Association of Philanthropic Counsel

Join APC

Be in Good Company. Ours.

Join the Association of Philanthropic Counsel

Thank you for your interest in joining APC. If you need additional information, please contact our office.

APC Member Benefits

Exclusive Peer-to-peer resources

Member conference calls to discuss lates research, trends, or philanthropy publications

Member listserv for advice, dialogue and discussion

Online resources, documents and tools for your clients and managing your practice

Enriching Educational Forums

Stay current and connected with members and guests at our signature events

Pre-approved CRFE continuing education credits


Member-Only Discounts

Up to 20% off CFRE certification and renewal fees

APC Code of Ethics & Professional Standards

Upheld by Association of Philanthropic Counsel Member Firms

Code of Ethics

Accurately represent their professional expertise and experience.

Base fees on the value of their professional expertise and experience; mutually agree with clients on fees in advance of engagements; and not accept compensation based on a percentage of charitable contributions.

Refrain from guaranteeing financial fundraising results.

Maintain the confidentiality of privileged client information.

Disclose real and perceived conflicts of interest.

Uphold the Donor Bill of Rights.


Standards of Professional Practice

Promote the spirit of philanthropy.

Serve institutions whose missions they support.

Assist clients in making decisions that advance their missions and strengthen their organizations.

Support volunteers and staff in fulfilling their roles as fundraisers and refuse to serve as a paid solicitor.

Avoid receiving and processing charitable gifts on behalf of clients.

Place authority over and control of fundraising expenses with clients.

Refrain from charging a fee for initial meetings with prospective clients interested in engaging their services.

Continually update their professional knowledge.

Advocate legislation and regulations promoting philanthropy.

Adhere to all laws and regulations governing the profession.

Provide high quality service and draw upon the professional expertise of other APC members

Join APC Today

APC is open to any practitioner or firm whose primary business (60% or more of your firm's time) provides counsel in one or more of the following philanthropic activities:

  • Annual and/or capital campaigns
  • Board development
  • Strategic planning
  • Development communications
  • Grant writing
  • Development planning or training

Members must meet APC Criteria Standards (below).

APC Membership Criteria

Upholding the Highest Ethical Standards and Verifiable Integrity

Membership is open to sole practitioners whose primary professional endeavor is philanthropic consulting as well as firms with multiple employees or contractors who meet the following criteria:

  • The principal of the firm must possess at least five years’ professional experience with nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • Maintains a client profile that consists of at least 60% nonprofit, charitable, and/or public organizations including significant service to 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • The principal or lead consultant has worked solely as a consultant for the previous three years**
  • Has experience in serving organizations as staff in a development, executive management, or in a paid consultant role.
  • Possesses educational qualifications and training from institutions of higher education and/or professional organizations. A bachelor’s degree, CFRE, or CASE designation is required.
  • Conducts business in an ethical manner and within the code of ethics of the fund-raising profession and all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Interfaces with nonprofit, charitable, and/or public institutions with legally constituted nonprofit governing boards.
  • Encourages and seeks public understanding of the needs addressed by these nonprofit organizations.
  • Serves causes that exemplify the definition of the word “philanthropy.”
  • Provides professional fundraising guidance and advice to nonprofit organizations and is financially remunerated for such services from at least two clients annually.
  • Assists in the success of their nonprofit client organizations.
  • Evidences positive results from such services which are acknowledged by clients.

** An Emerging Firm membership is available for consultants that have between one and three years of consulting experience.