Office of University Advancement - Principles of Practice

The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Cal State East Bay endorses principles of practice to provide our donors with the highest possible industry standards.

Principles of Practice for Fundraising Professionals at Educational Institutions

Approved by the CASE Board of Trustees in November 2005

Philanthropy is a voluntary exchange in which the values and aspirations of donors are matched with the values and aspirations of those they benefit.

Educational fundraising professionals work on behalf of those served by their institutions during this exchange of values and represent their universities, colleges and schools to donors, volunteers, and the larger public. In doing so, they also represent the integrity of the institution and of the fundraising profession. They must, in discharging responsibilities, observe and promote the highest standards of personal and professional conduct and continually strive to increase their knowledge of the profession.

The following principles are consistent with CASE's position on commission-based compensation developed by the Commission on Educational Fundraising (now the Commission on Philanthropy) in 1991 and reaffirmed in 2005, and the Donor Bill of Rights. They are intended to provide guidance and direction to educational fundraisers and volunteers as they make ethical choices during the philanthropic exchange of values. The principles are not, and cannot be, an exhaustive list of rules to be applied to every decision in which ethical principles may be involved.

These ethical principles go hand-in-hand with the expectation that educational fundraising professionals are expected to comply with the letter and the spirit of all laws relevant to charitable giving.

Ethical Principles


Personal Integrity

Individuals will:

  • be fair and honest and conduct themselves with integrity;
  • not maintain any vested interest in a professionally related activity that could result in personal gain without prior full disclosure and approval;
  • respect that their relationships with prospective donors, donors, volunteers, and employees are professional relationships and may not be exploited.

Confidentiality

Individuals will:

  • safeguard and respect donor and prospective donor information;
  • honor the wishes of an individual and/or organizational constituent with regard to how directory information and/or giving history is used;
  • record and keep only information relevant to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship;
  • identify the source of retained information;
  • safeguard prospective donor, donor, and other constituent lists compiled by the institution as the property of the institution; these lists may not be distributed or used for unauthorized purposes or for personal gain;
  • make every effort to ensure that volunteers, vendors, and external entities with access to constituent information understand and agree to comply with the organization's confidentiality and public disclosure policies.

Public Trust

Individuals will:

  • ensure donated funds are used in accordance with donors' intentions;
  • obtain specific instructions from a donor before altering conditions of a restricted gift (consistent with applicable law);
  • provide prompt, responsive and truthful replies to donor and public inquiry in accordance with the organization's stated policies;
  • place the mission and interest of the institution and its donors above personal gain;
  • pursue only gifts that fall within, or advance, the institution's mission and/or approved priorities.

Disclosure

Individuals will:

  • be truthful about the institution's mission, intended use of funds, and capacity of the institution to use donations effectively for the intended purpose;
  • be truthful and specific about the identification of the organization they represent and their employment or volunteer status;
  • understand and disclose their areas of expertise and will give appropriate advice regarding the involvement of the donors' legal, accounting, financial and tax advisors;
  • help ensure appropriate and consistent accounting, budgeting, and reporting methodologies.

Compensation

Individuals will:

  • not accept commission-based compensation or compensation based on a percentage of funds raised;
  • not accept external compensation for the receipt of a gift or information leading to a gift;
  • not agree to pay compensation to individuals in respect of a gift or information leading to a gift.

Principles of Practice for Alumni Relations Professionals at Educational Institutions

Adopted by the CASE Board of Trustees in March 2005

Education at all levels has never been more essential to the well-being of the global community. Yet, educational institutions face an increasingly challenging environment in which to attract students, faculty, and benefactors, as well as to earn alumni allegiance, government support, and public respect. As a result, alumni relations professionals perform increasingly strategic and complex roles serving their institutions and alumni including: championing the institution's mission, encouraging and fostering alumni involvement with their institutions, building long-term relationships with alumni and other constituencies, and collaborating with the advancement team to maximize efforts on behalf of the institution and its alumni. The principles below are intended to assist alumni relations professionals in fulfilling their role in a manner that will benefit their institution, its alumni, their profession, and the academic community.

Ethical Principles

Alumni relations professionals have a fundamental obligation to:

  • advance the mission of their institutions and serve and support its alumni in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
  • reflect in their work the basic values of educational institutions, including an abiding respect for diverse ideas, interests and constituencies.
  • reinforce through words and actions the principles of honesty, integrity, and trust, which form the basis for long-term relationships and engagement with the institution's alumni and other constituencies.
  • place the welfare of the institution and its alumni above personal gain, avoid conflicts of interest, take responsibility for their decisions, and treat colleagues, alumni and the public with courtesy and respect.

Operational Principles

Alumni relations professionals are most successful at advancing their institutions and serving alumni when:

  • their efforts support the institution's strategic plan and the best interests of alumni.
  • they are present in the inner management circle of their institutions, where they provide strategic counsel to their institution's leadership, convey the viewpoints and interests of the alumni, and participate in the formulation of institutional policies.
  • they base their work on research that informs their understanding of the institution's alumni and measures progress toward established goals in support of the institution and its alumni.
  • they view themselves as educators on special assignment in alumni affairs.
  • they undertake multiple programs for reaching and engaging alumni.
  • they utilize a wide spectrum of communication devices, including electronic mail, to reach and engage alumni.
  • they seek feedback from the alumni to help align services with existing and emerging needs of this constituency.
  • they involve internal constituencies across the organization in alumni engagement.
  • they employ historically proven methods, as well as promising new approaches in the field, as part of a commitment to continuous improvement in their service to the institution and its alumni.

