BoardSource and Independent Sector Partner on 'Principles' Workbook to Advance Good Governance and Ethical Practice
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2009 — BoardSource, the nation's leading resource on nonprofit governance, has collaborated with Independent Sector to produce a new tool to help nonprofits, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs examine and improve their governance practices. The Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice is designed to help the nonprofit community meet its commitment to upholding the highest standards of accountability -- and do so in a cost-effective way.
"Nonprofit and foundation boards bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that organizations live up to their legal and ethical obligations to donors, service recipients, and the public," said Linda Crompton, president and CEO of BoardSource. "The Workbook will further support the development of successful and effective board leaders."
The Workbook was developed to expand and elucidate Independent Sector's Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations. Using the Workbook, nonprofit boards and staff can evaluate themselves on key principles of legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, and strong financial oversight -- and then develop action plans based on those evaluations.
"Thousands of organizations across the nonprofit community have already used the Guide to make important changes to their governance," said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector. "This new tool will further assist boards of directors and key staff in assessing the areas where their organizations are doing well and where there is room for improvement."
Independent Sector initially brought together leaders from across the nonprofit community to develop more than 150 recommendations for improving government oversight and strengthening practices at organizations of all sizes and missions. It then focused on how the nonprofit community could advance the state of governance and self-regulation in its organizations, a process that led to the creation of the principles.
"Good governance is a cornerstone for building the trust nonprofit organizations need to fulfill their obligations to the communities they serve," said Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance and chair of Independent Sector's Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice Advisory Group. "The Workbook is a terrific way for nonprofits and foundations of all sizes, fields, and mission areas to review and improve their governance practices."