Integrity is the bedrock upon which all nonprofit organizations depend for their viability. Ethical precepts should be adopted and woven into the culture of the organization and be manifest and applied uniformly and fairly at all levels, and in all matters internal and external to the organization. Nonprofit organizations will conduct their affairs in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
IRS determination Letter and forms 1023, 990 and Variants
A nonprofit must comply with all legal and other required reporting procedures regarding its performance.
A nonprofit must meet all federal and state requirements for public disclosure. These state that a nonprofit must provide the last three years’ information returns (Form 990 or its variants), as follows:
(a) Public access must be provided immediately on request by allowing inspection of the documents at the organization’s office or offices.
(b) Copies of the documents must be provided within 30 days upon written request.
A nonprofit has a financial obligation to use its resources responsibly for the purpose of serving the public interest. Financial audits must be approved by the organization’s board and certified by the executive director and the chief financial officer of the organization.
A nonprofit has a responsibility to establish, achieve and regularly measure clearly defined levels of performance in its activities and to share those results with the public.
A nonprofit has a responsibility to adhere to its sector’s established, professional standards.
Constituents of nonprofits should be provided with ongoing opportunities to interact with the board and management regarding the organization’s activities.
In serving the public trust, a nonprofit should produce an annual report that contains information regarding activities and performance. The annual report should include:
(a) an explanation of the organization’s mission, activities, and results;
(b) an explanation of how individuals can access programs/services;
(c) overall financial information, including income and expense statements, balance sheet, and functional expense allocation; and
(d) a list of board members, management staff, supporters and donors.
A nonprofit is encouraged to hold public meetings to gather and distribute information about approaches, goals and effectiveness in carrying out its mission.
To promote overall accountability within the sector, a nonprofit should openly communicate with other nonprofits to share and gather information on lessons learned and best practices.
Information regarding fees and services should be clear, complete and readily available to the public.
A nonprofit should have and use a system that allows individuals to report financial misconduct, without consequence to those individuals for doing so (commonly referred to as a “whistleblower policy”).
A nonprofit should ensure confidentiality and non-discriminatory service to its constituents.
A nonprofit organization should have and implement a written, mandatory document retention and periodic destruction policy, which includes guidelines for handling electronic files and voice mail, back-up procedures, archiving of documents, and regular check-ups of the reliability of the system.
Organizations that make their materials widely available through publication on the Internet do not have to provide copies; if the Internal Revenue Service determines that the organization is being subjected to a harassment campaign, copies do not have to be provided; and 501(c)(3) organizations
Indicates "must" practices required by state or federal law