Does Your Organization Have Policies?

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The existence of written policies and procedures is an indicator of a nonprofit organization’s commitment to good stewardship and accountability.

Below is a list of written policies and procedures that every nonprofit organization should have.

Accounting procedures
Documents the internal accounting procedures to ensure a proper segregation of duties, as well as, who is responsible.

Allocation policy
Describes the method for allocating shared expenses across programs and departments.

Board roles and responsibilities
Describes expectations and duties of board members.

Capitalization policy
Sets a dollar amount and useful life in number of years for purchases that will be capitalized as opposed to expensed when purchased.

Conflict of interest policy
Requires board members and management to disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

Disaster recovery plan
Describes a plan of action to continue to carry out the organization’s mission after a disaster.

Document retention and destruction policy
Describes how, where, and for how long the organization’s documents are kept, as well as, how and when documents are destroyed. It should also include a statement that all destruction will be suspended immediately upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent.

Endowment policy (if have an endowment)
Describes the purpose of the endowment, how funds are to be invested, and the spending policy so that the funds are prudently managed.

Gift acceptance policy
Sets forth the organization’s policy on accepting noncash gifts.

Investment policy
Details how the organization’s assets will be invested, goals of the investment and the organization’s fiduciary responsibilities related to the investments.

IT and Internet security plan
Details specific security steps to prevent unauthorized access to the organization’s computer network, as well as, performing backups and employee email and internet usage.

Job descriptions
Describes roles and responsibilities for each employee.

Personnel policy manual
Sets guidelines for employees within the organization including but not limited to dress requirements, working hours, confidential information, vacation and benefits, holidays, sick leave, medical leave, discipline and employee evaluations.

Petty cash fund policy
Describes the purpose of the petty cash fund and the reimbursement procedures, as well as, how the fund is replenished.

Strategic plan
Describes future goals for the organization, how it is going to accomplish the goals and how it will determine if it has met the goals.

Whistleblower policy
Provides a procedure for reporting violations, as well as, prohibiting retaliation against the individual.

990 review procedures
Describes how the governing board reviews Form 990 prior to filing with the IRS.

Posted by: Carrie Minnich, CPA

Posted in Mission Minded Nonprofits

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