1.1 Governance – Similar Values

Organizations should have similar ethos and values, a commitment to serve qualified recipients without discrimination, a commitment to sustainable programming whenever possible, integrity, excellence, and organizational transparency.


1.1.1 MSROs should have a written mission, vision, and/or values statement.


Guidance & Resources


Mission, Vision and Values Statement - Definitions

Organizations should have written mission, vision and values statements that define the organization by communicating why the organization exists (mission), where the organization is going (vision), and what it stands for (values).

(Source: NH Center for Nonprofits)

Code of Ethics for nonprofits - Why your nonprofit may want to adopt a statement of values. 

This resource from the National Council of Nonprofits offers guidance regarding the benefits and need for a values statement in addition to multiple examples and resources.

(Source: National Council for Nonprofits)

Tips for Developing Mission Statements

This resource provides ideas not only for drafting your mission statement but also for ensuring your board and staff are consistently referring back to the mission statement.

(Source: BoardSource).


Guide to Creating Mission and Vision Statements

This resource is a comprehensive guide to building a mission statement.


Nonprofit Board Member Codes of Conduct and Ethics

Nonprofit board members should meet established standards of conduct as they carry out their board responsibilities.  This resource provides practical tips as well as sample codes of ethics.

(Source: BoardSource)



1.2 Governance – Anti-Discrimination

Organizations are encouraged to have a strong commitment to honoring diversity in the workplace and should adopt an anti-discrimination policy that applies to directors, employees, and volunteers.


1.2.1 MSROs should have a written anti-discrimination policy.


Guidance & Resources

Organizations' policies, practices, and procedures should reflect their anti-discrimination policy as it applies to the organization at all levels. The MSRO should have a written anti-discrimination policy.


Sample Anti Discrimination Policy

This template provides a framework for developing anti-discrimination policy.  It does not constitute legal advice. 



U.S. Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Q & A

This website is run by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and provides answers to common questions regarding anti-discrimination laws.

(Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

1.3 Governance – Bylaws and Board

Organizations shall be governed fairly, impartially, and responsibly by an independent board of directors.


1.3.1 MSROs should have written bylaws.  


1.3.2 MSROs should be governed by a board of directors.


Guidance & Resources


Organization bylaws should address the Board of Director's responsibilities including, but not limited to, board member election, appointment, roles and responsibilities, term limits, hiring the executive director, and other board duties


Nonprofit Startup Resources

Grant Space, a resource of the Foundation Center, provides resources for starting a nonprofit including checklists, nonprofit associations, legal support, and government agencies. 

(Source: Foundation Center)


Incorporation & Bylaws

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits offers a simple bylaws development guide and template.

(Source: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits)


Roles and Responsibilities Resources and Tools 

This resource provides downloadable resources, templates, checklists, guides, and tools. The site also provides links to in-depth reports and tools available to members.

(Source: BoardSource)

1.4 Governance – Financial Accountability

Organizations shall conduct their finances in a way that ensures the appropriate use of funds and accountability to donors.

1.4.1 Organizations shall have an annual audited financial statement, with the audit being conducted by an independent certified public accountant.

1.4.2 Organizations should comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

1.4.3 Organizations’ audited financial statement should be available upon request.



Guidance and Resources


Organizations should have written accounting policies and procedures. The resources below provide guidelines for nonprofit boards, staff, and stakeholders responsible for financial oversight of the organization.  They are not a substitute for professional accounting services.


Nonprofit Accounting Basics

Nonprofit Accounting Basics is a resource designed by the Greater Washington Society of CPAs
Educational  Foundation to help nonprofits produce accurate records and reports, encourage and measure accountability, and successfully manage and sustain a nonprofit organization. The guidance provided on this site does not replace professional accounting services.  

(Source: Greater Washington Society of CPAs Educational Foundation)


Nonprofit Financial Management

Boards of directors have a fiduciary duty to ensure that the assets of a charitable nonprofit are used in accordance with donors’ intent, and in support of the charitable mission. The National Council of Nonprofits financial management tools and resources address many aspects of managing nonprofit organization finance policies and practices. Some tools are designed for non-financial managers and board members.

(Source: National Council of Nonprofits)


Gifts-in-Kind: What are they worth? 

These articles identify various approaches to valuing GIKs, focusing on the large disparities between conclusions reached by NFPs, and questioning the application of U.S. GAAP to GIKs. 

(Source: Journal of Accountancy)

1.5 Governance – Good Donation Principles

Organizations should always respect the World Health Organization donation principles that form the basis for the responsible donation of good medical equipment, consumables, and pharmaceuticals.

1.5.1 Donations Based on Expressed Need: Donations of medical equipment, consumables, and pharmaceuticals should benefit the recipient to the maximum extent possible. All donations should be based on an expressed need. Unsolicited donations are discouraged. 

1.5.2 Donations Conform to Local Needs and Policies: Donations should be given with due respect for the wishes and authority of the recipient, and in conformity with the government policies and administrative arrangements of the recipient country. 

1.5.3 Effective Coordination and Collaboration: There should be effective coordination and collaboration between the donor and the recipient, with all donations being made in accordance with a plan formulated by both parties. 


1.5.4 No Double Standard in Quality: There should be no double standard in quality. If the quality of an item is unacceptable in the donor country, it is also unacceptable as a donation.

Guidance and Resources 


WHO Guidelines for Medicine Donations

The 3rd edition of Guidelines for Medicine Donations has been developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with major international agencies active in humanitarian relief and development assistance. The guidelines are intended to improve the quality of medicine donations in international development assistance and emergency aid. 

(Source: The World Health Organization)


WHO Donation of Medical Equipment

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a set of guidelines on appropriate donations of medical devices. This document provides an overview of the issues and challenges surrounding medical device donations and offers considerations and best practices that may be useful for making and soliciting donations. (Source: The World Health Organization)