Most Fundraisers Face Few Ethical Challenges

Four out of five charitable fundraisers encounter ethical challenges, situations or dilemmas once a month or less, according to a website survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Participants in the poll were asked how often they faced an ethical challenge, situation or dilemma during their professional work. Fifty-eight percent reported less than once a month, while 24 percent said once a month. Just eight percent responded that they encountered ethical challenges two or three times per month, while the remaining ten percent reported facing such challenges at least once a week.

“Ethics is critical to the success of fundraising and philanthropy, so it’s important to understand just how often fundraisers face ethical situations so we can have resources ready,” said Paulette V. Maehara, president and CEO of AFP.

Maehara said that the results also showed that ethical practices are commonplace through the sector and are accepted not just by fundraisers, but by boards, volunteers, donors and others. “I think fundraisers aren’t facing more ethical challenges because, by and large, people understand more and more what is and is not acceptable. That’s a good sign for the profession, and something we’ll continue to work on.”