Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

A Guide For Charities and Foundations

October 2007, 32 pages. Independent Sector, 1200 Eighteenth Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20036, 202-467-6100, www.independentsector.org

Created in 2004 upon the encouragement of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector comprises about two-dozen national nonprofit leaders and is tasked with finding ways to strengthen governance, transparency, and ethical standards within the charitable community. The Panel issued its first report to Congress and the nonprofit sector in June 2005, and a supplement to that report in April 2006. Together, those reports offered over 150 recommendations for actions that Congress, the Internal Revenue Service, and the charitable community could take to improve regulations and practice. (Many of those recommendations have been enacted into law through the Pension Protection
Act of 2006.)

Directly addressing the charitable community, Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice offers information about and suggestions for improving four policy/practice areas: legal compliance, governance, financial oversight, and fundraising. The desired outcomes are sector-wide standards for self-regulation and practices that balance law with self-regulation.

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