The Pittsburgh Foundation

Code of Ethics

Our Code of Ethics

  1. Personal and Professional Integrity

    All staff, board members and volunteers of The Pittsburgh Foundation (“Foundation”) act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the Foundation. The Foundation promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness and integrity.

  2. Mission

    The Foundation has a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by the Board of Directors, in pursuit of the public good. All of its programs support the mission and all who work for or on behalf of the Foundation understand and are loyal to the mission and purpose. The mission is responsive to the constituency and communities served by the Foundation and of value to the society at large.

  3. Governance

    The Foundation has an active governing body that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the Foundation and oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of the Foundation. The governing body:

    • Ensures that its board members 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 Foundation and its public purpose;
    • Has a conflict of interest policy that ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means; and
    • Is responsible for the hiring, firing, and regular review of the performance of the chief executive officer (CEO), and ensures that the compensation of the chief executive officer is reasonable and appropriate;
    • Ensures that the CEO 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 Foundation conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
    • Ensures that the Foundation promotes working relationships with board members, staff, volunteers, and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness;
    • Ensures that the Foundation is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for all board, staff and volunteer positions;
    • Ensures that policies of the Foundation are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted;
    • Ensures that the resources of the Foundation are responsibly and prudently managed; and,
    • Ensures that the Foundation has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively.
  4. Legal Compliance

    The Foundation is knowledgeable of and complies with all laws, regulations and applicable international conventions.

  5. Responsible Stewardship

    • The Foundation manages its funds responsibly and prudently;
    • The Foundation spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission;
    • The Foundation spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management;
    • The Foundation compensates staff, and any others who may receive compensation, reasonably and appropriately;
    • The Foundation has reasonable fund raising costs;
    • The Foundation prudently draws from endowment funds consistent with donor intent and to support the public purpose of the Foundation;
    • The Foundations ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the Foundation; and,
    • All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
  6. Openness and Disclosure

    The Foundation provides comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media, and all stakeholders and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information. All information about the Foundation will fully and honestly reflect the policies and practices of the Foundation. Basic informational data about the Foundation, such as the Form 990, reviews and compilations, and audited financial statements will be posted on the Foundation’s website or is otherwise available to the public. All solicitation materials accurately represent the Foundation’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.

  7. Program Evaluation

    The Foundation regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs. The Foundation is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and develops mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and the field. The Foundation is responsive to changes in its field of activity and is responsive to the needs of its constituencies.

  8. Inclusiveness and Diversity

    The Foundation has a policy of promoting inclusiveness and its staff, board and volunteers reflect diversity in order to enrich its programmatic effectiveness. The Foundation takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its hiring, retention, promotion, board recruitment and constituencies served.

  9. Fundraising

    The Foundation is truthful in their solicitation materials. The Foundation respects the privacy concerns of individual donors and expends funds consistent with donor intent. The Foundation discloses important and relevant information to potential donors.

    In raising funds from the public, the Foundation respects the rights of donors, as follows:

    • To be informed of the mission of the Foundation, the way the resources will be used and their capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes;
    • To be informed of the identity of those serving on the Foundation’s governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
    • To have access to the Foundation’s most recent financial reports;
    • To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given;
    • To receive appropriate acknowledgement 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 organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature;
    • To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the Foundation or hired solicitors;
    • To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from lists that the Foundation may intend to share; and,
    • To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
  10. Grantmaking Guidelines

    In making grants, the Foundation respects the rights of grant seekers and grantees as follows:

    • The Foundation has constructive relations with grant seekers based on mutual respect and shared goals;
    • The Foundation communicates clearly and on a timely basis with potential grantees;
    • The Foundation treats grant seekers and grantees fairly and with respect;
    • The Foundation respects the expertise of grant seekers in their fields of knowledge;
    • The Foundation seeks to understand and respect the organizational capacity and needs of grant seeking organizations; and,
    • The Foundation respects the integrity of the mission of grant seeking organizations.