President's Perspective Blog

Mike’s Monday Message: Ethics Awareness Month


It’s October, and that means the fundraising community is celebrating Ethics Awareness Month

And I do mean celebrating—because ethics is the cornerstone of fundraising.

Ethics allows us to do all the amazing work we do—especially in this challenging time where our efforts are so critical with so many people depending on us. Ethics allows us to inspire donors and connect them with causes. Ethics is what makes fundraising the IMPACT profession.

Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing articles, videos, free webinars and many other tools and resources to help you better practice ethical fundraising.

This year, we’re focusing on the intersection of ethics and diversity, inclusion and equity. What role does ethics play in inclusion and equity—and vice versa? You’ll hear different perspectives from members of our Ethics Committee, as well as a special working group we’ve put together to address these very important topics.

And when I say the fundraising community is celebrating, I mean the entire community. I’m so pleased that our sister organizations and partners from around the world are joining us and providing articles and their perspectives on ethics. These organizations include DonorPerfect, Apra, the Grant Professionals Association, Fundraising Institute of Australia, Institute of Fundraising, NTEN and many more.

Because ethics isn’t about AFP — it’s about the entire fundraising community working together to demonstrate to the world how important ethics is to our profession.

This year’s theme is #ISignedTheCode, because AFP members are required to sign our code of ethics annually. In fact, AFP’s code is the only enforceable code in the profession, and transgressions against the code can lead to censure and even expulsion from the organization.

I hope you will think about what it means when you sign our code every year. You put your name and reputation on the line by agreeing to the profession’s highest ethical standards. It’s a big responsibility, but also an empowering one.

Ethics empowers us to talk with donors about their dreams. Ethics empowers us to reach out to people we might not even know and begin conversations about our world and what we want our communities to look like. Ethics empowers us to bring communities together, focused on improving the quality of life for all.

So, join the fundraising community in October and let’s celebrate Ethics Awareness Month. Check out all our resources at, and let’s show everyone the impact that ethical and effective fundraising can have on the world!

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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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