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Alert clients to conflicts of interest, Institute tells consultants

Alert clients to conflicts of interest, Institute tells consultants
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Alert clients to conflicts of interest, Institute tells consultants

Fundraising | Gemma Ware | 4 Apr 2008

Fundraising consultants ought to alert prospective clients to any potential conflicts of interest with work they are undertaking for other charities, according to the Institute of Fundraising’s new code of best practice for fundraising consultants.

The code is the first to cover the relationship between consultants and charities and describes the appropriate conduct for consultants. It says consultants ought not to represent conflicting or competing interests “without the express consent of the parties concerned after full disclosure of the facts”. It also warns consultants against denigrating other “bona fide” consultants. 

Megan Pacey, director of policy and campaigns at the Institute, said the code aimed to make charities aware consultants could be competing for the same pound. “In the spirit of openness and transparency, you would declare those conflicts of interest so that doesn’t happen further down the line.”

The consultants code also reiterates that consultants should not be paid by commission-only methods, which the Institute said could lead to an adverse reaction from donors, bad practices such as ‘hard-sell’, or in the case of a large gifts, an “unacceptably high level of remuneration”.

The Institute is shortly to launch a review of its Payment of Fundraisers on a Commission Base code of practice, which Pacey said might look to expand the code to cover all the ways a charity could employ a fundraiser.

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