The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002, is a U.S. federal law enacted in response to a number of major corporate and accounting scandal of several major companies. The legislation established new or enhanced standards for all U.S public company board, management and public accounting firms. While nonprofits are exempt from the majority of these regulations, we have adopted numerous policies and procedures to guarantee that how we conduct our business is not only legal, but ethical.
Our policies and procedures include:
- Records retention. The destruction and/or retention of financial and other transactional records is important. Our Board adopted a policy in 2005 to ensure we maintain a record of our activities as required by law.
- Finance and Audit committee. A committee of Board members with strong backgrounds in accounting and finance work closely with our staff and auditors to oversee accounting and financial reporting as well as internal controls.
- Whistleblower policy. Employees who report unethical, dishonest or fraudulent activity will have their complaints thoroughly investigated and are protected from retribution. This policy was expanded in 2008.
- Investment committee. Community volunteers and Board members review Foundation investment performance quarterly, reviewing managers and recommending changes in strategy and direction as necessary.
- 990, 990T and Audit. The Foundation completes a 990, 990T and independent audit each year. These documents are available for public inspection. The 990 is available at http://www.guidestar.org/ or can be requested from our office. The 990T can be requested from our office. The most recent audit is posted on our website or can be requested from our office.
- Conflict of Interest. Each year, our Board members, committee members and staff are required to sign a conflict of interest statement, which discloses any potential conflicts they might have with the Foundation. Further, committee members and board members are not allowed to vote on items in which they have a known conflict.
- Confidentiality. Board members, committee members and staff are required to sign a confidentiality agreement each year. Confidential information is defined as any information or material which is proprietary or which is not generally known outside of the Foundation – including, but not limited to, financial and marketing data, donor or grantee information and other information that may be deemed proprietary.
- Foundation Standards. The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is confirmed in compliance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. The Council on Foundations www.cof.org and leaders of the community foundation field created National Standards to aid community foundations in establishing legal, ethical and effective operating practices that would show the foundations’ transparency and financial responsibility. The standards are organized in six areas - Mission, Structure, and Board Governance; Resource Development; Stewardship and Accountability; Grantmaking and Community Leadership; Donor Relations Communications. Evaluated and determined by a rigorous review process, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is one of four (4) accredited community foundations in Tennessee.
The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is Confirmed in Compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.