The Leadership Roundtable welcomes your Catholic nonprofit to Standards for Excellence. You are joining together with Catholic organizations, dioceses and parishes across the country to take positive steps to promote good stewardship, accountability and transparency in the Church.
1. MISSION STATEMENT AND MINISTRY PROGRAM
Catholic nonprofits are established to continue the mission of the Catholic Church and carry out this mission through specific ministry program activities. Catholic nonprofits should have well-defined mission statements, and their ministry programs should effectively and efficiently work toward achieving these mission statements. All Catholic nonprofits have an obligation to ensure program effectiveness and to devote their resources to achieving its stated purpose.
2. GOVERNING BODY
Effective nonprofit boards of directors should serve to further the mission of the organization, establish management policies and procedures, ensure that adequate human resources (volunteer and/or paid staff) and financial resources (earned income, grants, and charitable contributions) are available, and actively monitor the organization’s financial and programmatic performance.
3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Both laity and clergy who serve on nonprofit boards or staff, either in paid positions or as volunteers, should act in the best interest of the organization, rather than in furtherance of personal interests or the interests of third parties. Nonprofits should have policies in place, and routinely and systematically implement those policies, to prevent actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest.
4. HUMAN RESOURCES
A Catholic nonprofit’s relationship to its personnel, both clergy and lay, both paid and volunteer, is fundamental to its ability to achieve its mission. The roles and responsibilities for bishops and priests are contained within canon law. Volunteers occupy a special place in Catholic nonprofits, serving in governance, administrative and programmatic capacities. Nonprofit human resource policies should address both clergy and laity, paid staff and volunteers, and should be fair, establish clear expectations, and provide for meaningful and effective performance evaluation.
5. FINANCIAL AND LEGAL
Catholic nonprofits must practice sound financial management and comply with a diverse array of legal and regulatory requirements, including those of canon law. Financial systems should assure that accurate financial records are kept and that the organization’s financial resources are used in furtherance of its mission. Nonprofits should conduct periodic reviews to address regulatory and liability concerns.
Although Catholic nonprofits are private entities, they operate in the name of the Church in service to members and the community at large with support from the faithful and the general public. As such, all Catholic organizations should provide the faithful and the public with information about their mission, program activities, and finances. They should also be accessible and responsive to members of the faithful and members of the general public who express interest in their affairs.
Catholic nonprofits depend on charitable fundraising for the support of their work. All fundraising activities should be conducted on a foundation of truthfulness and responsible stewardship. A nonprofit’s fundraising policies should be consistent with its mission, compatible with its organizational capacity, respectful of the interests and intentions of donors and prospective donors, and in compliance with applicable canon law.
8. PUBLIC LIFE AND PUBLIC POLICY
Catholic nonprofits provide an important vehicle through which individuals may chose to organize and work together to improve their communities. Therefore they should represent Catholic Social Teaching and the interests of the people they serve through public education and public policy advocacy, as well as by encouraging clergy, staff, volunteers and the faithful to participate in the public life of the community.
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