Code of Ethics


This Code of Ethics expresses CAGP’s recognition of the responsibilities of its members to the Association. This document aims to set the standards that all members involved in strategic charitable gift planning will follow. The CAGP Code of Ethics ensures that we are all engaging in the important work of charitable giving and strategic philanthropy with the right intentions and actions.

One of CAGP’s strengths is its membership, which includes gift planners, fundraisers, lawyers, consultants, financial advisors, charity professionals, accountants, insurance professionals, and other individuals advising on strategic philanthropy. Assisting individuals and organizations with philanthropic giving is at the centre of what we do, and we endeavor to treat the person or the organization making and receiving the gifts with respect.  We may call this person different things (a donor if we work in a charity, a client if we are their lawyer, or even the donor of our client if we are consulting to a charity), but a respectful relationship with the donor/client is at the heart of what all CAGP members desire. 

All members of CAGP will confirm they understand the Code and agree to adhere to it when becoming a member and annually upon renewing membership.

Download: Code of Ethics PDF

1. Expectations of Members

Every member, whatever their occupation or role, is expected to help advance strategic charitable gift planning in Canada.  This can be done in various ways, but however they support that work, members will act at all times with professionalism, honesty, fairness, respect, integrity, and accountability in their dealings with each other, with donor/clients, charities, professional advisors, and the public.

Every member must communicate at all times in a courteous and respectful manner with one another, with staff and other representatives of CAGP, and with members of the public. 

2. Disclosure of Information

Members have a responsibility to ensure they provide donor/clients with accurate and comprehensive information on all aspects of the gift, including the roles of all interested parties. Disclosing all relevant information that will impact the gift decision is critical.  Relevant information could include but is not limited to the mission and activities of the organization, gift acceptance practices, processing procedures, costs and expenses associated with the gift, and fund and endowment management policies

3. Protection of Interested Parties

Members will encourage donor/clients to consult with their advisors in the case of significant and/or complicated gift transactions. Members have a responsibility to cooperate with other professionals who promote their donor/clients’ interests.  Members will endeavor to understand and respect the policies and guidelines of all parties involved in the gift.

Members will not act for nor claim to represent an organization without its knowledge or express consent. Members will not act as the donor/client’s representative without their express consent.

4. Compliance with Legal and Professional Obligations

Members will ensure they are aware of and will comply at all times with:

a)     all applicable federal, provincial, and local laws relevant to their work and profession; and

b)     all applicable professional codes, obligations, standards, rules, and regulations.

5. Confidentiality

Members will respect the donor/client’s request for anonymity. Files and personal and financial information of donor/clients will be kept strictly confidential and in accordance with the privacy legislation in force for the particular jurisdiction.

6. Conflict of Interest

Members will not allow their personal interests to influence their conduct. Members will carry out their professional responsibilities fully and fairly with their donor/client’s interests in mind. 

To the greatest extent possible, members will avoid situations where they have an actual conflict of interest, a potential conflict of interest, or where there is a reasonable appearance of a conflict of interest. If an actual or potential conflict of interest cannot be avoided, members will promptly and fully disclose the situation to all relevant parties, seek consent of the parties and where consent is received, take such steps as may be necessary to minimize the conflict of interest.

7. Remuneration/Compensation

Members will think of their donor/client’s needs first and make decisions and suggestions that have the donor/client’s best interests in mind.

Members who are professional fundraisers or work for a charitable organization will not accept commission-based remuneration, nor finder’s fees from transactions or from relationships established with donor/clients as part of their duties. Other members who may have this form of remuneration included, will disclose all relevant details to all parties involved.

8. Professional Skills and Knowledge

Members are responsible for maintaining their professional skills and continuously upgrading their knowledge in their respective disciplines. Members are expected to represent their donor/clients with the highest level of competence.  To the best of their ability, members will ensure that any information they share is accurate and clear.  

9. Complaints

Complaints should be addressed in writing to the President & CEO of CAGP, who will review them in confidence and in accordance with the Code of Ethics Investigation and Discipline Policy.

December 2023