Alumni Engagement Principles

Alumni relations professionals best serve the needs and interests of the alumni and ensure the involvement of alumni with the institution when they:

Respect

  • Acknowledge and embrace alumni as vital stakeholders in their institutions.
  • Serve as an advocate for alumni, representing their interests in working with institutional departments and constituencies as well as the broader community.
  • Provide alumni with relevant financial information concerning the work of the alumni association and its activities.
  • Ensure personal information provided by alumni is handled in a professional and confidential manner at all times.
  • Recognize alumni contributions of time, talent and treasure.

Inform

  • Inform alumni about institutional mission, goals and programs.
  • Inform alumni about alumni association mission, goals and programs.
  • Ensure the mission, goals and programs of the alumni association are consistent with, and support the mission, goals and programs of the institution.

Involve

  • Encourage alumni to participate in and support the programs, services and events of the alumni association and the institution.
  • Encourage alumni to pursue leadership opportunities in the alumni association and throughout the institution.
  • Involve alumni – seeking their ideas, input and feedback – in any planning process that seeks to define or modify the alumni association mission or its system for selecting its leadership.
  • Encourage alumni to serve in the broader community as ambassadors for their alma mater and for education in general.

Principles of Practice for Communications and Marketing Professionals at Educational Institutions

Adopted by the CASE Board of Trustees in July 2004

Education at all levels has never been more essential to the well-being of the global community. Yet educational institutions face an increasingly challenging environment in which to attract students, faculty, and benefactors, as well as to earn alumni allegiance, government support, and public respect. As a result, communications and marketing professionals perform strategic and complex roles as champions of the institution's mission, stewards of its reputation, monitors of its competitive environment, and liaisons to its many constituencies. The principles below are intended to assist them in fulfilling those roles in a manner that will benefit their institutions, their profession, and the academic community as a whole.

Ethical Principles

Communications and marketing professionals have a fundamental obligation to:

  • advance the mission of their institutions in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
  • reflect in their work the basic values of educational institutions, including an abiding respect for diverse viewpoints and a firm commitment to the open exchange of ideas.
  • reinforce through words and actions the principles of honesty, integrity, and trust, which form the basis for long-term, supportive relationships with the institution's publics.
  • place the welfare of the institution above personal gain, avoid conflicts of interest, take responsibility for their decisions, and treat colleagues and the public with courtesy and respect.

Operational Principles

Communications and marketing professionals are most successful at advancing their institutions when:

  • their efforts are carefully designed to support the institution's strategic plan, to manage its reputation, and to monitor those issues most likely to affect its future.
  • they are present in the inner management circle, where they provide strategic and crisis counsel to the institution's leadership, convey the viewpoints of primary publics, and participate in the formulation of policies affecting those publics.
  • they base their work on research that informs their understanding of the institution's primary publics and that measures progress toward established goals, expressed in terms of desired attitudes and behaviors among those publics.
  • they undertake ongoing, targeted programs of communications and marketing, employing multiple channels appropriate to the audience and the message.
  • they engage in two-way communication with primary publics and actively seek feedback to help the institution align its services with existing and emerging needs of its intended beneficiaries.
  • they involve internal constituencies across the organization in delivering not only the messages but also the academic and service excellence on which the institution's reputation depends.
  • they employ proven methods, as well as promising new approaches in the field, as part of a commitment to continuous improvement.

Principles of Practice for University and College Periodicals Editors

Approved by the CASE Board of Trustees in November 2005

The university or college periodical publication, most often a magazine, is vital to the prosperity of its institution. By documenting the institution's vigorous culture on campus and off, the periodical engages its readers—alumni, parents, members of the local community, faculty, and staff—both intellectually and emotionally, nurturing a relationship that leads to participation in the life of the institution and continued financial support.

The periodical fulfills its mission best by exemplifying the values of its institution. It earns the trust of its sophisticated, well-educated audience through respect for truth, fairness, free inquiry, and the presentation of competing ideas.

The following principles are intended to assist university and college periodicals editors to fulfill their roles in a manner that will benefit their institutions, their profession, and the academic community as a whole.

Ethical Principles

College and university periodicals editors have a fundamental obligation to:

  • Advance the mission and well-being of their institutions in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
  • Reflect the basic values of educational institutions, including an abiding respect for diverse viewpoints and a firm commitment to the open exchange of ideas.
  • Maintain scrupulous standards of accuracy, fairness, editorial integrity, taste, and sensitivity.
  • Place the welfare of the institution above personal gain, avoid conflict of interest, take responsibility for their decisions, and treat colleagues and the public with courtesy and respect.

Operational Principles

College and university periodicals editors are most successful at advancing their institutions when they:

  • Understand and support the institution's mission and strategic goals.
  • Work collaboratively within agreed-upon frameworks of authority and responsibility.
  • Lead the determination and development of the content of the publications for which they are responsible.
  • Strive to achieve the highest editorial and literary quality in their publications.
  • Build relationships of trust and respect with other institutional communicators and members of the advancement team.
  • Recognize their responsibility as stewards of a key communication instrument, and advocate for strategies that maximize readership and ensure the periodical's effectiveness.
  • Conduct research that informs their understanding of the audience for their publications and measures progress toward established communication goals.
  • Address inaccuracies or misunderstandings in a professional and expeditious manner.
  • Welcome ideas and criticism from readers and campus colleagues through open and professional communications.
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