Reports and Recommendations
In February 2015, Independent Sector released a new edition of the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundation as well as a new Legal Reference Edition of the Principles. Visit independentsector.org/principles to learn more about the 2015 editions.
The orginal Principles editions below were the versions released by the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector and are no longer available. They are described for historical purposes here. The Panel's reports to Congress remain available below.
Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations was released by the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector in October 2007. The Guide outlines 33 practices designed to support board members and staff leaders of every charitable organization as they work to improve their own operations. The Panel encourages these leaders to examine the Principles carefully and determine how best they should be applied to their own operations. The development of these Principles included comprehensive analysis of over 50 systems of self-regulation and best practices, two public comment periods, and the involvement of charities and foundations nationwide.
The Reference Edition of the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice includes legal background for each Principle, studies on self-regulation systems, and a glossary of terms.
Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice
Independent Sector created the Principles Workbook to provide further support for nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to examining and improving their governance practices. IS developed it in partnership with BoardSource, the nation’s leading resource on nonprofit governance.
The Workbook distills the core concepts in each of the 33 principles and suggests points for board and staff to discuss about their current practices. Progress worksheets accompanying each of the four sections assist nonprofits and foundations in making plans and recording their progress.
Strengthening Transparency, Governance, and Accountability
of Charitable Organizations
Strengthening Transparency, Governance, and Accountability of Charitable Organizations: A Final Report to Congress and the Nonprofit Sector was released by the Panel in June 2005.
The Final Report (2005) (.pdf, 740 kb), which incorporated input from thousands of people across the charitable community through field hearings and national conference calls, proposes a carefully integrated package of actions from charitable organizations, from Congress, and from the Internal Revenue Service. It recommends more than 120 actions for charitable organizations, by Congress, and by the Internal Revenue Service, which together would strengthen the sector’s transparency, governance, and accountability.
A Supplemental Report (.pdf, 253 kb) was released in April 2006 and focuses on nine areas, including international grantmaking and charitable solicitation. As with all of the Panel’s reports, the more than 30 recommendations incorporated input from people across the charitable community.