The Council on Foundations promotes the highest standards of ethical behavior. In recognition of the importance of philanthropy to advance the greater good and support those we serve, we aspire to consistently:

Practice our profession with integrity, honesty, and a commitment to maintaining and strengthening public trust in our institutions;

Place philanthropic mission above institutional and personal self-interest;

Understand, apply, and evolve best practices;

Establish and enforce high-integrity operating standards and effective ethical standards in our organizations, including whistleblower policies, codes of conduct, anti-discrimination, and conflict of interest policies;

Operate inclusive and equitable organizations that nurture and grow a diverse community of skilled philanthropic professionals;

Respect the dignity, privacy, beliefs, and cultures of our varied constituencies — including the people we serve, our employees, donors, and volunteers.

These ethical principles were developed in 2022 by members of the Council’s Ethics Task Force and approved by the Council Board. As a condition of membership, Council members agree to meet these principles as a way of building trust in philanthropy as we collectively work to advance the greater good.

About the Ethics Task Force


Connect with Council Staff