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A conflict of interest policy for a not-for-profit organization is a document used by not-for-profit organizations to describe situations that may create a conflict of interest for their board members, officers, directors, managers and key employees. This policy document also describes the procedures to be followed in the event of a conflict or potential conflict.
This type of policy is generally very general. This means that they do not vary from one organization to another. Indeed, situations that constitute conflict are not unique to any one organization - there are situations that should be avoided by all non-profit organizations.
Conflicts involve situations where the main actor may be motivated by something other than his or her work for the organization - for example, if he or she receives payment from another source for a transaction involving the organization.
This Non-Profit Conflict of Interest Policy will cover all common situations that may present a conflict.
How to use this document ?
This document is fairly simple. It asks only for the name of the organization, its president and secretary, and the date of implementation. As mentioned above, the reason why more information is not requested is that these documents tend to be identical from one organization to another and do not need to be modified. In fact, variance is generally not a good idea, as common conflict situations can be omitted.
The completed policy describes exactly how a conflict of interest is defined by the organization and how key players can report potential conflicts.
Once completed, this document must be adopted by the board of directors through a resolution and then given to all key players for their signature and acknowledgement.
There are no specific laws governing a conflict of interest policy for non-profit organizations. Nevertheless, it is generally recommended that the document provide members of the organization with sufficient information on specific guidelines regarding conflict situations so that they can properly follow it.
In Canada, the courts recognize that for the policy to be valid, it must be :
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