Illinois Nonprofit Principles and Best Practices

We first introduced the Preserving the Public Trust Initiative to help nonprofit organizations -- including grantmakers -- take specific, concrete steps to ensure adherence to high ethical standards and strong governance principles.

The Initiative is a call for all nonprofits to strive for excellence in realizing their missions, managing resources effectively, and governing well. As part of the Public Trust Initiative, in 2004 we published Illinois Nonprofit Principles and Best Practices.

The principles cover a wide range of important issues -- including board governance, legal compliance, responsible stewardship, and communication -- and go beyond the federal, state, and local laws.

The best practices are specific steps organizations can take to implement the principles. Endorsed by the Illinois Attorney General, Illinois Nonprofit Principles and Best Practices was updated in April, 2008 to reflect recent legislative and regulatory changes and to align with a set of national principles published by Independent Sector.

About the Preserving the Public Trust Initiative

After a series of planning meetings and discussions with leaders in the sector, our Board of Directors created the Preserving the Public Trust Initiative and convened the Public Trust Task Force in mid-2004.
 
The 29-member task force represented Illinois’ philanthropic sector, and was charged with developing a set of guiding principles and best practices for nonprofit organizations in Illinois.
 
The result of their work is Illinois Nonprofit Principles and Best Practices, ten principles that address mission, governance, legal and regulatory compliance, and responsible stewardship of resources.
 
To develop these principles, listening sessions were convened throughout the state to solicit feedback and to determine what tools would be most useful for implementing the practices. 
 
The Preserving the Public Trust Initiative is part of a national effort to improve nonprofit management and governance. For more information on national efforts, see the links below for the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, the Council on Foundations, and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. 
 
The original work of the Preserving the Public Trust Initiative and the work that continues today is supported by generous grantmakers. 
 
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