Orchestra's Guide to Ethics and Accountability
Orchestras depend on support from the public and must operate ethically and effectively to maintain the public’s trust. As nonprofit organizations around the country are shoring up their administrative and governance practices, orchestras must develop a transparent culture on issues ranging from employee and volunteer human resource policies to financial record-keeping.
The IRS is stepping up its enforcement of nonprofit accountability requirements, Congress is considering tougher laws, and some state legislatures are already requiring higher standards. This webpage, which will be updated on an ongoing basis, will provide your orchestra with information, links to sample documents, and the newest resources available.
PR and the New IRS Form 990
This year the IRS is requiring more information from non-profits about governance, salaries, and more. 990 forms are available to the media on the website guidestar.com as soon as orchestras file them. Orchestra finance consultant Steven Bronfenbrenner will review the implications of these new reporting requirements for transparency with the media, funders, and the public.
The New Form 990: Are You Ready?
The changes have an impact on your organization and its staff. Find out now what you need to know
Under the Microscope
This article, first published in Symphony magazine, describes how public examination of the nonprofit sector affects orchestras.
Are We Okay?
Heidi Waleson describes how the post-Enron environment is prompting orchestras to scrutinize their own governance practices in this article from Symphony magazine.
League Tax Updates
The League’s D.C. office reports on the latest developments as the Hill considers new rules for nonprofit taxation, governance, and management.
State Resources for Nonprofit Standards
National Council of Nonprofit Associations
Several states have voluntary ethics and accountability standards for nonprofit organizations – others have new or newly emerging requirements. Check your state’s nonprofit association for guidelines and updates.
Standards of Excellence Institute
The Institute promotes a system of nonprofit self-regulation. You can find examples of ethics and accountability standards at the Institute web site, or by viewing the standards that have been adopted by state nonprofit associations in Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania. To earn the Institute’s Seal of Excellence, nonprofits must commit to eight Guiding Principles and 55 Standards for Excellence.
National Resources for Developing Ethics Policies, Accountability Standards, and Best Practices
Checklist for Developing a Statement of Values and Code of Ethics
Independent Sector, the national organization for the nonprofit and philanthropic community, provides this step-by-step guide.
Checklist for Accountability
Independent Sector recommends nine practices that create an environment of transparency, accountability, and integrity. Make your way through their checklist to "Test Your Accountability IQ."
Model Code of Ethics
A code of ethics is more than a document – it is an ongoing process and commitment toward higher standards of excellence. View Independent Sector’s model code.
Complete Guide to Ethics Management
Carter McNamara provides practical tools for developing ethics guidelines, conflict of interest statements, and general information about best practices for nonprofits.
Background Information on Ethics and Accountability
Obedience to the Unenforceable
Independent Sector explores why and how the nonprofit community should go beyond the minimal legal requirements when committing to high standards of ethics and accountability.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Implications for Nonprofit Organizations
Free white paper on the nonprofit implications of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Co-produced by BoardSource and Independent Sector.
Nonprofit Accountability: Inside and Out
Bridgestar is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing leadership for the nonprofit sector. Register free on Bridgestar’s website to read comments by Diana Aviv, President of Independent Sector that include four areas for nonprofits to take action.