CODE OF ETHICS
United Way Tar River Region (UWTRR) is synonymous with charitable service. The general public associates the United Way name with many worthy causes all over the community. Indeed, for many people, United Way is the primary way they meet their desire to help their fellow human beings.
UWTRR has a unique role as the local leader of philanthropy to benefit human services. Throughout Rocky Mount, Nash and Edgecombe Counties, our United Way has earned public trust, nurtured by years of ethical, honest, and responsible charitable service. The continued success of UWTRR depends upon the ethical conduct of its employees and representatives.
UWTRR places the highest priority on its relationship with the citizens of this community. As part of this relationship, UWTRR responds to, serves and supports the community in working to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another. In an effort to achieve this goal, UWTRR strives to create a vision and direction that will generate leadership and encourage the citizens of this community to be the best they can be.
UWTRR employees and volunteers (collectively referred to as “Representatives”) will set an example for other non-profit organizations by their high standards of performance, professionalism, volunteer and charitable activities, helping of the less fortunate and ethical conduct.
This Code of Ethics is the policy of UWTRR and expresses its fundamental values. Accordingly, this Code guides the conduct of all Representatives and is intended to foster an environment that promotes ethical conduct in carrying out their responsibilities.
A personal commitment to integrity in all circumstances benefits each individual as well as the organization. UWTRR representatives:
- Respect and seek out the truth and avoid misrepresentation.
- Ensure fairness and objectivity in all activities.
- Set an example, as Representatives of a leading nonprofit organization, for high standards of professionalism.
- Honor the right of privacy of all people.
- Promote public confidence in philanthropic institutions.
As an employer, UWTRR promotes professional excellence and encourages open and honest communication among all employees to create an atmosphere conducive to personal growth and career development.
- Encourages employee development and communicate with personnel to help them achieve their goals and increase their self-esteem through job enrichment.
- Evaluates, at least annually, employees on a fair and consistent basis, so that all employees know what is expected of them and how they are progressing toward fulfilling expectations.
- Shows respect and empathy for employees and is considerate while being mindful of managerial responsibilities.
- Regularly solicits and respects the opinions of Representatives.
- Creates an environment that encourages the voicing of minority opinions.
- Encourages the reporting of breaches of the Code and protects persons who report these offenses.
- Refuse to engage in or tolerate any fraud, misuse, abuse or waste of UWTRR resources.
- Encourage growth and self-improvement in themselves and their co-workers.
- Respect all those they encounter through UWTRR.
- Comply with guidelines outlined with the Personnel Policy Handbook.
- Comply with laws and regulations affecting UWTRR.
- Direct questions or concerns related to interpretations or compliance with the Code to their manager or other designated person.
- Report breaches of the Code and encourage other Representatives to do the same.
Accountability and Efficiency
UWTRR has responsibilities to its partners who include donors, volunteers, agencies, and recipients. These partners have placed faith in UWTRR. To uphold this trust, UWTRR:
- Makes full and fair disclosure of all relevant information to partners who have a right to know how their dollars are spent.
- Spends partners’ money efficiently, objectively, and effectively.
- Is a good steward of donations, grants, and other contributions that are used to pay operating expenses, salaries and employee benefits, and refrains from allowing expenditures that by their nature or amount do not directly advance UWTRR’s mission.
Responsibilities to Volunteers
Volunteers, who serve UWTRR through its board of directors or otherwise, are crucial to the success of UWTRR. In order to assist volunteers in serving effectively, and in obtaining satisfaction from their service, UWTRR managers and employees:
- Support volunteers so they can perform at their highest level and receive personal satisfaction.
- Treat all volunteers with fairness and respect, providing appropriate mechanisms for their views and interests to be expressed.
- Involve volunteers at appropriate levels and phases of the decision-making process.
- Assist in the development and the understanding of the roles of volunteers and employees, respectively; set clear standards of performance for volunteers and appropriately recognize their contributions.
- Provide benefits and perquisites to volunteers that are consistent with the spirit of volunteerism.
Responsibilities of Volunteers
Volunteers represent UWTRR and set examples through their ethical conduct and professionalism. Volunteers:
- Will not knowingly take any action or make any statement intended to influence the conduct of UWTRR in such a way to confer any financial benefit on such volunteers, their immediate family members, or any organization in which they or their family members have a personal interest.
- Will act as an honorable representative of UWTRR and will conduct oneself in a manner that is positive and does not tarnish the organization’s good standing within the community. If engaged in negative behaviors or charged with a criminal activity, will notify UWTRR leadership and voluntarily remove oneself from serving with UWTRR.
