Principles of Good Practice: Fundraising

View this PGP as a PDF file.

Preamble: The following principles provide common ground for interaction between independent school professionals and their many constituents (parents, students, colleagues at other schools, and the public). The NAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be, to embed the expectation of professionalism, and to further our sector’s core values of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. Accordingly, membership in NAIS is contingent upon agreement to abide by the spirit of the PGPs.

Overview: The advancement program of the school should exemplify the best qualities of the institution and reflect the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. The following Principles of Good Practice are addressed to those involved in the school’s advancement operation: trustees, school heads, development and alumni/ae officers and staff, volunteers, consultants, and business officers.

  1. The school establishes a well-constructed development plan to guide its fundraising activities.
  2. The school is mindful and respectful of the cultural and economic diversity of constituent supporters.
  3. The school accepts only gifts that support its mission, character, integrity, and independence.
  4. The school understands that accepting a gift is accepting the obligation to honor the donor’s intent.
  5. The school advocates stewardship (preserving and growing the resources of the school), as well as nurtures, appreciates, and sustains an ongoing healthy and effective relationship with its constituents.
  6. The school clearly articulates roles and responsibilities for volunteers.
  7. The school safeguards its constituents’ privacy and all confidential information.
  8. The school encourages donors to consult with their own professional tax advisors when making charitable gifts.
  9. The school complies with all provisions of the U.S. Tax Code that affect charitable giving.
  10. The school, as appropriate, discloses to its constituents gifts received through philanthropy.
  11. To ensure financial sustainability, the school makes certain that income earned from endowment is spent wisely and equitably. In doing so, the school ensures that endowments maintain their real value over the years so that future generations benefit as much or more from endowment as current and past generations.
  12. The school adheres to accepted standards concerning the management and reporting of gift revenues and fundraising expenditures, and seeks to promote the profession by sharing its data with relevant professional organizations, such as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Council for Aid to Education (CAE), and NAIS.
Download a PDF of the complete set of NAIS Principles of Good Practice.