The Grant Professional Association (GPA) is a nonprofit membership organization of grant writers. Members of the GPA adhere to a specific list of ethical criteria as mandated by the GPA. This code of ethics is recommended to all grant writers. Failure of GPA members to adhere to the stated standards of conduct may lose membership.
That being said, whenever working with a GPA member there exists the added security and value in knowing that professional is driven by stringent ethical and professional standards.
Two of the hallmarks of the code of ethics are integrity and honesty. This includes adhering to all applicable laws and regulations. Ensuring that solicitations for funds are completed properly. Adhering to guidelines for compensation protocols for their services. Fostering diversity, and inclusion. Improving their skill set and knowledge base. Striving to be role models in the profession, and encouraging the practice of the GPA code of ethics.
Confidentiality and Transparency
In addition, members are responsible for keeping privileged or confidential information from unauthorized parties. Members do not plagiarize any written work and use accurate and consistent accounting methods adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) as appropriate for the type of organization involved.
Finders Fee, Commission, and Contingencies
One of the more common ethical dilemmas prevalent in the grant writing profession is compensation. The GPA mandates that all members work for a salary or fee that is decided upon and paid to them prior to submission of the grant. Be wary of grant professionals who agree to work on a commission basis pending reward or who take a commission of the award money. In the case of many private and federal funding, such practices are unethical at best and illegal at worst. Commissions, contingencies and percentage fees are deemed unethical by the GPA and are strictly prohibited. All GPA members agree to work for a fee or salary, never for a portion of the grant award.
“Members shall not accept or pay a finder’s fee , commission , or percentage compensation based on grants and shall take care to discourage their organizations from making such payments. Compensation should not be written into grants unless allowed by the funder.“GPA Code of Ethics-https://www.grantprofessionals.org/ethics
As members of the GPA, we would never want to put our clients at risk by behaving in this manner, and we advise everyone to be wary of any consultant who would. While contingency payment can seem like an attractive option to clients who are experiencing a low capital flow, the truth of the matter is if you can not afford a consultant’s fee to help you with proposal preparation you are most likely not ready for funding.
The GPA is committed to protecting customers, funders, and furthering the advancement of the grant professionals. Check out their website to learn more about the code of ethics or utilize their searchable online database to find a certified GPA member to help with proposal preparation. Values matter. It is always worthwhile to perform due diligence to make sure any professional or company you choose to work with is aware of and operates in accordance with the ethical guidelines and code of conduct for their chosen profession.
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