In the event that there comes before the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee a matter for consideration or decision that raises a potential conflict of interest for any member of the board or the committee, the member shall disclose the potential conflict of interest as soon as he or she becomes aware of it, and shall withdraw from the meeting room during discussion, review, and voting in connection with the matter. The disclosure and withdrawal shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting; and each member shall file annual disclosures of potential conflicts with the board. A sub-committee of the Executive Committee shall be arranged should a review and decision around a conflict of interest need to be evaluated. This temporary committee shall review details around the conflict of interest, making a recommendation to the full Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will make any final decisions concerning the conflict of interest.
Vendors are treated fairly to avoid favoritism or appearances of impropriety. UWTRR:
- Affords all vendors the opportunity to offer or qualify their products or services on a competitive basis.
- Conducts all competitive bidding in a fair and professional manner, giving no special preferences or advantages to any vendor.
- Purchases all products and services under its purchasing policy procedures, which adhere to this Code of Ethics.
Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination
UWTRR is an equal opportunity employer. UWTRR prohibits discrimination in employment and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. All Representatives will adhere to the letter and spirit of the UWTRR Personnel Policies and Practices regarding equal opportunity.
Conflict of Interest
To avoid a conflict of interest which would tarnish the image of the organization and undermine the public’s trust in United Way, UWTRR employees:
- Avoid any activity or outside interest which conflicts or appears to conflict with the best interest of UWTRR, including involvement with a current or potential UWTRR vendor, grantee, or competing organization, unless disclosed to and not deemed to be inappropriate by the employee’s supervisor.
- Refrain from participating in or influencing any decision or other action of UWTRR that would result in a direct or indirect benefit to his or her family or any organization with which the employee is materially affiliated.
- All conflicts of interest involving staff will be reported to the UWTRR Executive Director, documented and kept on file.
- UWTRR Executive Director will work to resolve any conflicts of interest, but if necessary, will bring irresolvable conflicts of interest to the Executive Committee, as needed.
With respect to performing his/her UWTRR responsibilities, no Representative will:
- Solicit or accept gratuities, gifts, entertainment, or favors from any contributor, supplier, agency, or individual seeking favors or special consideration from UWTRR other than promotional gifts valued below $25 for themselves or their families.
- Accept food, transportation, lodging, or entertainment unless directly related to UWTRR business.
- Use UWTRR resources for personal gain.
Outside Employment and Other Activities
Employees ensure that outside employment and other activities do not interfere with their responsibilities with UWTRR and do not adversely affect UWTRR. Employees are encouraged to inform their supervisor of any significant outside activities. Employees do not use UWTRR resources to facilitate any outside employment or other activity.
Favoritism is unfair to other Representatives. Favoritism is easily perceived from actions that otherwise are harmless. Accordingly:
- Persons related to UWTRR employees by blood or marriage are not employed except under special circumstances that are clearly in the best interest of UWTRR and disclosed immediately to the Board of Directors.
- UWTRR employees do not supervise or exercise management authority over staff with whom they have a relationship, except under special and approved circumstances.
- UWTRR employees consider the nature and appearance of their relationships with other Representatives to ensure that their decisions and actions are fair.
- UWTRR Representatives with decision-making authority do not improperly influence the selection of consultants or service providers who are affiliated with, employ or employed by a person with whom they have a relationship.
UWTRR employees are not subjected to outside solicitation. Further, employees are free from unwarranted interruptions in the form of solicitations from other employees, in order to concentrate on work. UWTRR employees:
- Do not solicit or distribute literature for purposes inconsistent with the UWTRR mission on UWTRR premises.
- Do not use UWTRR working time for non-UWTRR purposes.
- Are never required to contribute or respond to a solicitation for fear that their response will be a factor in their career standing.
Confidential Information & Disclosure
Confidentiality is a hallmark of professionalism. UWTRR Representatives ensure that all non-public information is not disclosed inappropriately.
UWTRR Representatives are encouraged to disclose any perceived breaches of the Code of Ethics. Disclosure should be made to a supervisor, board chair, or the president. Any reported breaches will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken. Confidentiality will be maintained for the person disclosing the breach, unless the matter raises serious legal implications. In such instances, the person disclosing the breach will be notified. UWTRR management will protect those who make such reports. UWTRR encourages all Representatives to be prompt, open, and forthright in reporting perceived breaches of the Code of Ethics.
Harrassment (Sexual and Other)
UWTRR is committed to providing all of its employees, volunteers, vendors, and contractors with an environment free from sexual harassment or any harassment based upon protected class Anti-Discrimination Law. Accordingly, United Way strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate, condone, or allow sexual harassment or other harassment by or of any of its employees, volunteers, vendors and contractors.
UWTRR encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or violation of any UWTRR Policy. UWTRR will promptly and thoroughly investigate any such reports, and will impose such disciplinary action as warranted by the findings of the investigation. UWTRR will not retaliate in any way against anyone who makes a good faith complaint or allegation, nor will we permit anyone in the UWTRR family to do so.