The Arthritis Foundation must earn and keep the trust of its constituents every day. Our donors and volunteers support the Arthritis Foundation because they trust us to carry out our mission, be good stewards of our resources, and uphold rigorous standards of conduct. The Arthritis Foundation has adopted this Code of Ethics to inform our staff, volunteers, members, donors, and all other constituents that we will conduct our affairs according to the highest standards of behavior. The purposes of the Code are to provide evidence of the Foundation’s commitment to the lawful and ethical conduct of its business, to promote lawful and ethical behavior by its staff and volunteers.
The Arthritis Foundation’s Core Values
- The hallmark of the conduct of staff and volunteers of the Arthritis Foundation shall be integrity and dignity. We require these attributes of ourselves and expect them of others.
- We will be honest in our words and actions. We will act in good faith, deliver on our promises and commitments, and be accountable for our actions.
- Transparency, openness and responsiveness to public concerns are integral to our behavior.
- We will give first consideration to the mission, objectives and policies of the Arthritis Foundation and we recognize that we have the responsibility for meeting the objectives and following the policies of the Arthritis Foundation.
- Staff and volunteers of the Arthritis Foundation shall carry out their duties with competence and strive to maintain and improve both personal competence and that of others.
- We follow the rule of law and obey all local, state, and federal regulations.
- We will maintain our financial books and records in accordance with generally-accepted accounting standards and report our financial position accurately and completely to our members and the general public.
- We will maintain confidentiality regarding the Arthritis Foundation’s personnel files and constituent records. Disclosure of information will be made in accordance with the requirements of law and subject to required consent.
- We welcome opportunities for organizational change and growth. New ideas and creative solutions are encouraged and we are willing to take calculated risks.
- We will strive for quality and take responsibility for our actions. In the case of errors or omissions we will admit our mistakes without recriminations and put in place actions and procedures to improve our processes.
- Staff and volunteers shall 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). View the Donor Bill of Rights.
The Arthritis Foundation’s People
- We are focused on the mission of the Arthritis Foundation in all that we do and we are passionate in our service on behalf of people living with arthritis.
- The Arthritis Foundation is committed to providing a productive and professional environment in which volunteers and staff work together with mutual respect and appreciation of their diversity to achieve the mission of the Foundation. We have the obligation to insure that no person is discriminated against in the formulation and execution of policies because of race, sex, age, ethnic origin, religion, disabilities, or sexual orientation. In keeping with this obligation, volunteers and staff are held to a standard of conduct that reflects favorably on the reputation of the Foundation and that avoids stereotyping or isolating people. Discrimination or harassment based on age, disability, sex, race, ethnic origin, religion, economic status, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated. Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action that may include termination of employment or volunteer services.
- The Arthritis Foundation values diversity as essential to its mission and is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all Foundation programs, materials, and activities are sensitive to those it serves and responsive to their needs; and where volunteers, board members, staff, and other who support the Foundation reflect all communities affected by arthritis and share fully their talents, skills, and passions in pursuit of our mission.
- We actively promote a working environment that values respect, fairness, and open communications.
- We actively work to protect and ensure the proper use of Arthritis Foundation assets.
- Arthritis Foundation staff or volunteers are expected to report any policies or practices that they believe are inappropriate to appropriate Foundation personnel or through the external hotline. See the whistleblower policy for more information.
The Way the Arthritis Foundation Conducts Business
- We will grant all competitive suppliers equal consideration insofar as state or federal statute and the Arthritis Foundation’s policies permit.
- We will conduct business with potential and current suppliers in an atmosphere of good faith, devoid of intentional misrepresentation.
- We will receive consent of the originator of proprietary ideas and designs before using them for the Arthritis Foundation’s purposes.
- We shall make every reasonable effort to negotiate an equitable and mutually agreeable settlement of any controversy with a supplier.
- We will accord a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business missions.
- We will give fair and just treatment to all of our constituents and will create an environment which engenders the forthright expression of our own views and tolerance for the views of others.
- We strive for high quality in all of our endeavors and we expect high quality goods and services from our vendors and suppliers. Vendor selection and purchasing decisions are based on merit and best value to the Arthritis Foundation. Conflicts of interest with vendors must be scrupulously avoided or disclosed.
- We strive to expend the majority of our annual budget on mission related programs and services and to meet or exceed national standards for the amount of funds dedicated to programs and mission support.
Conflicts of Interest
- Arthritis Foundation staff and volunteers are obligated to place the interests of the Arthritis Foundation, in any transaction involving the Arthritis Foundation, above personal interest or personal gain and to disclose all facts in any situation where a potential conflict of interest may arise.
- Our conduct will reflect due regard for possible conflicts of interest that may arise in the course of our daily business. The Arthritis Foundation staff shall refrain from accepting gifts or favors of monetary value, or engaging in private business or professional activities where there is, or would appear to be, a conflict between the Staff member’s private interests and the interests of the Arthritis Foundation.
- The Arthritis Foundation has a conflict of interest policy that ensures the disclosure of conflicts by volunteers and staff. Any conflicts of interest or appearance of a conflict of interest is appropriately managed by recusal or other means.