Code of Ethics
I. Personal and Professional Integrity
All members of the board of directors, officers, employees, and volunteers of Cause are expected to act with honesty, integrity and openness in all of their dealings as representatives of Cause. Cause promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness and integrity. To further these goals, the Cause board of directors has adopted this Code of Ethics along with a Conflict of Interest Policy and a Whistle Blower Protection Policy.
Cause has a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by its board of directors, in pursuit of the public good. All of its programs support that mission, and all who work for or on behalf of Cause understand and are loyal to that mission and purpose. The mission is responsive to the constituency and the communities served by Cause, and is of value to society at large.
Cause has a board of directors that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of Cause and for oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of Cause. This governing body ensures that:
- Individual board members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all members understand and fulfill their governance duties acting for the benefit of Cause and its public purpose
- There is a written Conflict of Interest Policy to address any conflict of interest or the appearance thereof and to make sure these conflicts are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means
- Responsibility for hiring, regular review of the performance, and removal of the executive director, office manager and program coordinator rests in the hands of the governing body
- Responsibility for determining that any compensation paid to staff rests in the hands of the governing body and is reasonable and appropriate
- Staff provides the board of directors with timely and comprehensive information so that the board of directors can effectively carry out its duties
- Cause conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty
- Cause promotes working relationships with board members, staff, volunteers, donors and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness
- Cause is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for all board, staff and volunteer positions
- Cause policies are in writing, clearly articulated, and officially adopted
- Cause has a Whistleblower Protection Policy
- Cause resources are responsibly and prudently managed
- Cause has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively
IV. Legal Compliance
Cause is knowledgeable of and complies with all laws, regulations and applicable international conventions. In this connection, Cause uses outside legal counsel and outside auditors as well as the expertise of its board of directors and staff.
V. Responsible Stewardship
Cause manages its funds responsibly and prudently. This includes the following considerations:
- A reasonable percentage of its annual program budget is spent in pursuance of its mission
- An adequate amount is spent on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management
- Staff, and any others who may receive compensation or reimbursement for expenses incurred for the benefit of Cause, are compensated reasonably and appropriately
- When soliciting funds, there will be reasonable fundraising costs that take into consideration a variety of factors affecting fundraising activities
- Operating funds will not accumulate excessively
- Draws from any endowment or limited-use funds will be consistent with donor intent and will support the public purpose of Cause
- All spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the Cause mission
- All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects
VI. Openness and Disclosure
Cause provides comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, and all stakeholders and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information. All information about Cause will fully and honestly reflect the policies and practices of Cause. Basic informational data about Cause, such as the Internal Revenue Service Form 990, reviews and compilations, and audited financial statements will be posted on the Cause website or otherwise be available to the public. All solicitation materials accurately represent Cause policies and practices and will reflect the dignity of program beneficiaries. All financial, organizational, and program reports will be complete and accurate in all material respects.
VII. Program Evaluation
Cause regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs. Cause is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and develops mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and the field. Cause is responsive to changes in its field of activity and is responsive to the needs of its constituencies.
VIII. Inclusiveness and Diversity
Cause has a policy of promoting inclusiveness, and its staff, board, and volunteers reflect diversity in order to enrich its programmatic effectiveness. Cause takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its hiring, retention, promotion, board recruitment and constituencies served.
Cause ensures that solicitation materials used to raise funds from the public or from donor institutions are truthful. Cause respects the privacy concerns of individual donors and expends funds consistent with donor intent. Cause discloses important and relevant information to potential donors. In raising funds from the public, Cause will respect the rights of donors, as follows:
- To be informed of the Cause mission, the way the resources will be used and their capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on the Cause board of directors and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities
- To have access to the most recent financial reports
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given
- To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition
- To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by the law
- To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature
- To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, Cause employees or hired solicitors
- To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists if Cause decides to change its current policy that such lists shall not be shared
- To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers