Apra Principles of Ethics and Compliance

Updated June 2020

Apra is an international membership body for professionals who drive their institutions' philanthropic missions through work in prospect development. All members of Apra agree to abide by the following Principles of Ethics and Compliance, which governs collection and use of data gathered from all sources, including social media. 

Prospect development professionals must balance a constituent’s right to privacy with the needs of their organizations to collect, analyze, record, and disseminate information. To guide our work, the following principles apply.

Ethical Standards and Integrity

  • Act with integrity and honesty and avoid any acts, omissions, or practices that could harm supporters, beneficiaries, your organization, the prospect research community, Apra, or the general public.
  • Prioritize the interests of supporters and beneficiaries and be a steward of their interests for the benefit of the organization, the prospect development community, and wider society.
  • Be alert to, and manage openly, any conflicts of interest.

Professional Standards and Behaviors

  • Follow all applicable laws and regulations, the policies of your organization, the terms of use for all data sources you use, and the best practices and policies of Apra.
  • Stay abreast of changes in laws, policies, and terms of use and adjust your practices accordingly.
  • Track data provenance to ensure all information is legally obtained and publicly available from reliable sources.
  • Uphold the highest standards of conduct in every professional situation, perform all work with the highest level of discretion, and accept responsibility for your own professional actions and decisions.
  • Respect the privacy of constituents and maintain the confidentiality of constituent information at all times. Record and disclose only information appropriate for fundraising activities.
  • Be honest about your identity and role when using social media in your work and do not unreasonably intrude on an individual’s privacy through social media platforms.
  • Follow your organization’s social media policies regarding the online interactions that are appropriate for your role.
  • Maintain a level of professional knowledge, accuracy, and competence appropriate to your responsibilities.
  • Commit to continuous learning to ensure your knowledge and skills are relevant and up to date.
  • Seek support and guidance, as needed, from your organization and Apra.

Apra Representation

  • Always act in a way that supports and upholds the reputation and values of the prospect development profession and of Apra.
  • If you suspect unethical conduct, alert your senior leadership and/or Apra for guidance and recommended courses of action.
  • Act in a manner that increases public understanding of prospect development.
  • Promote the professional development of others in the sector.

Apra Ethics Toolkit - Revised June 2020