We are truthful in our communications.
Compliance with the Commitments will be assessed against the following Compliance Indicators. All of the applicable Compliance Indicators must be met by every ACFID Member to be considered compliant with the Code. Each of the Compliance Indicators has one or more compliance Verifiers. Verifiers are the description of evidence that is required to substantiate compliance with each Compliance Indicator. Guidance is also provided.
6.1.1 Members’ public materials accurately describe the organisation and its work.
Public materials which:
- Are obtained and used according to ethical principles.
- Are consistent with their stated purpose and values.
- Accurately describe the nature and scope of their work.
- Acknowledge the role of partners.
- Are consistent with ACFID’s Fundraising Charter where the public materials relate to fundraising.
Public materials might include an organisation’s website, social media pages, newsletters, appeals, television advertisements, brochures. The ACFID Fundraising Charter can be downloaded in the Resources Section below.
6.1.2 Members have organisational protocols for the approval of public materials.
Policy, statement, guidance document or checklist outlining the protocols for the approval of public materials.
Protocols for the approval of public material will differ for every Member but should be comprehensive enough to ensure that images, messages, and stories used in public materials are obtained and used according to ethical principles, are consistent with the Member’s stated purpose and values, accurately describe the nature and scope of their work, context of situation and environment where collected, acknowledge the role of partners, and are consistent with ACFID’s Fundraising Charter where they relate to fundraising. ACFID’s Fundraising Charter can be found in the Resources Section below.
Good Practice Indicators
The following Good Practice Indicators describe a higher standard of practice than that set out in the Compliance Indicators. While Members do not need to meet the Good Practice Indicators to be considered compliant with the Code, they will self-assess against these indicators once every three years. This provides a clear pathway for Members to strengthen and improve practice over time.
- A communications focal person is in place.
- Training is provided for communications personnel on organisational protocols, Fundraising Institute of Australia guidelines and ACFID’s Fundraising Charter.
- Communication materials are reviewed periodically to ensure they comply with organisational policies, ethical decision making frameworks and the ACFID Code of Conduct.
- Commitment to the ACFID Fundraising Charter is published on the organisation website.
Good Practice Guidance
Here are some practical suggestions for your organisation to further deepen and improve practice over time.
Organisation and policy
- Create and document a policy or guidelines, approved by your governing body, for all public campaigns and fundraising activities. The document should include reference to:
- The requirement for accurate and truthful depictions of your organisation and its work.
- Guidance to ensure respect and dignity of the individuals portrayed as active and positive agents in the aid and development process.
- Accurate disclosure of the types, amounts and/or ratios of fundraising expenses.
- Develop a manual or implementation guide to accompany the policy or guidelines. This would include plans and approaches for fundraising, detailed implementation guidance, and a checklist to ensure that all images and text have been considered for compliance with the obligations outlined in this Standard.
- Establish a monitoring system that tracks designated contributions
- Establish staff responsibilities and a clear process for reviewing images and text for compliance with this Standard prior to their use.
- Establish governance principles for Executive/Board to ensure approval of the use of images and text.
- Prepare examples of images and text that directly and unequivocally demonstrate the correct and approved fundraising approaches by your organisation or any representative of the organisation.
- Provide regular training for staff, volunteers and contractors in the correct and approved use of images and messages, for example using the examples from the preceding bullet point.
- Involve program staff in decisions regarding images and messages for fundraising appeals.
- Inform donors of the percentages of their contributions that will go to overseas programs, to administrative costs, and to offset fundraising expenses.
Images and text
- Images and text used in public campaigns and materials should:
- Be accurate
- Portray beneficiaries as active agents in the aid and development process where this is the case
- Portray all people with respect, honesty and dignity
- Put a human face on or give a personal and truthful story about the impact of a disaster, or the difficulties stemming from injustice
- Present a message of potential change
- Appeal for support on the basis of justice and common humanity rather than guilt
- Emphasise respectful and truthful accounts of the issue, story, purpose of the appeal and the experience of people affected, and the environment and the context of the situation – neither embellishing or underselling.
- Portray a balanced picture of the needs and accomplishments of local communities
- Contribute to a positive understanding of development
- Images and text should not:
- Portray beneficiaries as objects of charity or as victims
- Portray beneficiaries as disempowered or inferior
- Fuel prejudice
- Foster a sense of superiority
- Present donors as ‘going to the rescue’
- Use language that is not inclusive
- Be edited, manipulated, doctored or altered after being obtained to change context, facts, appearance, etc.
- Fundraising solicitations should include accurate wording describing the intended use of funds, and realistic expectations of what will be achieved with them
- Images and text of children must comply with your organisation’s child protection policies (see Code commitment 1.4: We advance safeguarding children).
- Relevant partners, overseas staff and, if possible, the people being depicted should be invited to provide comment and approval on the images used.