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Research Meets Practice: Ethical Leadership & Ethics in Fundraising

December 8, 2021 @ 12:00 pm1:00 pm EST

Research Meets Practice: Ethical Leadership & Ethics in Fundraising

A conversation on ethical nonprofit leadership and ethics in fundraising

Join us for a presentation by Sara Davidson-LeFevre, graduate of the Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration program at Grand Valley State University, on ethical leadership research from a capstone paper published in the SPNHA Review. We’ll discuss how research can influence practice and how nonprofit organizations can be better consumers of research.

Tamela Spicer will continue the conversation about ethics in the nonprofit sector with a presentation on ethics in fundraising, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Davidson-LeFevre’s research seeks to identify the difference between organizations that practice ethical leadership methods and those that do not. Findings indicate that nonprofit managers who employ ethical leadership methods over amoral management will successfully institute greater cultures of integrity, leading to more effective organizations. Research shows that ethical leadership lends itself to higher productivity within organizations, higher levels of trust of management, and also positively impacts individual work engagement.

Takeaways for philanthropy and the nonprofit sector:

  • Many of the common ethical issues that most nonprofits or philanthropic institutions may run into are less likely to be black and white. Institutional and organizational frameworks for ethical leadership start at the top down and are most easily transferred by leaders who emulate ethical behavior and stress cultural integrity.
  • Moral fall-out, misconduct, fraud, and unethical decision-making are more likely to be avoided as nonprofit leaders institute ethical decision-making, organizational policies, and codes of conduct.
  • Some factors conducive to ethical leadership include a leader’s vision, the institutionalization of ethical frameworks, and their use of codes of ethics and best practices — all of which can help lead to ethical and transparent leadership and public trust.


Price: Free!
Format: Virtual. All registrants will receive the Zoom access link and password via email from Eventbrite two days before the event.

Photo of Sara Davidson-LeFevre
Sara Davidson-LeFevre holds both a Master of public administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management and leadership and a bachelor of science in sociology from Grand Valley State University (GVSU). In 2020, she was honored to be initiated into the GVSU Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha International Honor Society. Currently working as a stay-home parent, Sara previously served as the dean of students for Grand Rapids Learning Center (GRLC), an alternative high school program, leading the program while assisting students with completing necessary high school graduation requirements and dual enrollment programming. She currently serves as vice president of the Henika District Library Board of Trustees in Wayland, Mich., and is a volunteer with Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore and Cornerstone Church in Caledonia, Mich. Sara is also a volunteer mentor for Spectrum Health’s Parent to Parent program, which provides emotional and mental support for parents with children in the NICU. She plans to continue her career in the education or nonprofit sector in West Michigan.

Photo: Tamela Spicer
Tamela Spicer, M.A., is a program manager at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. She specializes in board development, change management, fund development, strategic thinking, and is particularly skilled in working with faith-based organizations. Learn more about Tamela.


December 8, 2021
12:00 pm–1:00 pm EST
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