Independent Sector Updates 'Principles for Nonprofits'

Independent Sector has released a new edition of Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practices, a set of thirty-three principles broadly accepted by many nonprofit and philanthropic organizations as the foundational guide for their self-governance.

The 2015 edition of the Principles includes the first substantive changes to the guide since it was originally published in 2007. Changes include eight areas in which the ethics and governance landscape has transformed since the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, an earlier IS initiative, was convened nearly a decade ago to develop standards in the areas of nonprofit legal compliance, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising. And updated content includes material related to how technology affects giving in the digital world, emerging charitable business and social change models, the need to balance organizational transparency with individual privacy concerns, and the evolving debate around overhead costs.

"As a former president of the General Motors Foundation and as someone who has spent nearly thirty years serving on nonprofit boards and working with many charities, I know firsthand the real impact they make in people's lives," said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), one of four honorary co-chairs of the advisory group that updated the guide. "Countless Americans benefit from the generosity of these organizations, which lend a helping hand to those in need, protect the health of our citizens and strengthen our communities. The Principles released today are critical as they reinforce transparency, support fiduciary responsibility and effective governance and guide responsible fundraising. They provide assurance to communities that the non-profit sector is operating with the utmost integrity and with total responsibility."