Ethics and nonprofits

Printer-friendly version Does your nonprofit need a code of ethics? The purpose of adopting such a statement formally is to provide employees, volunteers, and board members with guidelines for making ethical choices and to ensure that there is accountability for those choices.

Ethics and nonprofits

Sort by Share Printer-friendly version Does your nonprofit need a code of ethics or statement of values? These principles could be called a "code of ethics" but they might be called the nonprofit's "statement of values" or "code of conduct," or something else.

The purpose of adopting such a statement formally is to provide employees, volunteers, and board members with guidelines for making ethical choices and to ensure that there is accountability for those choices.

Does your nonprofit need a code of ethics or statement of values?

When board members of a charitable nonprofit adopt a code of ethics, they are expressing their commitment to ethical behavior.

Honesty, integrity, transparency, confidentiality, and equity are each examples of values that are typically expressed in a charitable nonprofit's code of ethics - but there may be other values that are very important to your nonprofit - and you may wish to spell those out so that the donating public, prospective employees, volunteers, and anyone who may be considering partnering with your organization, is aware of its values.

Ethics and nonprofits

The Council of Nonprofits encourages all nonprofits to craft an appropriate "statement of values" or "code of ethics" for your nonprofit. For some charitable nonprofits it may be appropriate that their codes incorporate standards already adopted by certain professional groups.

An example might be a charitable nonprofit that employs licensed clinical social workers may incorporate the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers into its own ethical code. Other nonprofits may create their own statement that reflects that particular charitable nonprofit's unique mission, activities, and interaction with clients, volunteers, and the public.

Whatever the nomenclature, crafting and revisiting periodically a written document that articulates the core beliefs of the charitable nonprofit can be useful for practical as well as ethical reasons. Practice Pointers Having a code of ethics or statement of values helps attract talented employees, recruit board members, retain donors, and of course ensure that all transactions are aligned with the values of the organization.

Practice Pointers

Here are lots of ideas for ways your nonprofit can demonstrate ethical leadership.Nonprofits Ethics and Nonprofits. Unethical behavior remains a persistent problem in nonprofits and for-profits alike.

To help organizations solve that problem, the authors examine the factors that influence moral conduct, the ethical issues that arise specifically in charitable organizations, and the best ways to promote ethical behavior within organizations.

Those who work on issues of ethics are among the few professionals not suffering from the current economic downturn. The last decade has brought an escalating supply of moral meltdowns in both the for-profit and the nonprofit sectors.

Corporate misconduct has received the greatest attention, in part Author: Amanda Packel. The effects can also spread across the entire nonprofit sector as the public loses its faith in the trustworthiness of nonprofits in general. And while ethical issues are perennially a problem, ethical lapses by nonprofits tend to increase during tough economic times.

Nonprofit organizations are often assumed to be perfectly ethical in their dealings with donors, employees, volunteers and the people they serve, as nonprofits generally exist for altruistic purposes. Those who work on issues of ethics are among the few professionals not suffering from the current economic downturn.

The last decade has brought an escalating supply of moral meltdowns in both the for-profit and the nonprofit heartoftexashop.com: Amanda Packel. Chapter 2. Introduction to Nonprofit Ethics. In recent years, there has been a trend toward turning nonprofit management into a recognized profession, with credentialing becoming available for fundraising executives, association managers, and nonprofit organization managers.

Ethics and Nonprofits