Focusing on ethics in fundraising, LaShonda Williams, CFRE, and a trainer with the Fundraising Academy at National University, provides practical insights and ways to build trust with donors and within the organization. The conversation focuses on a five-question fundraising ethics checklist:
Is it legal?
Is it ethical?
Would I want someone to act this way with me?
How would I explain my actions to someone else?
How will it make me feel about myself?
LaShonda emphasizes the significance of staying within legal boundaries and understanding state laws and regulations, as well as adhering to IRS policies and donor Bill of Rights when it comes to fundraising activities. She stresses the importance of maintaining transparency, truthfulness, and accountability in all interactions with donors and within the organization.
LaShonda also underscores the idea that ethics should not be limited to fundraising professionals but should be part of the entire organizational culture, with everyone within the organization being responsible for upholding ethical standards, ensuring respect, transparency, and honesty.
The checklist she details encourages individuals to consider how their actions reflect their personal reputation and the organization’s reputation. It highlights the need for proactive ethical decision-making rather than reacting to ethical dilemmas.