Code of Conduct
ASAE CORE ETHICAL STANDARDS
As an ASAE member, one should aspire to:
- Respect and uphold public laws that govern one’s work;
- Champion Diversity, Equity and Inclusion;
- Be honest in conducting the member’s business;
- Respect the confidentiality of information gained through one’s work;
- Act fairly;
- Foster an ethical culture through one’s work; and
- Take responsibility for one’s conduct.
ASAE Standards of Conduct
More than 287 million people around the globe look to associations for their vision, their values and their effectiveness. With this role comes a great responsibility for associations to serve members and the public with integrity. To fulfill this responsibility, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership’s membership of association professionals, consultants, and industry partners are committed to ethical standards that promote the goal of transforming society for the better.
To join ASAE is to commit to work in accordance with its ethical standards and to encourage the development and implementation of the ethical standards within the industries and professions represented by its members.
The Standards of Conduct embody aspirational ethical standards. The aspirational ethical standards describe the conduct that individuals strive to uphold as ASAE members. Although adherence to the aspirational ethical standards is not easily measured, conducting themselves in accordance with these ethical standards is an expectation that members have of themselves as professionals. Among the aspirational ethical concepts with these Standards of Conduct are those of respect; responsibility; justice and fairness; and honesty.
Respect is demonstrating a high regard for one’s self, others, and the resources entrusted to them. Those resources may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others, and natural or environmental resources. An environment of respect engenders trust, confidence, and performance excellence by fostering mutual cooperation – an environment where diverse perspectives, identities, and views are encouraged and valued.
Responsibility is taking ownership for the decisions one makes or fails to make, the actions one takes or fails to take, and the consequences that result. Acting responsibly includes being self-aware and mindful of one’s impact on others. Promoting responsibility fosters an ethical culture through one’s work.
Justice refers to equitable treatment and access and requires fairness. Fairness is demonstrating impartiality and objectivity when making decisions and taking actions. The terms “justice” and “fairness” are often used interchangeably. Justice is at a systemic level whereas fairness deals with making judgments that are concrete and specific to a particular situation. Justice and Fairness demand a genuine respect for both people and perspectives.
Honesty is acting in a truthful, non-deceptive manner in one's communications, conduct, and business activities.
Diversity refers to the composition of a group of people from any number of demographic backgrounds, identities (innate and selected), and the collective strength of their experiences, beliefs, values, skills, and perspectives. Championing diversity involves the consistent practice of embracing people without any limitation being made due to their race, color, ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical abilities, genetic information, veteran or socioeconomic status, marital status, nationality, age, language or other similar attributes.
Equity/Equitable Environment challenges intentional and unintentional forms of bias, harassment, and discrimination and promotes alternative actions. Because an environment can be welcoming and inequitable, attention is paid to recognizing and eliminating barriers to full participation at individual and systemic levels. An equitable environment provides beneficial opportunities to all populations.
Inclusion is the act of establishing philosophies, policies, practices, and procedures so that organizations and individuals contributing to the organizations’ success have a more level playing field to compete, and access to opportunities, information, and resources. All people feel welcomed into processes, activities, decisions, and policy-making that acknowledge power imbalances and share opportunities.
*The definitions for Diversity, Equity/Equitable Environment and Inclusion include language taken directly from the terminology section of ASAE’s 2019–2021 Diversity + Inclusion (D+I) Strategic Plan.
ASAE Association Professional/Executive members* aspire to demonstrate ethical conduct by acting in the manner described in ASAE’s Core Ethical Standards Addendum to the greatest extent possible given their position and authority. SEE CHART
* The ASAE Association Professional/Executive members category encompasses the staff of trade and professional associations, philanthropic organizations, and association management companies, including association chief executive members, and association professional staff members of ASAE.
ASAE Consultant members* aspire to demonstrate ethical conduct by acting in the manner described in ASAE’s Core Ethical Standards Addendum to the greatest extent possible given their position and authority. SEE CHART
* The ASAE Consultant member category encompasses those individuals whose primary service to ASAE & The Center members involves the sale of intellectual property or expert advice to associations or other membership organizations, and who are not full-time association executives.
ASAE Industry Partners members* aspire to demonstrate ethical conduct by acting in the manner described in ASAE’s Core Ethical Standards Addendum to the greatest extent possible given their position and authority. SEE CHART
* The ASAE Industry Partner members category encompasses those individuals who market to ASAE members, members of learned professions, government employees and others who are not full-time association executives.
Download the full Standards of Conduct as a PDF file.