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Recommended Best Practices

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust’s Board of Trustees believes that public trust and accountability are fundamental to a nonprofit’s legal, ethical, and fiduciary responsibilities. As such, Piper Trust requires grant recipients to enact the following best practices:

Form 990

The board, or audit committee, must review the nonprofit’s Form 990 tax return before submission.

Audit or Financial Review

A nonprofit with $2 million or more in annual revenue must have an independent annual audit and should establish an audit committee with financially literate membership.

Nonprofits with annual revenue between $500,000 and $2 million must have financial statements reviewed by an independent certified public accountant.

Conflict of Interest

The nonprofit must adopt a strict conflict of interest policy that includes annual disclosure by staff and board.

CEO Compensation

The full board of the nonprofit must approve any change in the CEO’s compensation.

Expense/Travel Reimbursement Policy

The nonprofit must have expense/travel reimbursement policies with clear guidelines on types of expenses that can be reimbursed and documentation required for reimbursement.

Board Composition

The nonprofit must have a minimum of three members on its governing board, and at least one-third of the members should be independent.

Whistleblower Policy

Nonprofits should establish policies and procedures that encourage individuals to come forward with credible information about illegal actions or violations of adopted policies. The policy should apply to staff, board, and volunteers.

More Information

View Independent Sector’s robust report on strong financial oversight, legal compliance, effective governance, and more in Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice.

Find specific information and examples of policies on Independent Sector’s website: