Accountability (Ethics)

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As for-profit companies answer to their share-holders, so too must nonprofits conduct their activities with accountability and transparency to their constituents and the public. Nonprofits should regularly and openly convey information to the public about their mission, activities, accomplishments and decision-making processes. This page provides resources related to best practices and ethical tenants to help your organization in these tasks.

Boston Area Ranks 3rd in Charity Navigator's 2015 Metro Market Study

Source: Charity Navigator
Nonprofits in the Boston metro area had the 3rd highest overall score, behind Houston and San Diego, in Charity Navigator's study of financial, accountability, and transparency practices and statistics.
Posted on: June 9, 2015
Topics: Accountability (Ethics) | Data & Research | Finance | Organizational Assessment

Why Ethics Training Doesn’t Work

Source: NH Business Review
Annabel Beerel, president and CEO of the New England Women’s Leadership Institute, on why current methods of ethics training don't work.
Posted on: February 3, 2014
Topics: Accountability (Ethics) | Leadership

The Nonprofit Ethicist: Re. Cheese Curls and Conflicts of Interest

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofit Quarterly's resident ethical expert tackles some tough questions in the latest article, including current board members applying for executive director positions, consultants approaching organizations they volunteer with, and the moral dillemma of donating unhealthy junk food to homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
Posted on: October 15, 2013
Topics: Accountability (Ethics)

A Board-Staff Agreement for Financial Accountability

Source: Blue Avocado
Not all board members need to be familiar with financial terms and concepts, but each organization needs to develop a clear and explicit agreement for how financial accountability will be ensured. This article offes a starting point for an agreement that the board and staff can make to ensure a partnership for accountability. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Finance | Board | Accountability (Ethics)

33 Principles for Good Governance Released

Source: Panel on the Nonprofit Sector.
After two years of work, the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, spearheaded by Independent Sector, has released "Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations", containing 33 principles for governance and transparency.

Nonprofits can obtaim as many as 100 copies, at no charge, to share with board and staff.

Learn more and get your copies from the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Accountability (Ethics) | Executive

IRS Releases Paper on Good Governance

Source: IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released its final paper on good nonprofit governance practices in six critical areas. The topic areas covered in the paper include the mission, organizational documents, governing body, governance management policies, financial statements and the form 990, and transparency and accountability. Nonprofits can use these recommendations as one resource for a governance checklist. Download a copy of the paper from the IRS.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Executive | IRS | Accountability (Ethics)

Accountability and the Sustainable Nonprofit

Source: Foundation Center
This author proposes that "we must account for ourselves, something that requires each of us to exercise constant vigilance and sensitivity. It is a promise we should all make and try our best to keep. If we can keep that promise, we may even find a new path to sustainability for our organizations and the work they do." Read the article from the Foundation Center.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Accountability (Ethics) | Sustainability

Boards of Midsize Nonprofits: Their Needs and Challenges

Source: Urban Institute
Nonprofit boards are increasingly a focus of those interested in nonprofit accountability and transparency, including policymakers, the media, researchers, and the public. Yet most of the research has focused on boards of large nonprofits. The Urban Institue has published a brief entitled Boards of Midsize Nonprofits: Their Needs and Challenges that focuses on governance among midsize nonprofits, identifying certain problem areas and suggesting strategies that trustees, managers, and others engaged with midsize nonprofits may find helpful in strengthening their boards. Download a copy of the brief from the Urban Institute.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Board | Accountability (Ethics)

Extreme Makeover: Nonprofit Board Edition

Source: Bridgestar
Like the featured stories on the popular TV show, there are nonprofits that need more than just a modest renovation to satisfy the new IRS requirements for increased transparency and accountability. They need a demolition, a rebuild, and a new foundation so that they can weather any storm. Often that foundation building needs to start with the board. Is your organization a makeover candidate? This article proposes a list of questions to ask yourself, then suggests some tips for each stage of the makeover. Read the article from Bridgestar.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board | Accountability (Ethics)

Ethics and Accountability are key to keeping the public's trust. Visit NonprofitNext for more resources. 

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