Spotlight on the Code – Resource Management

Paul Brunton

17 Sep, 2018

In the third installment of our Spotlight on the Code series, we shine the light on Quality Principle (QP) 8 of ACFID’s Code of Conduct: Resource Management. In this blog, we unpick QP8; preview how ACFID’s members apply reporting in practice; and showcase what’s in store for this spotlight.

ACFID’s members commit to acquiring, managing and reporting on financial resources ethically and responsibly. To do this, their work needs to embody sound fundraising approaches, annual reporting, and financial management practices – all of which contribute to building trust with all stakeholders through the good management and use of resources.

QP 8 articulates this approach by committing members to:

  • Sourcing resources ethically;
  • Ensuring the funds and resources entrusted to them are properly managed and controlled; and
  • Reporting on the acquisition and use of our resources.

Under each Quality Principle are a series of Commitments. The majority of these are not new to the Code and will not be new to our members. But there are now specific procurement requirements, ensuring that members have organisational standards for the ethical procurement of goods and services.

Commitment 8.1: We source our resources ethically

Commitment 8.1 requires our members to  

  • Have organisational standards for the acceptance of donations;
  • Report their compliance with the ACFID Fundraising Charter annually to their own governing body; and
  • Have organisational standards for the procurement of goods and services. 

Fundraising activities are often the public face of our organisations. The application of ethics in fundraising is not only a Code requirement but also an opportunity. It provides the means to enter into ongoing relationships of trust with donors, supporters and volunteers and, most importantly, with the beneficiaries of the funds raised. 

Members’ commitment to the values of their organisations and the values of the Code of Conduct will be displayed through fundraising activities. It is the right of our donors to know these are upheld. 

In relation to the fundraising aspects of this Quality Principle, the Code includes reference to the ‘ACFID Fundraising Charter’ that has been developed alongside the Code. The ACFID Fundraising Charter consolidates fundraising standards for ACFID Members. 

The charter has been developed in response to ongoing discussion within the sector on how to ensure and communicate a common understanding of fundraising standards. 

As part of this Spotlight, Rebecca MacFarling, the Fundraising & Marketing Specialist appointment on the Code of Conduct Committee, will explore what this Charter means and how it can be applied practically. View her blog here.

Commitment 8.1.3 requires members to have organisational standards for the procurement of goods and services. It is acknowledged that ethical procurement also incorporates sustainable procurement, which is the process of making purchasing decisions that meet an organisation’s needs for goods and services in a way that benefits not only the organisation but society as a whole, while minimising its impact on the environment.

Tanya Harris, Global Manager Procurement at The Fred Hollows Foundation, lives and breathes procurement and has contributed to the global development of the ISO20400 – the global standard on sustainable procurement. 

We have strengthened the Good Practice Toolkit with some handy tools and information about procurement (see resources section) and capitalise on Tanya’s knowledge by hosting a webinar on this very subject. 

Tanya’s webinar explores what ethical and sustainable procurement means, was held in September 2018 and the recording is available here.

Commitment 8.2: We ensure the funds and resources entrusted to us are properly managed and controlled.

Commitment 8.2 requires our members to:  

  • Control and manage their financial resources and risks;
  • Be effective in their use of resources and minimise financial wastage in the planning and implementation of activities;
  • Undertake measurement, analysis and review of financial performance and financial position;
  • Produce and publish annual audited financial statements; and
  • Undertake due diligence assessments of partners who manage funds on behalf of the member. 

Commitment 8.2.1 requires members to have policies and processes in place to consider the risk of financial wrongdoing and to have appropriate strategies in place to control the risk, to ensure funds and resources are used for the purpose for which they were collected and to ensure community confidence in our sector.

In October, ACFID will release new customized guidance on financial wrongdoing. This guidance is about developing a financial wrongdoing policy that addresses fraud, corruption, terrorism financing, money-laundering and violation of Australian Government sanctions that will assist ACFID members to be compliant with compliance indicator 8.2.1. 

The new guidance provides a structure and questions, hints and other material to help our members think through the risks and their strategies to deal with financial wrongdoing as appropriate to their circumstances. It provides some strategies for high-risk members, such as members operating in locations where terrorists are active, with poor financial systems, where corruption is endemic or in areas of armed conflict.  

The guidance has been developed specifically as part of the Code’s focus area on financial wrongdoing and will be a signature resource for members in the Good Practice Toolkit. 

Accompanying the release of this guidance is a webinar, scheduled for Wednesday October 17th, designed to help members understand how to develop a financial wrongdoing policy. You can view the recorded webinar here.

Writing for ACFID’s blog, Nigel Spence, CEO of ChildFund Australia, contributes his thoughts and personal experiences of cost consciousness, the value of organisational standards on the acceptance of donations, as well as due diligence assessments of partners. You can read his blog here.

Having been a leader in the sector and an ACFID Board member (Vice President - Finance), Nigel lends his insights into what it takes to operate transparently and ethically across a diverse range of programs in an increasingly uncertain world. Stay tuned for this blog coming soon. 

Commitment 8.3: We report on the acquisition and use of our resources.

Commitment 8.3 requires our members to  

  • Publish an annual report;
  • Publish annual ACFID-Code- compliant financial statements in their annual reports; and
  • Fully and accurately disclose administration costs and costs of any public fundraising.

As part of a focus on Commitment 8.3, we interview Chief Executive Officer of Australian Doctors International (‘ADI’) Klara Henderson

We learn from her perspective – as one of our smaller members – how they manage financial risk and wrongdoing – a challenge for ADI who operate in acutely remote areas. They also share with us how they make their annual reporting an efficient exercise and how get the most mileage from it. 

The film on ADI's work, as part of this Spotlight, can be viewed here.

We hope you enjoy the journey as we turn the spotlight on QP8. We welcome your feedback, ideas and input at any time. Feel free to connect with the Standards and Code team on [email protected] or (02) 8123 2237. 


  • Paul Brunton
    Paul Brunton

    Paul is a member of ACFID’s Standards and Code Team which manages ACFID’s Code of Conduct.  Prior to working at ACFID, Paul spent most of his working career in the Australian Taxation Office, most recently in new policy implementation and compliance in personal taxation and superannuation.  Paul’s experience in the aid and development sector has been as a helper and Board Member of Hope for Himalayan Kids and AVI placement in Kiribati to strengthen local NGOs.  Paul has a Masters of Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce and is a member of the Certified Practising Accountants Australia. 

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