Code of ethics (anonymous sample)

________ Foundation

Policies and Procedures

Code of Ethics


In June 2008, the Trustees of the ________ Foundation agreed to be guided by the Council on Foundations’ Stewardship Principles for Family Foundations. These principles, which were closely reviewed one-by-one by the Executive Committee, spelled out best practices in governance, ethics and accountability, and family legacy. One of the best practices under ethics is to identify and practice the elements of ethical conduct.


The purpose of this policy is to identify elements of ethical conduct that should be practiced.


It is the intent of the ________ Foundation to strive for the highest ethical conduct from all Trustees and staff. As stewards of the public trust, all Trustees and staff are required and expected to exercise the highest ethical standards of conduct at all times.

These standards include but may not be limited to the following:

  • Personal integrity is our most important attribute.
  • We care not only for the end result but how it’s obtained.
  • We are honest and forthright, fair and trustworthy. We observe all laws and regulations. Compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies of the Foundation is essential. But lawful behavior is not enough. Ethical behavior is the unwritten gray area between right and wrong.
  • We trust and rely on our instincts to tell us that something is not quite right in terms of our own sense of personal integrity but also how it might be perceived by the public. We avoid even the appearance of impropriety. We are always mindful of the Foundation’s position and reputation in the communities we serve.
  • Grantee relations are essential to the accomplishment of our mission. They must be built upon credibility and mutual respect. We demand ethical conduct in all our activities.
  • We do the right thing.


Exceptions to this policy may be approved by consensus of the Trustees.


Any concern about possible violations of this code should be reported to the Executive Director, either directly or anonymously. Such reports may be made with no fear of retribution. The Executive Director will then handle the situation under the advisory of the Executive Committee.


This policy is confidential and for internal use by Trustees only. It may not be distributed by Trustees or Foundation staff in any part or form to potential applicants. Distribution to consultants or other foundations must be approved by the Foundation office.