The Internal Revenue Service of the US Department of the Treasury (IRS, www.irs.gov) states: “The public expects a charity to abide by ethical standards that promote the public good. The organization’s governing body bears the ultimate responsibility for setting ethical standards and ensuring they permeate the organization and inform its practices. The IRS encourages a charity’s board or trustees to consider adopting and regularly evaluating a Code of Ethics that describes behavior it wants to encourage and behavior it wants to discourage…The IRS [also] encourages the board of directors to adopt an effective policy for handling employee complaints and to establish procedures for employees to report in confidence any suspected financial impropriety or misuse of the charity’s resources [i.e. an Ethics Hotline]. See www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/governance_practices.pdf.
The National Council of Nonprofits (www.ncna.org) provides a plethora of resources for nonprofits. Follow the ‘Ethics and Accountability’ and the ‘Boards and Governance’ links.
Also available are various Non Profit Best Practice Guides – common is the need for an Ethics Program.: www.npgoodpractice.org.