Category: Ethics

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Behold, the Carbon Neutral Direct Mail Campaign!

By Roger M. Craver, JD. Last week, we celebrated Earth Day, which makes it an appropriate time for fundraisers to think about what we’re really doing — professionally, personally, and collectively — to save our planet. I’m not asking you to think about raising money for climate change or conservation. Instead, it’s time to consider how our practices are affecting our planet — and how we can take collective actions at our organizations to make a difference. In gathering my ball of string for this Earth Day post, I came across a LinkedIn post from Steve Falk, President and CEO of Canada’s Prime Data.

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How to Pay for Fundraising, and Why Commission-Based Fundraising Is Unethical

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Paying a fundraiser based on the revenue return you potentially will receive exposes you to pay a much higher fee than you should. It’s an unwise business proposition. The Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) even deems it unethical. In AFP’s position paper, they describe six specific reasons why. AFP believes that individuals serving a charity for compensation must first accept the principle that charitable purpose, not self-gain, is paramount: “It is our view that if, by definition, private financial benefit cannot inure to the charity, it should not inure to the worker. By law, compensation

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Out With a Whimper

Out With a Whimper

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Many fundraisers are neither memorable nor impactful, and when they leave an organization, they go out with a whimper, not a bang. I’m as upset about this as you must be. One may think there’s a bevy of great fundraisers out there, but that’s not my experience. A lack of authentic mentoring contributes to this “excellence” problem. As a field, we do a poor job mentoring younger fundraising professionals, for sure. Further, while we have more fundraising certificate programs and graduate degrees than ever before, few nonprofits know what the credentials mean. The viability of

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