The marketing director of your nonprofit outsources all of your printing jobs to her brother-in-law’s printing company. In return, he gives her field-level season tickets to the Yankees’ game. A board member convinces your nonprofit to purchase a building in an “up and coming” neighborhood. He fails to mention that his company is the principle developer of that neighborhood. Sweetheart deals… influence-peddling… using your employers’ property for personal gain. How does one avoid it all?
Your best line of defense is a well-crafted, conflict of interest policy that defines conflicts of interest and explains how board members, employees and volunteers, should disclose those interests. Having board members, employees, and volunteers who have significant decision-making authority sign the conflict of interest policy when they first engage with your organization shows that you take this issue seriously. Making sure that employees, board members, and volunteers disclose their conflicts of interest in writing on an annual basis reminds everyone to do the right thing.
Did you know the Standards for Excellence® program’s educational resource packet “Conflict of Interest” includes a step-by-step guide to creating your conflict of interest policy and annual disclosure statement? The packet is free and available to Standards for Excellence Institute® members. It is available through the members only section of the website. Hard copies are also available upon request.