In this two-part series on ethics in fundraising, Lashonda Williams, a trainer at Fundraising Academy, joins host Julia Patrick on a drill-down of the critical aspects of ethics in nonprofit fundraising. LaShonda highlights the fundamental role of transparency, honesty, and truthfulness in maintaining ethical standards in fundraising. Donors trust nonprofits with their resources, both financially and timely, and she amplifies on how it is crucial for fundraisers to uphold their responsibility by adhering to ethical guidelines in managing these resources.

The discussion continues about the ethical implications of personal social media usage by fundraising professionals, emphasizing that their online presence reflects on the organization, how Fundraisers should consider how their social media posts might affect the organization’s reputation and values.

The conversation also touches on the importance of donor communication and transparency in reporting the allocation of funds and keeping them informed about how their contributions are being used, including the percentage allocated to operational expenses versus program impact.

Regarding donor relationships, Lashonda emphasizes that relationships formed on behalf of the organization belong to the organization itself. When fundraisers transition to other roles or organizations, they must respect donor privacy and not solicit them on behalf of their new organization.

The discussion also addresses the role of watchdog groups and accountability in the nonprofit sector. Maintaining accurate reporting and adhering to state and local laws are essential for nonprofit organizations, as LaShonda highlights the significance of monitoring and addressing any discrepancies or concerns on charitable giving websites to maintain the organization’s reputation.

The sparkling conversation concludes with a re-focus from part one of this series on five essential questions that fundraisers should consider when evaluating the ethical implications of their actions, including whether their actions are legal and how they would explain their actions to others.