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Guiding Principles

 

The Council's Statement of Ethical Principles

The Council on Foundations and its members promote the highest standards of ethical behavior. In recognition of the importance of philanthropy toward the public good and those we serve, we adopt these ethical principles:

Mission: Our members are committed to the public benefit and to their philanthropic purposes and act accordingly.

Stewardship:  Our members manage their resources to maximize philanthropic purposes, not private gain; and actively avoid excessive compensation and unreasonable or unnecessary expenses. They pursue maximum benefit through their work, how they work, and by supporting the work of partners, colleagues and grantees.

Accountability and Transparency: In carrying out their philanthropic activities, our members embrace both the letter and the spirit of the law. They welcome public interest, take responsibility for their actions and communicate truthfully.

Diversity and Inclusiveness: Our members seek diversity and inclusiveness in order to reflect the communities they serve and to ensure that a range of perspectives contribute to the common good and the development of their mission in a changing society.

Governance: Our members' governing bodies understand and embrace their responsibility to oversee the mission, strategic direction, finances and operations of their respective organizations, and do so honestly and with integrity. They establish clear and understandable policies and ensure that they are followed.

Respect: Members interact respectfully with grantees, colleagues, donors and peers.