Ethics & Accountability

Ethics and accountability matter. Find questions and answers as well as sample policies to promote best practices and encourage the highest level of ethical governance for both public and private foundations.

As a benefit of membership, the Council on Foundations attorneys and legal staff provide information and education to Council members regarding a variety of topics related to foundation operations and legal compliance. All information on this website, and all publications, articles, e-mail correspondence and telephone consultations provided by Council attorneys and legal staff are intended for informational purposes only and not as part of an attorney-client relationship. Council attorneys are not licensed in every state and cannot provide legal representation. The information is not a substitute for expert legal, tax or other professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances, and may not be relied upon for the purposes of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Council members may e-mail legal@cof.org with inquires and for more information.

Sample conflict of interest policies for staff and board members.
Sample conflict of interest policies from the Community Foundation of Switzerland County and Triangle Community Foundation.
Form 1023 is in the vanguard of IRS forms that are designed to educate tax-exempt organizations and help halt abusive transactions.
This article focuses on conflicts of interest around foundation investments. May foundation board members (or other closely affiliated individuals or businesses) manage foundation investments? May they be paid for this service?
This article explores one of the more common questions about conflicts of interest: May the foundation's lawyer serve as a trustee?
With Congress and the media focusing on corporate governance and foundation administration, it is a good time to make sure that all grantmakers have a strong conflict of interest policy in place.
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