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The Fundraiser Bill of Rights

The Fundraiser Bill of Rights

Chapter Leadership Brief 7.29.2022

By Steve Jacobson
AFP-NYC Immediate Past President and CEO, JCA, Inc.

Is there such a thing as a Fundraiser Bill of Rights? Well, no, but hopefully there will be one soon. While AFP has a code of ethics and has worked with other nonprofit advocacy organizations to create a Donor Bill of Rights, there has been a noticeable void in protections for all of you, the fundraisers on the frontlines. It’s time to change that!

The Donor Bill of Rights will address key issues in our sector, including bias, sexual harassment, inequity, and racism. These are real and impactful problems. According to AFP’s recent report, “Speaking Truth to Power in Fundraising: A Toolkit,” 23% of fundraisers have been subject to sexual coercion during their career. In this study, sexual coercion was defined as fundraisers who have been asked or pressured by their employers to put themselves in a position where they would be vulnerable to sexual harassment in order to secure gifts. Some respondents indicated that they were asked to dress in a particular way to garner inappropriate attention. Others were strongly encouraged or flat out told to meet prospects in compromising places, such as a prospect’s hotel room.

AFP Global has created a task force to draft a comprehensive Fundraiser Bill of Rights. I had the good fortune to attend a working meeting, in which the task force co-chairs, Rebecca Lamb and Liz LeClair, presented an update and sought input from those on both the AFP Global and AFP Foundation for Philanthropy boards. It was clear that, while much work and thought has gone into drafting protections for fundraisers, there is still a lot more work to be done, including how such protections can be enforced.

AFP is committed to hearing from you, the fundraisers, who have endured first-hand the unjust actions, behaviors and expectations suffered at the hands of those in power. The time is now to get involved to empower and protect not only current fundraisers but the next generation of fundraisers as well. You can find more information here at AFP’s Fundraiser Bill of Rights project webpage.

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