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Code of Ethics

I. Mission

The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation (CWF) provides other nonprofit organizations with a means to educate the public about the needs of children across this nation.

CWF has a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by the board of directors, in pursuit of the public good. All of our programs support that mission and all who work for or on behalf of CWF understand and are loyal to that mission and purpose. The mission is responsive to the constituency and communities served by CWF and of value to the society at large.

II. Personal and Professional Integrity

All American Legion Child Welfare Foundation (CWF) staff, board members and volunteers act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the organization. CWF promotes a diverse working environment that values life, respect, fairness and integrity.

III. Governance

  • Ensures that its board members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all members understand and fulfill their governance duties acting for the benefit of CWF and its public purpose;
  • Ensures that the CEO and appropriate staff provide the governing body with timely and comprehensive information so that the governing body can effectively carry out its duties;
  • Ensures that CWF conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
  • Ensures that CWF promotes working relationships with board members, staff, volunteers, and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness;
  • Ensures that CWF is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for all board, staff and volunteer positions;
  • Ensures that policies are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted;
  • Ensures that the resources are responsibly and prudently managed; and,
  • Ensures that CWF has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively.

CWF complies with all relevant laws, regulations and applicable international conventions.

CWF complies with all relevant laws, regulations and applicable international conventions.

V. Responsible Stewardship

CWF manages funds responsibly and prudently. This includes the following considerations:

  • It spends a reasonable percentage (the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Allowance mandates 65% or more at www.give.org) of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission;
  • It spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management;
  • CWF has reasonable fundraising costs, recognizing the variety of factors that affect fundraising costs;
  • CWF does not accumulate operating funds excessively;
  • Endowment funds are used in a manner consistent with donor intent and to support the public purpose of the organization;
  • CWF ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to the fulfillment of the mission; and,
  • All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.

VI. Openness and Disclosure

CWF provides comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, and all stakeholders and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information. All information about CWF fully and honestly reflects the policies and practices of the organization. Basic informational data, such as the Form 990, reviews and compilations, and audited financial statements will be posted on the CWF website or otherwise available to the public. All solicitation materials accurately represent CWF’s policies and practices and will reflect the dignity of program beneficiaries. All financial, organizational, and program reports will be complete and accurate in all material respects.

VII. Program Evaluation

CWF regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs. The organization is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and develops mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and the field. CWF is responsive to changes in its field of activity and is responsive to the needs of its constituencies.

VIII. Inclusiveness and Diversity

CWF is committed to, and morally bound to, and celebrates diversity in every area of its operations. As an organization and as individuals, we take the opportunity to learn and benefit from the divergent perspectives, backgrounds, and abilities each individual brings to the pursuit of our common mission to help children and young adults.

CWF is committed to maintaining an organization that values and respects diversity in the areas of gender, religion, thought, culture, and abilities. This is carried out through our contact and commitment to serving our board and staff members, volunteers, vendors, donors and grant recipients.

IX. Fundraising

CWF is truthful in our solicitation materials and respect the privacy concerns of individual donors and expend funds consistent with donor intent. We disclose important and relevant information to potential donors.

In raising funds from the public, organizations will respect the rights of donors, as follows:

  • To be informed of the mission of CWF, the way the resources will be used and our capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes;
  • To be informed of the identity of those serving on the CWF governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
  • To have access to CWF’s most recent financial reports;
  • To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given;
  • To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition;
  • To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by the law;
  • To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature;
  • To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organizations or hired solicitors;
  • To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share; and,
  • To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.


These points are taken from A Donor Bill of Rights, developed by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and endorsed by INDEPENDENT SECTOR.

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