Ethics Programs & Practices

Upholding the public trust.

Through continuing education and unimpeachable stands of ethics, AFP Chicago upholds the highest ideals of the profession and helps preserve the public trust. We work to develop sustainable programs that explore ethical issues and strengthen fundraisers’ working knowledge on this important matter.

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The Ethical Road Not Taken: What We Can Learn from Real Stories about Real People and the Ethical Paths They Chose
Ethics Breakfast Program

Friday, April 7, 2017
Illinois Institute of Technology - Hermann Hall Alumni Lounge
3241 S. Federal Street, Hermann Hall, Suite 102, Chicago, IL 60616

This program has been approved for 1.5 points towards your CFRE

It is a given that the success of fundraising professionals depends critically upon their credibility.  AFP asserts that ethical behavior “fosters the development and growth of fundraising professionals and the fundraising profession, and enhances philanthropy and volunteerism.”  In their work, however, fundraisers may find themselves in situations that challenge their sense of ethics, or tempt them into making imprudent choices. 

Ivy Walker, an expert on ethics education, demonstrated, through the telling of real stories, how even well-meaning individuals can find themselves, through impulsive choices, in difficult ethical circumstances.  Through her demonstrations, Ivy helped program attendees to be attuned to the “danger signs” that suggest one may be headed “off-course” ethically, and to know how to “course-correct” to avoid such situations.  

Ivy Walker, CEO, Helios Digital Learning 

Ivy Walker is CEO of Helios Digital Learning, a firm that specializes in creating captivating ethics and compliance content powered by real stories told by real people. Helios stories are designed to help employees tap into the higher level decision-making skills they need to successfully utilize the compliance resources your organization has already spent time and money implementing. Ivy is passionate about developing solutions that can help change the alarming decline in trust that citizens around the world have in institutions—particularly big corporations and government.  She believes that as institutional actions are the collective actions of individuals, and research shows that much of human behavior is predictable, compliance programs can be more effective at influencing the right behavior.  Ivy works with clients to identify areas of opportunity to enhance their ethics, compliance and risk functions’ ability to support employees in making the right decision, every time.

Ivy holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She was awarded Kellogg’s Alumni Entrepreneur Supporter of the Year Award and the Anti-Defamation League’s Rising Star Award.  Her civic and professional activities include serving as Board Chairperson for Kaleidoscope, a child welfare agency that focuses on Illinois’ most vulnerable children and serving on the board of Golden Apple Foundation, a nationally recognized non-profit that prepares teachers to be successful in schools of need in Illinois. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, an avid global traveler and an aspiring Cessna pilot.

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Ethics in Philanthropy Roundtable - 2015 Photos

Please visit the 2015 Ethics in Philanthropy Roundtable photo gallery - click here

Ethics in Philanthropy Roundtable - 2014 Photos 

Please visit the March 2014 Ethics in Philanthropy Roundtable photo gallery - click here

Research Note: “Does Ethical Leadership Matter?”

By Ruth Hansen, MJ, CFRE

Everyone knows that nonprofit leaders should be ethical, right? Check-mark: move on. But what does that get us, beyond the good feeling that we work for the side of justice, truth, and right?

Shahidul Hassan, Bradley E. Wright, and Gary Yukl ask that very question in a government setting in a current research article in Public Administration Review, “Does Ethical Leadership Matter in Government? Effects on Organizational Commitment, Absenteeism, and Willingness to Report Ethical Problems.” Hassan, Wright, and Yukl hypothesize that ethical leadership should encourage employee commitment, reduce absences, and promote reporting of ethical problems. In their study, Hassan, Wright, and Yukl conducted anonymous surveys and reviewed personnel files, controlling for other aspects such as supervisors’ supportive behavior and procedural fairness. Their results show significant support for all three propositions, above and beyond other possible explanations.

Thomas Jeavons has written that “ultimately noble ends are never served by ignoble means.” This study provides evidence that ethical leadership promotes positive outcomes in governmental settings. Although the study does not focus on nonprofits – and it is an initial study, with plenty more that could be tested – there are obvious implications for our sector. We believe that our sector depends on public trust. We say that ethical practice is its own reward. It is nice to see evidence of other benefits.

Hassan, S., Wright, B. E., & Yukl, G. (2014). Does Ethical Leadership Matter in Government? Effects on Organizational Commitment, Absenteeism, and Willingness to Report Ethical Problems. Public Administration Review.

Jeavons, T. H. (2005). Ethical Nonprofit Management. Robert D. Herman & Associates. The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 204-229.

Weinberg, Hugh.  (2014).  Ethical Leadership in Public Service: A Solid Foundation for Good Government.  Public Administration Review.

UPDATED Recommended Ethics Reading List

The AFP Chicago Ethics Committee maintains a list of recommended books and articles on Ethics for those interested in exploring the subject in more detail.  Please click here for our current list of Resources on Ethics in Fundraising and Nonprofits. 

ADVANCING PHILANTHROPY magazine – Fall, 2013

AFP Chicago leaders Ruth Hansen, CFRE and Grant Gilbert, CFRE co-authored a feature article in the Fall 2013 issue of Advancing Philanthropy magazine focused on the development of Chicago’s Ethics in Philanthropy Roundtable.  Congratulations to Ruth and Grant!  Click here to read this article.

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