Ethical and Legal Issues

High moral standards and lawful procedures are an integral part of resource development. It is important that nonprofit organizations cultivate, obtain, and use donor gifts in ways that are ethical and legal. For instance, when an organization receives a donation for a specific purpose, it is ethically bound to spend the funds in that way. Donors expect organizations to use their gifts in ways that further the mission of the organization in an ethical and lawful manner. In addition, leaders of nonprofit organizations must be aware of and follow all laws related to gift reporting.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article “Foundation Codes of Ethics: Why Do They Matter, What Are They, and How Are They Relevant to Philanthropy?” Think about how you might identify an ethical issue at a nonprofit organization.
  • Review the article “Doing Well by Doing Right: A Fundraiser’s Guide to Ethical Decision-Making,” paying attention to ethical decision-making models that might be used to solve ethical dilemmas.
  • Reflect on the nonprofit organization you are using for your Final Project. Identify at least one ethical issue and one legal issue you might encounter in this organization related to resource development.
  • Review the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ “Code of Ethical Principles and Standards,” and think about specific ethical principles and/or standards you might apply to address the ethical issue you identified.
  • Using the Walden Library, another library, or the Internet, research laws that apply to nonprofits. Consider specific laws related to resource development and think about which ones might address the legal issue you identified.


With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Wednesday a brief description of the nonprofit organization: Young Life

Describe at least one ethical issue and one legal issue related to resource development that you might encounter in your nonprofit organization, and then explain how you would address each. Be sure to include ethical principles and/or standards and laws that apply.


Articles Are Provided in Upload

  • Article: Kidder, R. M. (2004). Foundation codes of ethics: Why do they matter, what are they, and how are they relevant to philanthropy? New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising, 2004(45), 75–83.

    Use the Business Source Premier database, and search using the article’s title.

  • Article: Rosen, M. J. (2005). Doing well by doing right: A fundraiser’s guide to ethical decision-making. International Journal of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Marketing, 10(3), 175–181.

    Use the Business Source Premier database, and search using the article’s title.

  • Online Article: Association of Fundraising Professionals. (2007). AFP code of ethical principles and standards.
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