Fundraising Ethics: A Rights-Balancing Approach

  • Ian MacQuillinEmail author
  • Adrian SargeantEmail author
Original Paper


The topic of fundraising ethics has received remarkably little scholarly attention. In this paper, we review the circumstances that precipitated a major review of fundraising regulation in the UK in 2015 and describe the ethical codes that now underpin the advice and guidance available to fundraisers to guide them in their work. We focus particularly on the Code of Fundraising Practice. We then explore the purpose and rationale of similar codes and the process through which such codes are typically constructed. We highlight potential weaknesses with the current approach adopted in fundraising and conclude by offering a series of normative perspectives on fundraising ethics that could be used to review and revise the current code and potentially improve the quality of future fundraising decision making.


Codes of practice Ethics Fundraising Professional standards 



Association of Fundraising Professionals


Fundraising Standards Board


The Fundraising Regulator


Institute of Fundraising


National Council for Voluntary Organizations


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There are no potential conflicts of interest as this work was not funded by a research grant. Nor did it involve primary research with human subjects or animals.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, Plymouth Business SchoolUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK

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