CUPON Inc., herein referred to as CUPON, adheres to the highest ethical standards not only because it is the right thing to do, but because public trust in our “brand” is the bedrock of our legitimacy. Donors and volunteers support charitable organizations because they trust them to carry out their missions, to be good stewards of their resources, and to uphold rigorous standards of conduct.
Nonprofit organizations must earn this trust every day. But organizations are only as strong as their members, and it is up to CUPON’s board members, chapter leaders, and rank-and-file members to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to CUPON’s core values of fairness, transparency, respect, and responsibility.
This Code of Conduct and Ethics was formally adopted by CUPON’s governing board; all trustees, staff, and volunteers are obligated to familiarize themselves with it and adhere to it. Not only that, but CUPON members must embrace the spirit of our core values, going beyond mere legal requirements to ensure that we live up to public expectations of the CUPON brand. Transparency, fairness, non-partisan defense of the rights of all citizens, vigorous enforcement of the law without fear or favor, and responsiveness to public concerns are the ethical bedrock of CUPON’s mission and must guide members’ behavior in public meetings, on social media, in media interviews—in short, wherever we represent CUPON.
Statement of Values
Any code of ethics is built on shared values. CUPON’s values include:
- A commitment to the public good, and to maintaining the public trust;
- A commitment to transparency and accountability;
- A respect for the worth and dignity of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, religion (or irreligion);
- A commitment to social justice;
- A respect for pluralism and diversity;
- A commitment to the responsible stewardship of natural resources;
- A commitment to the vigorous yet impartial enforcement of our laws, and to the secular, pluralistic democracy on which they depend, and whose survival they ensure.
I. The Code of Ethics for CUPON
Personal and Professional Integrity
All staff, board members, and volunteers of the organization must act with honesty, integrity, and transparency in all their dealings with officials and the public as representatives of the organization. Likewise, CUPON promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness, and integrity.
CUPON’s core mission is to:
- Ensure local elected governing bodies and their Land Use board members’ decisions safeguard the health and safety of all of our citizens and first responders;
- Ensure that Land Use laws, and related issues, as set forth by local, state, and federal governments are followed; and,
- Oppose land-use decisions, by local boards, that are illegal, conclusory, and/or arbitrary and capricious, resulting in adverse effects on the unique character of our communities, the health of our environment, and the rights of residents.
CUPON’s governing body is responsible for determining the long-term mission and short-term strategic priorities of the organization. As well, it oversees the finances, daily operations, and policies of the organization. The governing body:
- Ensures that its board members or trustees 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 the organization and its mission;
- Ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal, or other means;
- Ensures that the Leaders 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 the organization conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
- Ensures that the organization promotes working relationships with board members, staff, volunteers, and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness, and openness;
- Ensures that the organization is fair and inclusive in its policies and practices for all board, staff, and volunteer positions;
- Ensures that policies of the organization are clearly articulated, officially adopted, and scrupulously enforced;
- Ensures that the resources of the organization are responsibly and prudently managed;
- Ensures that the organization can carry out its programs effectively.
IV. Legal Compliance
The organization is knowledgeable of and complies with all land use laws, regulations.
V. Responsible Stewardship
The organization and its affiliates manage their funds responsibly and prudently. This should include the following considerations:
- It spends a reasonable percentage of its budget 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;
- Chapters do not accumulate operating funds excessively;
- Chapters ensure that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable, and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the organization; and,
- All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
VI. Openness and Disclosure
CUPON and its chapters will provide comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, and all stakeholders, and will be responsive to reasonable requests for information. All information about the organization will fully and honestly reflect the policies and practices of the organization. Basic informational data about the organization, such as Form 990, reviews, compilations, and financial statements will be available to the public. All solicitation materials accurately represent the organization’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
CUPON will regularly review program effectiveness and incorporate takeaways into future activities. CUPON is committed to improving education programs for its chapters and overall organizational effectiveness through lessons learned in the field.
VIII. Inclusiveness and Diversity
CUPON will adhere to its creed of promoting inclusiveness by ensuring the diversity of its board and volunteers, both to live that creed but also to enrich its human resources and increase its effectiveness.
Funds that CUPON raises from the public or donor institutions must be used for the purposes described in solicitation materials. CUPON will respect the privacy concerns of individual donors and expend funds consistent with donor intent.
In raising funds from the public, CUPON will respect the rights of donors. CUPON donors have the right:
- To be informed of the mission of the organization;
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
- To have access to the organization’s most recent financial reports;
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given;
- To receive appropriate acknowledgment 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 CUPON’s interest to the donor will be professional;
- 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 CUPON may intend to share; and,
- To feel free to ask questions when donating and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.