The Institute of Fundraising is devising a code of practice to promote best practice among fundraising consultants and weed out unscrupulous operators.
Lucinda Frostick, a spokeswoman for the institute, said that because the number of fundraising consultants in the UK was increasing, the code was "responding to a need". She added that the institute was not interested in "naming and shaming" consultants.
The code will cover areas such as client acquisition, contracts and fees, as well as any ethical issues that are likely to arise.
Amanda Delew, director of Solid Management and Consultancy, welcomed the idea, saying it was "important for fundraising".
She added that although most consultants aim to do the best for their clients, there are some problems that a code could address.
"I believe some consultants exist to create more work for themselves, not necessarily to the advantage of their client charities," Delew said.
The institute is calling on consultants, lawyers and fundraisers who work with consultants to play a key role in the development of the code by applying to join the working party by 14 October. The institute hopes the code will be launched by October next year.