Commitment 6.1:
We are truthful in our communications.

Compliance Indicators

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.

Guidance

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.  

Guidance

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.

ACFID Resources

ACFID Fundraising Charter

Spotlight on the Code – Kyeema Foundation

We interview Celia Grenning, CEO of Kyeema Foundation, about how they communicate about their work ethically and ...

Spotlight on the Code – Truthful and ethical communications

QP 6 acknowledges the great responsibility and power that comes with sharing the stories and images of others. At ...

Other Resources

Accountability Now: Accountability Commitments

The Charter provides the only global, fully comprehensive and cross-sectoral accountability framework for NGOs ...

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

The following Ethical Principles have guided development of FIA’s Principles and Standards of Fundraising Practice.

Pathways to Accountability II – The 2011 Revised Global Accountability Framework

This document published by OneWorld Trust seeks to deepen the understanding of accountability issues at the global ...

About

A woman in a brightly coloured scarf peers through coffee bean bushes on either side of her.

Annual Report 2021-22

Reporting on ACFID’s activities to ensure transparency and accountability

ACFID

ACFID is the peak body for Australian NGOs involved in international development and humanitarian action.

Our PARTNERSHIPS

ACFID works and engages with a range of strategic partners in addition to our members.

GOVERNANCE

ACFID is governed by its Board, ACFID Council, and various expert and governance committees.

Members

Conference

Conference 2022

HEALTHY PLANET, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES Acting with evidence, equity and inclusion for a resilient future

Meet our Members

The ACFID membership is comprised of Australian NGOs that actively work in the international aid and development sector.

Become a member

Joining ACFID means joining an experienced and powerful mix of like-minded organisations committed to good international development practice.

Membership types & fees

ACFID has two types of organisational membership: Full Membership and Affiliate Membership.

State of the Sector

The State of the Sector Report provides a comprehensive and robust analysis of the state of the Australian aid and development sector.

NGO Aid Map

ACFID’s NGO Aid Map allows the Australian public and stakeholders to explore the work of ACFID Members around the world

Our Focus

Budget Analysis

Federal Budget 2022 Analysis

Facts and figures on how aid is presented in this year’s annual budget

Strategic Plan

ACFID prioritises a robust response to climate change and pressure on civil society in developing countries, as well as other key priorities.

Emergency Aid

ACFID Members provide vital life-saving assistance in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.

Climate Change

Action on climate change is one of ACFID’s highest priorities, as it is an existential threat to humanity and our development.

Civil Society

Civil societies are a cornerstone of regional stability and ensure that the voices of the marginalised are heard.

Supporting NGOS

Supporting NGOs as Valuable Partners.

Inclusive & locally led development

Walking the talk on inclusive development.

Humanitarian Action

Taking humanitarian action for those in greatest need.

Elevating Development

Elevating Development to the Heart of Australia’s International Engagement.

PSEAH

Improving standards, practice and culture to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

Code of Conduct

A small girl stands in front of a multi-coloured finger paint artwork, with a blue paint covered hand

2022-23 ACFID Code of Conduct Review

The ACFID Code of Conduct is periodically reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect good practice and the needs of ACFID and its members.

Code of Conduct

The Code is a voluntary, self-regulatory industry code of good practice.

About the Code

Find out more about the Code of Conduct and how it operates.

Good Practice Toolkit

Overview and practical resources, and examples to support the implementation of the Code.

Spotlight on the Code

Provides a thematic ‘deep dive’ into each of the nine Quality Principles in the Code

Compliance

This section outlines the responsibility to be taken by each Member to ensure compliance with the Code.

Complaints Handling

How to make a complaint and information on the Code’s independent mechanism to address concerns relating to an ACFID Members’ conduct.

Other Standards

Mapping the Code with other professional standards and principles in the humanitarian and aid sector in Australia and internationally

Loading...