. This article concludes Mark Blumberg’s summary of the ten most important items charities and their boards of directors need to know about charity law in Canada. (Part two of a two-part series)

50 Years of the AFP Code of Ethics
(Sept. 16, 2014) For 50 years, the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards has served as the cornerstone of fundraising, identifying and promulgating the high standards that make ethical fundraising possible. And as the giving season gets into full swing, AFP will be celebrating the 50th anniversary throughout the rest of the year, reminding members—as well as donors and others—why the code is so important.

Ethics as a Risk Management Strategy
(Mar. 19, 2013) First in a micro series: An Ethics Resources Tool Kit from the Ethics Resources Committee, AFP, GTA Chapter

Ethics panel Co-hosted by AFP’s Ethics Resources Committee and the Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Governance
(April 15, 2015) Fundraisers and private sector leaders recently gathered to talk about ethics as part of their day-to-day work life. Topics discussed included: corporate relationships and trust building, personal integrity and working with wealthy individuals and their advisors.

Ethics: When We Talk, We Succeed
(Aug. 13, 2014) Chances are that whatever ethical challenges you are facing, someone else is in the same boat. Read on to find out how sharing your story can help everyone to learn and build better donor relationships.

Free Webinar: Accepting Gifts from Pablo Escobar and Other Ethical Dilemmas Access Restricted
AFP, with the generous support of the Claudia A. Looney CFRE Fund for Ethics in Fundraising and the AFP Foundation, presented on February 27, 2017, a free, exclusive members-only webinar on Ethics in Fundraising. This webinar, presented by Robbe Healey, MBA, NHA, ACFRE, explored the roles and responsibilities of the fundraiser and board in dealing with unethical situations and will help attendees understand and identify the seven ethical dilemmas. We have now made this webinar recording available to all to enjoy!

Not Your Average Ethics Session
(Jan. 22, 2013) At first glance the Ethics sessions offered in the past at AFP’s International Conference on Fundraising haven’t always screamed, “Attend me!” But at the 2013 conference, that’s all going to change. This year, the Ethics sessions have been kicked up a notch, and A Crisis in Value – Our World is Built on Trust, featuring Barbara Levy, ACFRE, Ben Haddad, and AFP’s president and CEO Andrew Watt, FInstF, is no exception!

Stumped About Fundraising Ethics? AFP Can Help You
(Nov. 26, 2014) Most members probably think the AFP Ethics Committee exists mainly to prosecute and punish perpetrators who violate of the Code of Ethics. But according to the chair of the committee, Jay Love, that is only a small part of the committee’s work.

Update: Enlivening the Ethics Discussion
(Feb. 2, 2013) The Ethics Resources Committee of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter thanks all respondents who participated in the recent survey on ethics that was conducted late in 2012. Nearly 200 senior nonprofit professionals, representing all positions and areas of the sector, took part in the survey and provided rich content for analysis.

Guidance: Internet transaction fees
Numerous websites have been established to facilitate online donations to unrelated organizations. The majority of such websites are maintained by entities that are not themselves tax-exempt.

Position Paper: Payments in Lieu of Taxes
AFP's 1997 position paper on the issue of Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOTS).

Position Paper: Percentage-Based Compensation
A 2001 position paper by the AFP Ethics Committee on why AFP prohibits members from accepting percentage-based compensation.

Position paper: Parity in the Fundraising Profession
Parity laws, policies, and procedures in fundraising are covered in this 1994 position paper by the NSFRE (now AFP) Parity Task Force.

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