Code of Ethics
At the Arthritis Foundation, we must earn the trust of our constituents every day. They support our mission because they trust us to be good stewards of resources and uphold rigorous standards of conduct. We have adopted this Code of Ethics to inform employees, volunteers, donors and all other constituents that we will conduct our business with integrity and abide by the highest standards of lawful and ethical behavior. We expect all employees and volunteers to know, embrace and follow this Code.
The Arthritis Foundation’s Core Values
- The conduct of employees and volunteers of the Arthritis Foundation is grounded in integrity and dignity. As we carry out our mission, we must be good stewards of resources, uphold the highest ethical standards and take ownership of our work.
- We will be honest, act in good faith, deliver on our commitments and be accountable for our actions. We speak up and make sensible decisions.
- Transparency, openness and responsiveness to public concerns are integral to our culture and behavior.
- We will put the mission, objectives, policies and reputation of the Arthritis Foundation first and foremost. In the case of errors or omissions, we won’t pass the buck, will admit our mistakes without recriminations and work to improve our processes.
- Employees and volunteers of the Arthritis Foundation must go beyond simply following the laws and regulations governing our work; we must behave morally and always strive to “do what is right.”
- We must do our best to crank up results, strive for operational excellence and deliver awesome results to achieve our mission. We must be the master of our trade but never stop being a student.
- We expect employees and volunteers to be team leaders and players at the same time, keeping our heads in the game and making meaningful contributions every day.
- We will be truthful and accurate in recording, reporting and maintaining information to meet financial and legal obligations.
- We respect and maintain confidentiality regarding constituents’ records and employees’ personal information, with access requiring appropriate authorization and a legitimate business need.
- Employees and volunteers must adhere to the principles of the Donor Bill of Rights, adopted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Professionals (AHP) and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
The Arthritis Foundation’s People
- Diversity is essential to the Arthritis Foundation’s mission. We are committed to providing an inclusive, productive and professional environment, where volunteers and employees work together with mutual respect. We are sensitive and responsive to those we serve. We prohibit discrimination, harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation based on race, sex, gender identification, age, ethnic origin, religion, disabilities, medical condition, sexual orientation or any other characteristics protected by law. Violation may result in termination of employment or volunteer services.
- We promote a working environment that values respect, fairness and open communications, where employees and volunteers feel comfortable asking questions, making suggestions and raising concerns.
- Employees and volunteers must report any policies or practices they believe are inappropriate to: their supervisor, who is the best person to speak to in most cases; a human resources representative; a legal affairs representative; or through the nationwide, toll-free number available on the Arthritis Foundation intranet and website.
The Way the Arthritis Foundation Conducts Business
- We will grant all competitive suppliers equal consideration in accordance with state or federal statutes and the Arthritis Foundation’s policies, conducting business in good faith, avoiding or disclosing any conflicts of interest and obtaining maximum value.
- We strive to spend most of our annual budget on mission-related programs and services, meeting or exceeding national standards.
Conflicts of Interest
- In any transaction, Arthritis Foundation employees and volunteers must place the interests of our organization above personal gain or interest, and disclose all facts when there is a potential conflict of interest.
- Arthritis Foundation employees must refrain from accepting gifts or favors of monetary value not in compliance with the Foundation’s gifts and gratuities policy, or engaging in private business or professional activities where there is, or might appear to be, a conflict of interest.
- The Arthritis Foundation’s conflict of interest policy ensures disclosure of conflicts by volunteers and employees. Any conflict of interest, or appearance of such, must be appropriately managed by disclosure, recusal and/or other means.
Roadmap for Ethical Decision Making
Recognize your responsibility to do what is right. Use good judgment and avoid even the suggestion of improper behavior. If ever in doubt, ask yourself:
- Would I be comfortable telling my family, friends and co-workers what I did?
- Would I want my actions to be reported in the news?
- Do my actions demonstrate respect for my fellow employees, partners, constituents and others we serve?
- Would I feel okay if a co-worker, volunteer, vendor or other partner acted this way toward me?
- Will it be a positive reflection on me and the Foundation?
- Is it consistent with and support the Foundation’s Code and our values?
- Is it legal?
If the answer is “NO” to any of these questions, don’t do it.