Ian Macquillin

Fundraising Everywhere Festival

Ian Macquillin

Ethical Fundraising in a Time of COVID-19

The ethics of professional fundraising is hard enough at the best of times? There are many day-day-day ethical challenges such as ‘is it ethical to contact a donor if they’ve haven’t told me I can do so?’, or is it ‘ethical to use this image that shows someone in acute distress?’

To solve these dilemmas, fundraisers need to be able to draw on some ethical theory. Sorry, but ethics is theory and you can’t make sound ethical decisions without it. So all quite complex stuff, if you want to do it well and not just fall back on your own subjective judgement

But throw into the mix the current Coronavirus pandemic and a whole new host of ethical challenges emerge. Is it ethical to continue to ask for legacies when people have an increased change of dying? Should you even be fundraising for ‘non-essential’ causes? So in this session, we’ll take a quick – very quick – tour through some ethical challenges in fundraising and look at the theory and tools you’ll need to tackle them.