Partners & Fundraising Ethics Policy
Board members and staff have a duty to maximise resources and impact for our organisation. If a decision is made not to work with a particular partner/collaborator (funder, existing or potential member, supporter, etc.) for purposes of fundraising or other activities related to achieving the organisation’s mission, there must be evidence to show that the decision was made in line with our organisation’s policies.
The decision as to whether or not to work with a contentious partner, whether they are an organisation or an individual, should not be based on the personal beliefs of individual Board and staff members. It should instead be determined by whether the organisation’s mission is affected by association with that partner.
NHWN may reject working with a potential partner/collaborator/funder on one or more of four grounds:
Where the above circumstances do not apply, an organisation’s interests are best served by maximising the organisation’s resources. The organisation would therefore consider working with any organisation or individual.
The following is a code of ethics for fundraising.
An Ethics Committee should be established by the Operations Director. It should be composed of the management group members of the Board (Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer).
The role of the Ethics Committee is to assess to what extent an association with a partner can be shown, as a consequence of their public reputation, to weaken the organisation. This could, for example be by alienating donors, other partner organisations, and members.
If, having completed a full risk assessment, working with a particular partner would weaken the organisation more than the partnership would strengthen it, then the partnership should not go ahead. In making this difficult decision, the Ethics Committee, in consultation with appropriate parties, needs to consider whether the partnership in question could be detrimental to the organisation’s mission, brand, existing partners, funders and members.
A clear process has been defined which should be followed as and when a partnership opportunity arises.
Process for ethical decision-making
The following process should be followed as and when a partnership opportunity arises:
If the organisation in question is a supplier, it should be rejected and a new supplier sought.
If the organisation is a donor or other partner, the case should be passed to the Ethics Committee.
The Ethics Committee should then use the evidence to consider to what extent it would be detrimental for the organisation’s to work with the organisation in question. The potential consequences of the partnership as per the policy should be considered.
As appropriate, a full risk assessment could take place. This could involve direct consultation with the charity’s stakeholders, where appropriate. The risk assessment should provide the necessary background information on the prospective partner and should clearly potential benefits of the partnership, the risks to mission and key stakeholders, and mitigation measures. There may be instances where an external risk assessment is needed, for example with a particularly high risk partnership. Should this situation arise, the Ethics Committee should seek advice as appropriate.
On completion of the risk assessment, the Ethics Committee should either approve or reject the partnership.
The Operations Director will inform the Board of any major issues arising from this process.
Revised 14/01/2013 by the NHWN Board of Trustees with the insertion of Cold Calling as being a barrier to potential partnerships.
Originally adopted by NHWN Board on 09/12/2010.