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Principles & Standards of Fundraising Practice

FIA’s Principles & Standards of Fundraising Practice are the professional fundraiser’s guide to ethical, accountable and transparent fundraising. The Principles & Standards are critical to how the fundraising profession is viewed by donors, government, community and by fundraisers.

Self regulation through the use of industry developed codes of practice is encouraged by the Federal and various state governments to ensure informed involvement by practitioners. FIA’s Principles & Standards were developed in consultation with government, FIA members and industry stakeholders and complement legislation, ensuring its relevancy to best practice.

As part of the senate inquiry into disclosure regimes for charities and nonprofit organisations in 2008, the Senate Economics Committee recognised the role of FIA’s Principles and Standards in addressing issues of transparency to maintain Australian charities’ high reputation with the public.

Today’s donor is more socially aware and expects information about how their donation has made a difference. Fundraisers need to communicate regularly with donors and present an open and honest account of how donations are used.

The Principles & Standards of Fundraising Practice and Professional Development

The Principles & Standards have an educative role, and exist to guide fundraising professionals on best practice. A national ethics curriculum is being developed to facilitate training on fundraising ethics and best practice.

How do the Principles & Standards work?

The Principles are the overarching ethical codes that apply to all fundraisers and the Standards focus on specific disciplines of fundraising practice.

Principles of Fundraising Practice

Standards of Fundraising Practice

Complaints Process

Any person may contact FIA with a query in relation to the Principles and Standards of Fundraising Practice without resorting to the Complaints Process. Such an inquiry may clarify whether a complaint is warranted in relation to particular activities or actions of an FIA member and whether these activities or actions constitute a possible breach of the Principles and Standards of Fundraising Practice. 

Where breaches of FIA's Principles and Standards of Fundraising Practice have occurred, written complaints should be directed to the FIA CEO in confidence.

A written complaint must be made for complaints to be considered. The Complaints Form can be found in the appendix of FIA’s Complaints Process.


FIA's Ethics Commitee and the CEO handle enforcement and questions pertaining to the FIA Principles and Standards of Fundraising Practice.

  • Consultations: Callers with ethics questions are routed directly to FIA's policy staff in the first instance. If the caller remains dissatisfied, the issue needs further clarification, the call may be escalated to the FIA CEO. Please note no proceeding ever arises from a telephone consultation — unless the caller initiates it.
  • Ethics queries:  The goal of queries is to provide assistance or effect improvement in fundraising practices without resorting to a formal complaint.
  • Ethics complaints: Complaints must be filed on the FIA complaint form and mailed to the CEO, who reviews them. If warranted, the CEO shall refer Complaints to the Ethics Committee for review.