CSO Transparency: Going the Extra Mile

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As nonprofit, social impact agents, CSOs carry extra weight in needing to demonstrate ethical behavior—especially those promoting accountability and transparency in corporations and governments. While it's often enough for leaders to ensure their organizations are compliant with national laws requiring disclosures in response to public inquiries, auditors and board members, what if they wish to go the extra mile on transparency?

Some of the recommended additions from The US Council of Nonprofits include:

  • Honesty and clarity in solicitation materials about how donors' gifts will be used
  • A conflict of interest policy with a disclosure statement that all board and staff review annually
  • An executive compensation policy to ensure that the full board is aware of, and approves, the compensation of the executive director
  • Ensuring the board reviews timely financial reports before taxes are filed with authorities
  • Financial management policies, including internal controls
  • Expense policies, e.g. travel expense reimbursements that require prior approval and reasonable spending limits
  • Adopting an internal complaint procedure for staff and volunteers, such as a whistleblower policy

In the interest of advancing social impact, CisoRise offers a ranking and stamp for online transparency that represents 'global best practices' (in addition to our ranking and stamp for country specific requirements) that incorporates many of these recommendations.



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