Those who toil in the field of the philanthropic sector are aware of the need for fundraising, a task that different individuals undertake with varying levels of enthusiasm.
- One might think that principles of fundraising, involving honesty and honorable intention, as well as the tireless effort of dedicated people, are universally accepted and practiced. In her book “Diversity and Philanthropy,” Lilya Wagner pointed out that, based on such factors as culture, geography or history, there are concepts that are not always adaptable or even possible to put into practice everywhere. They include:
- The matter of professional compensation, such as working for a commission, is certainly without ethical challenge in many cultures.
- Prospect research is difficult in some places because of lack of research sources as well as prevailing attitudes about privacy. (Consider as examples the lingering hostility among Germans for those who put together dossiers on prospects and the effect of nearly 50 years of KGB activity in the former Soviet Union.)
- Board responsibility is uneven in many countries, and the idea of board members actively fundraising still brings horrified looks from England to Uruguay.
- Tax deductibility and the concept of planned gifts are foreign to many nations.