Independent Sector’s 33 Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

Official Statement of Philanthropy New York on:

Independent Sector’s 33 Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising. The Principles should be considered by every charitable organization as a guide for strengthening its effectiveness and accountability. The Principles were developed by the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector in 2007 and updated in 2015 to reflect new circumstances in which the charitable sector functions, and new relationships within and between the sectors. 

Those principles concern:

Legal Compliance and Public Disclosure

1. Laws and Regulations
2. Code of Ethics
3. Conflicts of Interest
4. "Whistleblower" Policy
5. Document and Data Retention and Destruction
6. Protection of Assets
7. Availability of Information to the Public

Effective Governance

8. Board Responsibilities
9. Board Meetings
10. Board Size and Structure
11. Board Diversity
12. Board Independence
13. CEO Evaluation and Compensation
14. Separation of CEO, Board Chair and Board Treasurer Roles
15. Board Education and Communication
16. Evaluation of Board Performance
17. Board Member Term Limits
18. Review of Governing Documents
19. Review of Mission and Goals
20. Board Compensation

Strong Financial Oversight

21. Financial Records
22. Annual Budget, Financial Performance and Investments
23. Loans to Directors, Officers, or Trustees
24. Resource Allocation for Programs and Administration
25. Travel and Other Expense Policies
26. Expense Reimbursement for Nonbusiness Travel Companions

Responsible Fundraising

27. Accuracy and Truthfulness of Fundraising Materials
28. Compliance with Donor's Intent
29. Acknowledgment of Tax-Deductible Contributions
30. Gift Acceptance Policies
31. Oversight of Fundraisers
32. Fundraiser Compensation
33. Donor Privacy

Philanthropy New York Endorses Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice. 

Date of recommendation by the Public Policy Committee: March 4, 2015

Timeframe of open member commentary period: April 1 - April 14, 2015

Date of official approval by Board of Directors: June 11, 2015