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Western New York Paralegal Association

WNYPA Code of Ethics for a Non for Profit Organization

Principle 1. Personal and Professional Integrity

All board members, committee chairs, coordinators and members of WNYPA act with honesty, integrity and openness whenever they represent the organization. WNYPA promotes a social organizational environment that values respect, fairness and integrity.

Principle 2. Mission

WNYPA has a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by the board of directors, in pursuit of the public good. All of its programs support that mission and all who work for or on behalf of WNYPA understand and are loyal to that mission and purpose.

Principle 3. Governance

WNYPA has a board of directors that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the organization/corporation and for oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of WNYPA. The board: 

3.1 – Ensures that its board members have the requisite skills and experience to carry outtheir duties, that all board members understand and fulfill their governance duties by acting for the benefit of WNYPA, and that all board members have specified terms of service; 

3.2 – Has a conflict of interest policy that ensures that any conflicts of interest or theappearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means; 

P. O. Box 207, Niagara Square Station

Buffalo, New York 14201 

August 11, 2011approved by WNYPA Board of Directors 2 

3.3 – Is responsible for the regular review of the performance of the Association’s chairs, and subcommittee coordinators, as well as all leadership appointments; 

3.4 – Ensures that the committee chairs and subcommittee coordinators provide the board with timely and comprehensive information so that the board can effectively carry out its duties; 

3.5 – Ensures that WNYPA conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty; 

3.6 – Ensures that WNYPA promotes working relationships with board members,subcommittee coordinators, and members, and corporate sponsors that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness; 

3.7 – Ensures that policies of WNYPA are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted; 

3.8 – Ensures that the resources of WNYPA are responsibly and prudently managed; and 

3.9 – Ensures that WNYPA has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively.

Principle 4. Legal Compliance

WNYPA is knowledgeable of and complies with all U.S. laws, regulations and applicable international conventions.

Principle 5. Responsible Stewardship

WNYPA manages its funds responsibly and prudently. WNYPA: 

5.1 – Spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission; 

5.2 – Spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, and other expenditures critical to professional management; 

5.3 – Has reasonable fundraising costs, recognizing the variety of factors that affect fundraising costs; 

5.4 – Does not accumulate operating funds excessively; 

5.5 – Ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the organization; and 

5.6 – Ensures that all financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.

Principle 6. Openness and Disclosure

WNYPA provides comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, and its members and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information. All information about WNYPA fully and honestly reflects its policies and practices. All solicitation materials accurately represent WNYPA’s policies, practices, and programs. All financial, organizational, and reports are complete and accurate in all material respects.

Principle 7. Program Evaluation

WNYPA regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs. WNYPA is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and developing mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and programs.

Principle 8. Inclusiveness and Diversity

WNYPA is committed to inclusiveness and diversity in its board, leaders and members. WNYPA takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its board recruitment and members served.

Principle 9. Fundraising

When raising funds, WNYPA is truthful in its solicitation materials. WNYPA respects the privacy concerns of individual donors, expends funds consistent with donor intent, and discloses important and relevant information to potential donors. In raising funds from the public, WNYPA respects the rights of donors: 

9.1 – To be informed of the mission of WNYPA, the way the resources will be used and its capacity to use donations effectively for its intended purposes; 

9.2 – To be informed of the identity of those serving on WNYPA’s board of directors and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities; 

9.3 – To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given; 

9.4 – To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition; 

9.5 – To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by the law; and 

9.6 – To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

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