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.

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.

© 2013 Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago Chapter
1717 North Naper Boulevard Suite 102 Naperville, IL 60563 | Phone: 630-416-1166  | Fax: 630-596-1042