Masterclass om etik och insamling med Ian MacQuillin

Ian MacQuillin, Rogare. Foto: Malin Ekelund

Etik och insamling – kan man be om gåvor från vem som helst?

Var går gränsen mellan etik och moral? Är det någon skillnad på marknadsföring och insamling ur ett etiskt perspektiv? Hur långt kan man gå för att skapa en kampanj som ger uppmärksamhet? Och vem har man störst skyldighet gentemot? Det här kommer bli en fullspäckad dag med teori, etiskt beslutsfattande, exempel från världen och mycket diskussioner. Läs mer om klassen nedan.

Tid: 9.00-16.00
Plats: Röda Korset, Hornsgatan 52.
Anmälan är bindande men kan överlåtas till annan medarbetare. Märk att kursen hålls på engelska.

About this masterclass and why you should attend it
Should you accept a donation from a sex club? Should you ask a woman with a terminally ill child for support? Would you partner with a tobacco company? Should you return a donation if it’s been raised by inappropriate means? Should men dress up in drag as nurses to raise money?

These are not easy questions, particularly if you’re trying to work out what to do from scratch. Yet much ethical decision-making in fundraising takes a gut-feel approach that is rarely grounded in existing ethical theory or arrived at through established decision-making frameworks. As we have seen from many recent cases in the United Kingdom, this can lead to some rather inconsistent ethical decision-making. In the case of the Presidents Club, for example, many charities immediately announced they would return donations, only change their minds once they’d taken more time to think about it.

This full-day ethics masterclass will introduce delegates to ethical theory and how it can be used to establish not just what the right thing to do in fundraising is, but also for whom you ought to do the right thing. We’ll then explore a number of ethical dilemmas in fundraising and use a new ethical decision making framework developed by Rogare to give us the best chance of doing right by all our stakeholders. Specifically, this Masterclass will be about ensuring that ethical decision-making in fundraising does the right thing by beneficiaries and not just donors.

Learning outcomes
Participants in this masterclass will:

  • Gain a basic knowledge of ethical theory to better contextualise ethical issues in fundraising
  • Identify different ‘normative’ approaches to fundraising ethics and understand how to apply these in professional practice
  • Understand what an ethical dilemma in fundraising is and differentiate it from a ‘moral temptation’ – doing an unethical thing simply because it works
  • Apply ethical theory to actual ethical dilemmas in fundraising using a new decision making framework
  • Make better ethical justifications for the actions they choose to take, or choose not to take, to the media, board, donors and other stakeholders
  • Critique codes of practice from an ethical perspective.

Morning session – doing the right thing in fundraising practice
The morning sessions will start by asking delegates to think about what they think is ethical and unethical in fundraising. One delegates are in a groove of thinking ethically, we’ll explore ethical theory and how various thinkers have developed ethical theory especially for fundraising (there isn’t much of it). This is the point that you’ll be introduced to the theory of fundraising ethics that Rogare has developed that states that:

Fundraising is ethical when it balances fundraisers’ duty to ask for support on behalf of their beneficiaries with the relevant rights of other stakeholders, principally (but not only) donors.

Having considered the theory that we need to bring to bear on ethical dilemmas in fundraising, we now need to apply it to actual ethical dilemmas. So delegates will now learn about decision-making frameworks and how to use them – including a new framework built by Rogare – on some live ethical issues in fundraising. One of the things we’ll be considering is what happens if donors abuse the power they hold in their relationships with fundraisers?

Afternoon session – other ethical issues in fundraising
Having spent the morning exploring ethical dilemmas in fundraising practice, after lunch, we’ll look at some wider ethical issues in fundraising.

How similar are fundraising ethics to marketing ethics?
Fundraising is very similar to marketing, right? And there is lots written about marketing ethics (lots!). So why can’t we just apply marketing ethics to fundraising? The answer is that there are some crucial differences between fundraising and commercial marketing that help us to understand some of the ethical issues that keep arising in fundraising, particularly in relation to how fundraising ought to be regulated. And they also throw up interesting questions in their own right, such as: Should fundraisers have higher ethical standards than commercial marketers?

Ethics of regulation
All around the world, much of fundraising’s professional ethics is contained in its codes of practice. How these codes are established and regulated has a huge bearing on whether fundraisers can generate sufficient money to help their beneficiaries. And so those regulating fundraising also have an ethical duty to ensure that their regulations do not favour the protection of donors’ interests at the expense of beneficiaries’ interests.

Ethics of beneficiary framing
The masterclass will conclude with a look at how charity beneficiaries ought to be portrayed – ­ framed ­– in marketing and fundraising materials. We’ll look at the evidence and arguments for and against using images that raise the most money (often pejoratively described as ‘poverty porn’) and those that aim at maintaining the ‘dignity’ of beneficiaries’ and challenge stereotypes about them, and try to find a way to reconcile these two poles.

About Ian MacQuillin
Ian MacQuillin is the founder and director of Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, where he is currently leading on a project to develop a new theory of fundraising ethics. He is a lecturer in fundraising and marketing, and is researching the ideological drivers of stakeholder objections to fundraising for his doctoral study. He also edits the Critical Fundraising blog. Twitter: @IanMacQuillin

Läs intervju om insamlingsetik med Ian MacQuillin från ett tidigare nummer av Patos.