Israeli fundraisers formulate code of ethics

Presented by committee chairman, attorney Yaron Keidar, the recommendations outline a three-stage process, based on international practices.

By NADAV SHEMER
May 18, 2011 23:57
2 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

Money 311. (photo credit: Bloomberg)

 
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A couple of hundred people gathered for the first annual conference of the Israel Association of Professional Fundraisers in Ramat Gan on Wednesday, where they discussed the formulation of the first-ever accreditation process and code of ethics for the industry in Israel.

Just over a year after the association was established with the aim of regulating the nonprofit sector before the government intervenes and creates one itself, the audience was given an insight into the certification committee’s interim recommendations.

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Presented by committee chairman, attorney Yaron Keidar, the recommendations outline a three-stage process, based on international practices, in which the first step for fundraisers is recognition, followed later by accreditation and then finally by certification.

To pass the initial recognition phase, fundraisers will be required to commit themselves to the association’s recently completed code of ethics, must have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent academic qualification, must have worked in the industry for at least two years and must bring with them two personal references and pass an interview with the accreditation committee.

Jonny Cline, the founder of UK Toremet, which promotes philanthropy in the United Kingdom, and one of the three members of the committee that formulated the code of ethics, said Israel had fallen behind developing countries in understanding the need for such a code.

But in the aftermath of the 2008-09 global financial crisis, he said, charitable organizations in Israel had begun to understand the importance of adhering to global industry standards.

“You need the right people, with the right intentions, at the right time” to implement change, Cline said, adding: “Now we have people suffering a little bit, people are getting over it, learning how to work in the new economy, and this is the right time for a change.”

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European Fundraisers Association vice president Robert Kowalko, who was a special guest at the conference, told the audience that since finding out about the IAPF’s activities, he had become the biggest advocate of it joining the Europe-wide organization.

At the end of his speech Kowalko handed IAPF chairman Shai Ben-Mordechai a written response to Ben- Mordechai’s recent approach to the EFA, which received an enthusiastic round of applause from the crowd.

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