Code of Ethics
Our core values
United Way of the Greater Capital Region (UWGCR) seeks to be the leader in bringing people and resources together to achieve measurable and sustainable improvements in the quality of life for our community. This critical role requires that all of us involved in UWGCR, who foster such an essential public good, must assume the responsibility of earning public trust. Accordingly, United Way of the Greater Capital Region plays a unique role both as a leader in the health and human services sector and as a major resource to donors and partners in service provision to build trust through all that we do. To fulfill this special obligation, five core values provide the foundation on which we base our actions and decisions.
1. INTEGRITY. We consistently act with integrity as evidenced by:
- Our relentless pursuit of instilling and promoting public confidence and trust.
- Maintaining the highest standards of excellence and accountability, including prudent use of finances, and fair, accurate, and honest disclosures of information.
- Keeping our promises and making sure people know “United Way makes my caring count.”
- We make a positive difference and have a measurable impact of enduring consequence.
- We make a difference in our community and collectively in our world. Our efforts change lives.
- We are committed to a United Way that is relevant to its people, its community, and the times.
- We assume responsibility as good stewards of, and are accountable for, our work and sustainable results.
- We are vigilant about inclusion and participation of volunteers as the critical ingredient to relevancy and achieving impact.
- United Way is outstanding in the way it invites volunteers to express their philanthropic beliefs (expression of one’s “love of humanity”).
- We believe that the most effective models of service and excellence are created through the leadership of volunteers.
4. INCLUSIVENESS - DIVERSITY. We are strong only when we are inclusive, therefore:
- We aspire to involve every segment of the community in every aspect of our work.
- We act in ways that respect the dignity, uniqueness, and intrinsic worth of every person—the community, the donors, our own staff and families, boards, and volunteers.
- We believe in a movement built from the rich diversity and gifts of all people in all systems.
5. CATALYTIC LEADERSHIP
- We initiate catalytic leadership for community building to effect positive change.
- We are effective educators and conveners—bringing all segments of the community together to promote individual well being and common good.
- We are leaders of a process that multiplies the impact of people’s innate desire and capacity to care for one another.
- We help transform visions of compassion and giving into dynamic reality.
UWGCR code of ethics
United Way of the Greater Capital Region (UWGCR) is committed to the highest ethical standards. Indeed, based on the unique trust placed in UWGCR to serve the public good, we have a special obligation to act ethically. To that end volunteers and staff shall disclose conflicts of interest (existing and/or potential) annually by completing the Conflict of Interest Disclosure form to be filed with the Secretary of the Corporation.
This UWGCR Code of Ethics is based on our mission and guided by our fundamental values (see Our Core Values: Integrity, Impact, Volunteerism, Inclusiveness and Catalytic Leadership). While no document can anticipate all of the challenges that may arise, the Code communicates key guidelines and will assist UWGCR volunteers, staff and representatives in making good decisions that are ethical and in accordance with the applicable legal requirements.
All are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns they have. Staff shall confer with a Senior Staff person or the President and volunteers shall confer with the President or Board Chair of UWGCR.
1. PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY. A personal commitment to integrity in all circumstances benefits each individual as well as the organization. We therefore:
- Strive to meet the highest standards of performance, quality, service and achievement in working towards the UWGCR mission.
- Communicate honestly and openly and avoid misrepresentation.
- Promote a working environment where honesty, open communication and diverse opinions are valued.
- Foster and maintain an atmosphere of decorum and civility.
- Exhibit respect and fairness toward all those with whom we come into contact.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY. UWGCR is responsible to its stakeholders who have placed faith in UWGCR. To uphold this trust we:
- Promote good stewardship of UWGCR resources, including restricted and unrestricted contributions, grants, in kind and other contributions and resources subject to UW management and controls.
- Refrain from using organizational resources for non-UWGCR purposes.
- Observe and comply with all laws and regulations affecting UWGCR.
