Good Governance Guide - US Perspective
19 November 2007 at 10:13 am
The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, a national panel to improve accountability and ethical practice in charitable organisations in the US has released its Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations.
The Guide represents the first time that charities and foundations have come together to develop principles of ethical conduct, accountability and transparency that they aspire to and encourage all organisations to follow.
The Guide is the result of 18 months of work by experts and practitioners from across the Not for Profit community.
An Advisory Committee studied more than 50 existing self-regulation systems to develop principles that could benefit all NFPs. The Panel drew on these recommendations, as well as hundreds of comments on draft versions of these ideas, to develop the Guide.
Diana Aviv, executive director of the Panel and CEO of Independent Sector says the Panel worked with an outstanding advisory committee and hundreds of foundations and charitable organisations to develop these Principles.
She says the document can serve as a both catalyst and a guide for boards of directors to engage in meaningful conversations about their existing operations.
The Guide is a practical tool for charitable organisations to examine their operations and evaluate where they can improve. Some organisations may find that all principles do not apply to their operations.
The Guide is designed to help the NFP community to continue to reach for the high standards of governance and ethical practice that it — as well as the communities it serves — deserves.
The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice are organised into four categories:
– Legal Compliance and Public Disclosure — responsibilities and practices, such as implementing conflict of interest and whistleblower policies, that will assist charitable organisations in complying with their legal obligations and providing information to the public.
– Effective Governance — policies and procedures a board of directors should implement to fulfil its oversight and governance responsibilities effectively.
– Strong Financial Oversight — policies and procedures an organisation should follow to ensure wise stewardship of charitable resources.
– Responsible Fundraising — policies and procedures organisations that solicit funds from the public should follow to build donor support and confidence
Independent Sector is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of approximately 600 charities, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs, collectively representing tens of thousands of charitable groups in the US.
The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector is an independent panel of 24 leaders from a wide range of the country’s public charities and private foundations.
To download the Guide go to: www.nonprofitpanel.org/selfreg/reports_recommendations.htm