Ethical Principles

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) exists to foster the development and growth of fundraising professionals and the profession, to promote high ethical behavior in the fundraising profession and to preserve and enhance philanthropy and volunteerism.

Members of AFP are motivated by an inner drive to improve the quality of life through the causes they serve. They serve the ideal of philanthropy, are committed to the preservation and enhancement of volunteerism; and hold stewardship of these concepts as the overriding direction of their professional life. They recognize their responsibility to ensure that needed resources are vigorously and ethically sought and that the intent of the donor is honestly fulfilled.

To these ends, AFP members, both individual and business, embrace certain values that they strive to uphold in performing their responsibilities for generating philanthropic support. AFP business members strive to promote and protect the work and mission of their client organizations.

AFP members both individual and business
aspire to:

  1. practice their profession with integrity, honesty, truthfulness and adherence to the absolute obligation to safeguard the public trust;
  2. act according to the highest goals and visions of their organizations, professions, clients and consciences;
  3. put philanthropic mission above personal gain;
  4. inspire others through their own sense of dedication and high purpose;
  5. improve their professional knowledge and skills, so that their performance will better serve others;
  6. demonstrate concern for the interests and well-being of individuals affected by their actions;
  7. value the privacy, freedom of choice and interests of all those affected by their actions;
  8. foster cultural diversity and pluralistic values and treat all people with dignity and respect;
  9. affirm, through personal giving, a commitment to philanthropy and its role in society;
  10. adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations;
  11. advocate within their organizations adherence to all applicable laws and regulations;
  12. avoid even the appearance of any criminal offense or professional misconduct;
  13. bring credit to the fundraising profession by their public demeanor
  14. encourage colleagues to embrace and practice these ethical principles and standards;
  15. be aware of the codes of ethics promulgated by other professional organizations that serve philanthropy.