Thursday, January 21, 2010

Giving Tip #3 - Check for evidence of questionable ethical practices

Continuing our series of tips from Charity Navigator: “Giving Tip #3 - Check for evidence of questionable ethical practices: The best charities are transparent and accountable to the public. You should be able to see evidence of this in the information they provide on their web site. The media can also be a good watchdog in this area - providing reports on charities that have been found guilty of a crime or are under investigation. Remember that, even if the finances and results look sound, questionable ethical practices can be a warning sign of disaster on the horizon.”

Let’s begin with the AtWork! website. Although you can find our IRS 990 form on other websites like GuideStar and Charity Navigator we post the most current one on our own website. Our fiscal year ends on September 30 each year so the form we are required to file for that year appears to be a year behind. For example, the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008 is documented in the 2007 IRS 990 form.

We also post our audit. The 2008 audit is posted now and in just a few days (once reviewed and approved by our Board of Directors) our 2009 audit will also be posted. And just so there is no doubt that we are a charitable organization exempt from taxes and able to receive donations that may be tax deductable for our contributors, we post our IRS exemption letter as well.

AtWork!’s board has adopted and approved a clear set of ethical policies adhered to by all board members and staff. When you provide services, as we do, to a vulnerable population, we must adhere to the strictest standards of conduct. Our policies cover such issues as illegal and unethical acts; conflict of interest; proprietary and other confidential information; non-competition provisions; restraint of trade and unfair competition; and pricing and accountability with a clear process for reporting of abuse or ethics violations.

We do all this because our funders require it and organizations that accredit AtWork! demand it. But mostly because it is the only way we know to operate, ethically and transparently. The people we serve deserve nothing less.

posted by AtWork! at


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home