What is the meaning of ethics? Actually, the definition of ethics is complicated. Some philosophers have attempted to make ethics objectively and universal, while others claim moral decision making is a lonely, intuitive, and wholly individually business of making fundamental choices. Some individuals anchor their ethics in religion; and some believe morality is an odd mixture of received tradition and personal opinion. During the past 50 years, ethics has moved from the academic realm of the theoretical to the need for applied, day-to-day guidance in such fields as healthcare, law, business, and more recently, the environment and biotechnology. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) was the first international organization for professional fundraisers in the world to create a Code of Ethics in 1964. Ethics is a code of conduct, based on moral duties and obligations, which indicates how we should behave. Ethics deals with the ability to distinguish right from wrong and with the commitment to do right. (Definition of ethics from Michael Josephson)
Why is ethics in fundraising important?
In this age of Enron and Worldcom, with charity controversies splashed on newspaper headlines seemingly every day, the answer seems obvious. Without public trust, fundraising cannot happen. If people do not believe an organization will use their money appropriately, they simply not give. Ethics is not simply a list of behaviors, but also a set of restrictions on what we can and cannot do. What the most important, ethics is not just something we do because we know people are watching us. Actually, ethics is a reflection of us as a profession. That means it expresses who we are, what values we hold and what principles we will always fight for. Our ethics goes straight to the heart of our vision for the world. It empowers our donors and makes them feel like part of the process. It helps our fundraising efforts, allowing us to talk to our donors honestly and directly how much we value them and their support. Last but not least, we should not afraid of talking about ethics, because ethics is a positive matter. Abiding by an ethical code is a powerful statement of what we value and how we envision our communities. And most importantly, people want to hear about our ethics. They want to know that we follow the ethical code and that we abide by documents such as Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility as the rules in the process of business. And lastly, let’s we remember this; Never let your sense of morals prevents you from doing what is right.
As we understand what ethics mean then we move what the ethical issues in marketing. First of all, the meaning of ethical issues briefly is a problem or situation that requires a person or organization to choose between alternatives that must be evaluated as right (ethical) or wrong (unethical). Actually, ethical issues in marketing stem from conflicts and disagreements. Each party in a marketing transaction brings a set of expectations regarding how the business relationship will exist and how transactions should be conducted. The important thing in expectations is based on these seven principles which can help person or organization in controlling their ethical issues in their activities: 1.
Integrity- Provide professional services with integrity. 2.
Objectively- Provide professional services objectively. 3.
Competence- Maintain the knowledge and skill necessary to provide professional services competently. 4.
Fairness- Be fairness and reasonable in all professional relationships. Disclose conflicts of interests. 5.
Confidentiality- Protects the confidentiality of all client information. 6.
Professionalism- Act in a manner that demonstrated exemplary professional conduct. 7.
Diligence- Provides professional services diligently. Actually, most of issues are relate to:
(a) The regulatory framework governing...
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