What is the Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code?
The Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code (Ethical Code) lays out standards for charitable organizations to manage and report their financial affairs responsibly. The Ethical Code was first released in 1998. In 2006, Imagine Canada undertook a process to update and revise the Ethical Code to reflect current fundraising practices and donor concerns. A revised version of the Ethical Code was released in October 2007.
How can my charity join the Ethical Code Program?
To participate in the Ethical Code Program, charities must commit to the guidelines in the Ethical Code and submit the following:
· minutes of the meeting at which your board of directors adopted the Ethical Code,
· your annual financial statements and annual report (if available),
· your most recent T3010A / B filing,
· signed licence agreement to access the trustmark (two copies),
· an application form, completed and signed by a representative of your board of directors as well as your Executive Director/CEO, and
· a two-year participation fee based on your total revenue from fundraising and earned income.
Does my organization have to be a member of Imagine Canada to participate in the Ethical Code Program?
No, you do not have to be a member of Imagine Canada to participate in the Ethical Code Program. The program and participation fee are completely separate from Imagine Canada membership. However, if you are interested in becoming a member of Imagine Canada, please click here for more information
My organization was previously signed on to the old version of the Ethical Code. Do we still need to join the program?
Yes, your organization does need to rejoin the program. In 2006, Imagine Canada undertook a process to update and revise the Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code. A revised version of the Ethical Code was released in October 2007. A new Ethical Code Program was launched in January 2008, in response to a call from the charitable sector for greater accountability in terms of how the program was run.
Because both the Ethical Code and the program have changed significantly, all previous adherents and licensees are being invited to consider joining the new Ethical Code Program.
Does my organization have to join the Ethical Code Program to use the Ethical Code?
Organizations cannot make public claims about the Ethical Code unless they formally participate in the program. Charities that wish to be recognized as participants in the Ethical Code Program and to use the trustmark (logo) must be approved to do so through the formal application process.
Ethical Code charities submit applications (every two years) that are reviewed by an external organization (Imagine Canada). They are also asked to submit an annual compliance report to maintain their status in the program. The Ethical Code complaints process is a compliance requirement for charities participating in the program. Complaints about Ethical Code charities are reviewed and adjudicated by the Ethical Code Committee (a group of volunteer financial, legal, and fundraising experts from the charitiable and nonprofit sector). Charities that are not part of the program would not have the same accountability in this regard.
The validity of the program would be at risk and it would be misleading to donors and the public if charities that are not formally approved to join the Ethical Code program state that they comply with the Code. The strength of Code compliance comes from the process of accounting to an external group regarding the effective stewardship of the charity's fundraising and financial affairs.
What is the relationship between Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code and other professional ethical codes in the charitable sector?
Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code is aimed at organizations where as the Association of Fundraising Professionals' (AFP) Code of Ethics is for individual fundraisers. Both codes are complementary. For more information visit AFP's Code of Ethics.
Imagine Canada's Ethical Fundraising & Financial Accountability Code for charities complements the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy Statement of Professional Standards and Conduct. For more information go to AHP's Statement of Professional Standards and Conduct.
What is the fee to participate in the Ethical Code Program?
|Annual Revenue from Fundraising & Earned Income||Biennial Fee|
|$100,000 - $500,000||$350|
|$1 million – $5 million||$750|
|$10 million – $50 million||$2,500|
|$50 million - $100 million||$3,500|
How do we calculate our fee?
Fees are based on your charity’s annual revenue from fundraising and earned income. Fundraising revenue includes non-government grants, donations, cause marketing, and sponsorships. Earned income refers to contracts, fee for service, membership and admissions revenue, endowment revenue and sales. Government funding should not be included when calculating your fee.
Are group rates available?
Charities with multiple affiliates that have their own charitable registration numbers may join the Ethical Code Program as a group. Please contact Imagine Canada for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-263-1178 x 228 (416-597-2293 x 229).
What period of time does the fee cover?
The fee entitles organizations to participate in the Ethical Code Program for a two-year (biennial) period, based on the date the application is received.
What is the complaints process?
Members of the public, donors and any other stakeholders may make a complaint against any Ethical Code Program participant. Complainants will be encouraged to settle complaints directly with the charity involved. Should this not be possible, the Ethical Code Committee will receive and review complaints and deliver sanctions if necessary. The full process to review and manage complaints is laid out in the Protocol for Complaints.
What is the Ethical Code Committee?
The Ethical Code Committee is an independent body that receives and reviews complaints and delivers sanctions if necessary. The Committee is an arms-length body comprised of experts in matters related to fundraising and financial reporting. The Committee can also informally review practices and answer questions related to the Ethical Code.
Did you know that there are 161,000 nonprofilts and charities in Canada?
Did you know that Canada’s nonprofit and voluntary sector is the 2nd largest in the world?
The sector represents $79.1 billion or 7.8% of the gross domestic product
The sector is larger than automotive and manufacturing. It generates $112 billion in revenues and employs 2 million people
Canadians donated $10 billion in 2007
Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick have the highest donor rates.
Canadians volunteered 2.1 billion hours in 2007
Young Canadians aged 15 to 24 are more likely to volunteer than Canadians in any other age group
One percent of nonprofits command 60% of all revenues flowing to the sector
Canadians with the lowest household incomes give a greater percentage of their income than others
Saskatchewan has the highest volunteer rate in the country, followed by the Northwest Territories and the Yukon
Those exposed to giving and volunteering activities early in life are more likely to continue those behaviours as adults