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Section 1: Resource 3

Ethics

As you create or refine your own foundation, your intentions are undoubtedly good and grounded in your character and conscience. If you achieve your aims, you will  make positive contributions to your community and the larger society.

But you may also make mistakes. What some have called the "veil of nobility" can cloud your vision. The goodness of your cause is so great that you may ignore how you accomplish it (by, for example, treating staff or grant seekers disrespectfully or ignoring potential conflicts of interest).

Here you will find additional perspectives and tips for understanding and practicing ethical and effective family philanthropy. For a wide variety of additional sample statements and other resources, current NCFP Friends are invited to login to NCFP's Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center.

Read (5 minutes)
Code of Ethics - The Kresge Foundaiotn The Kresge Foundation expects ethical conduct from everyone affiliated with the Foundation. Those who violate the standards in this Code will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination.
Read (30 minutes)
Why did I make all this money: Values and ethics in family foundations In this essay from the original edition of Splendid Legacy, the late founder of the Institute for Global Ethics provides helpful context for important questions in ethics and family philanthropy.
Read (5 minutes)
Criteria for Philanthropy at its Best: Ethics Family foundation boards should seek to demonstrate accountability and transparency in their operations so that regulators and the public know that all grantmaking institutions are acting as ethical stewards of the tax-subsidized dollars with which they are entrusted.
Read (5 minutes)
Surdna Foundation: Code of ethics A sample code of ethics from the Surdna Foundation.
Read (5 minutes)
Code of ethics (Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation) A sample code of ethics from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Passing the “mirror test”: Ethics and family philanthropy This fun and interactive exploration provides case-based tips for how to frame and diagnose ethical dilemmas in family giving, featuring nationally acclaimed ethics consultant Michael Rion.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Ethics in family philanthropy: Right vs. right decision-making Ethical issues affect every facet of a family’s philanthropy from its structure and mission to its investment, grantmaking strategies, and perhaps most importantly, governance structure. This fascinating discussion features internationally renowned ethicist and long-time foundation trustee Dr. Rush Kidder, the founder and former CEO of the Institute for Global Ethics. [Please note that while Dr. Kidder passed away in spring 2012, his legacy and guidance live on through this special webinar.]