3. SOLICITATIONS AND VOLUNTARY GIVING. The most responsive contributors are those who have the opportunity to become informed and involved. We therefore:
- Promote voluntary giving in dealing with donors and vendors.
- Refrain from any use of coercion in fundraising activities, including predicating professional advancement on response to solicitations.
4. DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. UWGCR is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the principle and practice of diversity in volunteer participation. We therefore:
- Value, champion and embrace diversity in all aspects of UWGCR activities and respect others without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin or ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or status as a qualified disabled or handicapped individual.
- Refuse to engage in or tolerate any other form of discrimination or harassment.
- Recognize and comply with the laws governing such matters.
5. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. To avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest which could tarnish the reputation of UWGCR as well as undermine the public’s trust in UWGCR, its staff, volunteers and representatives, we shall:
- Avoid any activity or outside interest which conflicts or appears to conflict with the best interest of UWGCR, including involvement with a current or potential UWGCR vendor, grantee, or competing organization unless disclosed to and deemed not to be inappropriate by the President and UWGCR Executive Committee.
- Ensure that outside employment and other activities do not adversely affect the performance of their UWGCR duties or the achievement of UWGCR’s mission.
- Ensure that travel, and other expenses necessary to business are incurred on a basis consistent with the mission of UWGCR and not for personal gain or interest.
- Decline any gift, gratuity or favor in the performance of UWGCR duties except for promotional items of nominal value, and any food, transportation, lodging or entertainment unless directly related to UWGCR business.
- Refrain from influencing the selection of staff, consultants or vendors who are relatives or personal friends or are affiliated with, employ, or are employed by a person with whom they have a relationship that adversely affects the appearance of impartiality.
- Should not knowingly take any action, or make any statement intended to influence the conduct of UWGCR in such a way as to confer any financial benefit on themselves, their immediate family members or any organization in which they or their immediate family members or any organization in which they or their immediate family members have a significant interest as stakeholders, directors, officers or recipients of service.
- Shall disclose all known conflicts or potential conflicts of interest in any matter before the Board of Directors, as specified in Article 4 of the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy.
- Members of the Board and Members of Standing Committees, e.g. Community Building, & Investment Volunteers, shall annually file with the Secretary of the Corporation a disclosure of all known and/or potential conflicts of interest.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY. Confidentiality is a hallmark of professionalism. We therefore:
- Ensure that all information, which is confidential, privileged, or nonpublic, is not disclosed.
- Respect the privacy rights of all individuals in the performance of their UWGCR duties.
POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. UWGCR encourages individual participation in civic affairs. However, as a charitable organization, UWGCR may not make contributions to any candidate for public office or political committee. We therefore:
- Refrain from making any contributions to any candidate for public office or political committee on behalf of UWGCR.
- Refrain from making any contributions to any candidate for public office or political committee in a manner that may create the appearance that the contribution is on behalf of UWGCR.
- Refrain from using any organizational financial resources, facilities, or personnel to endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.
- Clearly communicate that we are not acting on behalf of the organization, if identified as an official of UWGCR, while engaging in political activities in an individual capacity.
- Refrain from engaging in political activities in a manner that may create the appearance that such activity is by or on behalf of UWGCR.
GUIDANCE AND DISCLOSURE. Volunteers, staff, and representatives are encouraged to seek guidance from the President or the Board Chairman. Any known or possible breaches of the Code of Ethics should be disclosed. Reports of possible breaches will be handled in the following manner:
- All reports of possible breaches will be treated in confidence as much as the organization’s duty to investigate and the law allow. If confidentiality cannot be maintained, the individual disclosing the possible breach will be notified.
- All reported breaches will be investigated and, if needed, appropriate action taken based upon the policies of the organization.
- Any retaliation against a person who suspects and, in good faith, reports a breach in the Code will be treated as an independent breach of the Code.
- UWGCR affirms prompt and fair resolution of all reported breaches.
- Volunteers and staff shall disclose conflicts of interest (existing and/or potential) annually by completing the Conflict of Interest Disclosure form to be filed at UWGCR.