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Fundraisers surveyed on ethics

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PJ staff report

Four in five charitable fundraisers face ethical challenges once a month or less, a new survey says.

According to the informal survey, which was conducted online in August by the Association of Fundraising Professional and generated 493 responses, 58 percent faced an ethical challenge, situation or dilemma less than once a month, and 24 percent faced an ethical question once month.

Eight percent said they encountered ethical challenges two or three times a month, while 10 percent reported facing ethical 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,” Paulette V. Maehara, president and CEO of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, says in a statement.

The survey results, she said, serve as a “reminder that while ethical challenges and dilemmas are not the norm for most charities, they happen enough that ethical guidance and direction are always needed.”

Maehara also says the survey results show that ethical practices are commonplace throughout the sector and are accepted not just by fundraisers, but by boards, volunteers 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,” she says. “That’s a good sign for the profession and something we’ll continue to work on.”

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