In your organization, do any of the following situations apply,
• Do board members also provide paid services to the organization?
• Does the Executive Director have a personal relationship (marriage/common law) with staff, or board members?
• Does the organization award contracts or general work to friends of board members?
• Do board members volunteer in the operations of the organization?
The existence of conflict of interest similar to these examples, and others, can cause significant and long lasting damage to your ‘not for profit’ in terms of community reputation, board member and staff engagement, and overall effectiveness.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to attract quality board members, staff, donors and funding, the last thing that your organization needs are issues related to conflict of interest.
As a board, you can minimize your risk of negative impacts related to conflict of interest by ensuring the following policies and practices are in place.
• Ensure you have a conflict of interest policy and code of conduct in place.
• Do not recruit board members that are closely related to staff or board members.
• When board members volunteer in operations, they must do so under the direction of the ED.
• Ensure you have a contracts policy in place.
If you would like some help assessing your organization on this topic, or other board governance “best practices” please send me a note firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 250 465 1245. A brief consultation is free!