I. Personal and Professional Integrity
All Board members, staff and volunteers of LION act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings as representatives of LION. We promote a working environment that values respect, fairness and integrity.
LION has a clearly stated mission and values, approved by the Board of Directors, in pursuit of the public good. All of our services and programs support that mission and all who work for or on behalf of LION understand and are loyal to the mission and values. The mission is responsive to the constituency and communities served by LION and of value to society at large.
LION has a high performing governing body that is responsible for setting the mission, vision, values, key priorities, and overall strategic direction of LION. The Board has oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of the organization.
The governing body:
- Ensures that Board members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all members understand and fulfill their governance duties acting for the benefit of LION and its public purpose;
- Has a duality of interest policy that ensures that any duality or conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means; and
- If applicable, is responsible for the hiring, supporting, and regular review of the performance of the executive director, and ensures that the compensation of the executive director is reasonable and appropriate;
- Ensures that LION conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
- Ensures that LION promotes working relationships with Board members, association members, partners, volunteers, and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness;
- Ensures that LION is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for all Board and volunteer positions;
- Ensures that policies of LION are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted;
- Ensures that the resources of LION are responsibly and prudently managed; and,
- Ensures that LION has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively.
IV. Legal Compliance
LION is knowledgeable of and complies with all state and federal laws and regulations.
V. Responsible Stewardship
LION manages funds responsibly and prudently. This includes the following considerations:
- We spend a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of our mission;
- We spend an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff (when/if we have them), and other expenditures critical to professional management;
- LION compensates those who may receive compensation, reasonably and appropriately;
- LION has reasonable fundraising costs, recognizing the variety of factors that affect fundraising costs;
- We do not accumulate operating funds excessively;
- When LION has an endowment, we will draw prudently from endowment funds consistent with donor intent and to support the public purpose of the organization;
- LION ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the organization; and,
- All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
VI. Openness and Disclosure
LION provides comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, and all stakeholders and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information. All information about LION will fully and honestly reflect the policies and practices of the organization. Basic informational data about LION, such as the Form 990, reviews and compilations, and audited financial statements will be posted on LION’s website or otherwise be available to the public. All solicitation materials accurately represent LION’s policies and practices and will reflect the dignity of program beneficiaries. All financial, organizational, and program reports will be complete and accurate in all material respects.
VII. Program Evaluation
LION regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs. LION is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and develops mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and the field. LION is responsive to changes in its field of activity and is responsive to the needs of its constituencies.
VIII. Inclusiveness and Diversity
LION has a policy of promoting inclusiveness and our Board and volunteers reflect diversity in order to enrich its programmatic effectiveness. LION takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its membership, Board recruitment and constituencies served.
We will treat others equitably and respectfully in all aspects of our activities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, national origin or ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or status as a qualified disabled or handicapped individual.
LION, when raising funds or securing sponsorships, is truthful in the solicitation materials. We respect the privacy concerns of individual donors and expend funds consistent with donor intent. We disclose important and relevant information to potential donors.
In raising funds from the public, LION will respect the rights of donors, as follows:
- To be informed of the mission of LION, the way the resources will be used, and the capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes;
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on LION’s governing Board and to expect the Board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
- To have access to LION’s most recent financial reports;
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given;
- To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition;
- To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by the law and LION policy on donation disclosures;
- To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature;
- To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of LION or hired solicitors;
- To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share; and,
- To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.**
**These ten points are taken from A Donor Bill of Rights, developed by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and endorsed by INDEPENDENT SECTOR.