President's Perspective Blog

Mike's Monday Message Takeover: AFP Code of Ethical Standards

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA): Diversity and Inclusion (IDEA)
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The word ethics under a magnifying glass

I am writing to share with you the news that the AFP Global Ethics Committee will soon be rolling out a newly revised AFP Code of Ethical Standards. This project has been underway for nearly two years. It took a great amount of time, effort, and untold hours of Zoom meetings by many committed, and very smart, AFP volunteers to get us to the near final leg of this marathon of a project.

In the coming months you will learn more about the work of the Code of Ethics Task Force and its members. However, I do want to take time in this brief message to thank the task force co-chairs—Robbe Healey, MBA, NHA, ACFRE, FAFP and Andrea McManus, FAFP—for their great leadership during this process.

“Why is the code changing?” you may ask. The most straightforward answer is ethical standards are not intended to be fixed, rather they should transform in response to our ever-evolving environment. People, cultural norms and behaviors, and technology—they all shift. What we value changes. Our code of ethics must reflect our values.

Ethical fundraising is a core value of AFP, as such, “The Association of Fundraising Professionals empowers individuals and organizations to practice ethical fundraising through professional education, networking, research and advocacy.” Our Code of Ethics serves as a guide or road map on how to navigate challenging ethical dilemmas we face in our work every day.

While this is not the first time the Code of Ethics has changed, the recommendation to facilitate the current revisions were motivated by the committee’s desire to assess what anti-racism and social justice means in relation to AFP’s Code of Ethics and overall Ethics program. The convening of a workgroup to engage in comprehensive conversation led to the creation of the Code of Ethics Task Force.  

There has been a tremendous amount of work done already. 

The AFP Global Board of Directors, as well as the Ethics Committee, have reviewed and settled on a draft that is ready for feedback from our membership. The Chapter Presidents Council heard a presentation about the revisions during their in- person meeting in New Orleans on April 15, 2023. Still to-be-completed is: the public comments phase, a final vote by the AFP Global Board of Directors, and revisions made to all collateral educational and reference materials that accompany the codes.   

In the coming weeks you will be hearing and seeing more information regarding opportunities on how you can provide your feedback. In May, nearly ten focus groups will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the new codes via virtual meeting. In addition, at the end of the month, every member will be asked to participate in an online survey to provide input on the proposed changes. I strongly encourage you to take the survey when you receive it.

Please forward any questions you may have about information appearing in this article to ethics@afpglobal.org.

Thank you for your commitment to ethical fundraising.

Joyce Mitchell-AntoineJoyce Mitchell-Antoine
Vice President for Development
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Inc.

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