International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising

(This part is in English only. Details have been adapted to fit with the context in Hong Kong)

The following principles and standards apply to charity, its governing body, management staff, employees, volunteers, fundraising agents or individuals employed by these agents.

FIVE UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES

Five important principles for charities when conducting fundraising activities:

  • Honesty: Charitable organizations shall at all times act honestly and truthfully so that the public trust is protected and donors and beneficiaries are not misled.
  • Respect: Charitable organizations shall at all times act with respect for the dignity of donors and beneficiaries.
  • Integrity: Charitable organizations will act openly and with regard to their responsibility for public trust. They shall disclose all actual or potential conflicts of interest and avoid any appearance of professional misconduct.
  • Empathy: Charitable organizations will work in a way that promotes their purpose and encourage others to use the same professional standards and engagement. They shall value individual privacy, freedom of choice, and diversity in all forms.
  • Transparency: Charitable organizations stimulate clear reports about the work they do, the way donations are managed and disbursed, and costs and expenses, in an accurate and comprehensible manner.

STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

1. Charitable organizations’ responsibility regarding donations

  • Donations should be accepted if voluntary, in line with the goals of the organization and will bring not more than reasonable costs related to the value of the donation.
  • Funds will be disbursed in accordance with the donor’s wishes, if expressed.
  • Funds will not be raised for the personal financial gain of the fundraiser or the fundraising organization the fundraiser works for.
  • Funds will be collected carefully and with respect of donor’s free choice, without the use of pressure, harassment, intimidation or coercion.

2. Relationship with stakeholders

  • Charitable organizations are strictly answerable to all stakeholders including donors and beneficiaries.
  • Charitable organizations will respect donor rights by providing timely information about how contributions are used, respecting donor privacy, and honoring donor wishes.
  • Charitable organizations will respect beneficiary rights and preserve their dignity and self-respect. They will not use fundraising materials or techniques that undermine this dignity.
  • Charitable organizations work with suppliers or intermediary agents at the same standards as within their own organization. They make reasonable efforts to assure that suppliers do not gain unreasonable profit while working with their own organization.

3. Responsibility for communications, marketing and public information

  • Charitable organizations will only use public information that is accurate, truthful and not misleading, and information that respects the dignity and self-respect of beneficiaries.
  • Charitable organizations will not express or suggest in public information that fundraising lacks administration and fundraising costs, thus giving the incorrect impression that fundraising activity is without costs.
  • Charitable organizations will provide truthful information about use of funds, without exaggeration or underestimation.
  • Charitable organizations respect data protection rules and laws at all times.
  • Charitable organizations accept that all donor and prospect information shall not be transferred or utilized by third parties except on behalf of the organization itself.
  • Donor wishes to be removed from request lists will be followed promptly and without obstacles for the donor.

4. Management reporting, finance and fundraising costs

  • Charitable organizations assure that all fundraising transactions, accounting and reporting for which they are responsible are transparent and unambiguous. They are able to account anytime for their professional work.
  • Charitable organizations will report within the local / national and international standards of accounting methods.
  • Charitable organizations will submit accurate annual reports to stakeholders within a reasonable time
  • Charitable organizations will be open and clear to all stakeholders about fundraising costs, fees and expenses and the way these are allocated.
  • Charitable organizations will make any compensation arrangement transparent to donors and beneficiary upon request.

5. Payments and compensation

  • Fundraisers provide their services either as a volunteer, or on a salaried basis or for pre-determined fees. Fundraisers should not accept commissions or compensation based upon a percentage of the funds raised.
  • Fundraisers will not accept any gratuity when making decisions on behalf of the organization.
  • Fundraisers will not seek or accept any personal payments, in cash or in kind, from a supplier of goods or services in recompense for business placed with that supplier.
  • Criteria that will qualify a fundraiser for performance-based remuneration must be agreed upon beforehand and should not be based on a percentage of the funds raised.

6. Compliance with local laws

  • Charitable organizations will comply with applicable local, state, provincial and national or international civil and criminal laws.
  • Charitable organizations will not engage in activities that conflict with local, national and international legal obligations. Moreover, they will avoid even the appearance of any criminal offence or professional misconduct.

For more details, please refer to the link: http://www.afpnet.org/Ethics/IntlArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=3681

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