Every(Re)Action | AFP Celebrates Ethics Awareness Month with Guidance and Best Practices for Fundraisers

October 4, 2021 | Grace Duginski
Every(Re)Action: AFP Celebrates Ethics Awareness Month with Guidance and Best Practices for Fundraisers

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, or AFP, has put out new materials in celebration of Ethics Awareness Month, which falls every October. For nearly 60 years, their guidance has helped and supported fundraisers by providing a shared understanding of ethical approaches to raising more money, so fundraisers can focus on advancing their mission and doing more good.

At our core, EveryAction’s mission is to advance the missions of our nonprofit partners, and we’re proud to work with organizations that are building a more just and equitable world. We often have conversations about the most efficient and effective ways to reach nonprofit audiences across channels, but we know that to really make an impact, it’s just as important to practice equity and inclusivity across all strategies and work practices — and that includes fundraising.


AFP’s website offers this introduction to Ethics Awareness Month:

Ethics makes philanthropy and fundraising possible. Without ethics, giving doesn’t happen. Fundraising doesn’t happen. Change and impact don’t happen.

Ethics makes it all possible, and THAT’S worth celebrating.

And while we celebrate in October, ethics is critical all the time. So our goal for Ethics Awareness Month is simple: helping you live ethics. Growing your ethical skills. And demonstrating your commitment to the highest ethical standards.

After all, says AFP, “members have already demonstrated that commitment by signing the AFP Code of Ethical Standards.” First released in 1964, AFP members are required to sign and adhere to the code every single year. The code comprises 25 standards, and AFP offers a deep dive on each of these standards for greater clarity.

As AFP President Mike Geiger says, “Ethics allows [fundraisers] to inspire donors and connect them with causes, because they trust us — and trust is key. Ethics is what makes fundraising the impact profession.” AFP plans to release more resources throughout the month of October, including free webinars, articles, videos, and other tools to support ethical fundraising. Additionally, their focus for this year is on “the intersection of ethics and diversity, inclusion and equity.” Other leaders in the sector, like the Chronicle of Philanthropy, have reported extensively on these topics, focusing on everything from fundraisers, to funders and donors, to racial, gender, and disability justice; and so much more. Clearly, this is a broad topic, but one that nonprofit leaders care deeply about and are invested in developing.

Our Take

Nonprofit leaders are no stranger to thinking about and working on some of the toughest issues out there — and you deserve support every step of the way. AFP asks that this October, fundraisers “share [their] commitment by joining the conversation on social media and using #ISignedTheCode and #EthicsAwarenessMonth.”

If you’re looking for guidance on other aspects of fundraising, check out our blogs about fundraising, our 2-minute video library, and our Guide to the Future of Fundraising — or, to learn how the right purpose-built platform can support your fundraising work to raise more for your mission and do more good, talk to us.