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NCVO launches Charity Ethical Principles

NCVO launches Charity Ethical Principles

launches its Charity Ethical Principles today (18 January) a benchmark of good practice aimed at helping charities become more inclusive, open and ethical in how they work and treat people.

Under the Charity Ethical Principles, formerly referred to as the Charity Code of , charities agree to put beneficiaries first, uphold the highest level of institutional integrity and personal conduct at all times, and commit to openness by creating a culture and space that makes it is clear to everyone how they work, deal with any problems, and spend their funds. Charities must also agree that every person that comes into contact with the charity should be treated with dignity and respect, and feel they are in a safe and supportive environment.

The Principles have been developed with sector engagement, led by Dame Mary Marsh, supported by NCVO and a wider advisory group representing the sector.

The guidance is intended as complementary to existing codes such as the Charity Governance Code, and is a voluntary framework. However, NCVO is encouraging all charity governing bodies, staff and volunteers to actively consider the principles and how they can integrate them throughout their work.

Each of the principles in the document is accompanied by guidance on how it can be upheld, providing broad, instructive statements that charities using the code should observe.

A summary of the feedback received during the development of the Principles has also been published today.

Dame Mary Marsh said:

“It has been a privilege to lead this important piece of work and I would like to thank all those who contributed so thoughtfully. These principles demonstrate how much we all want to live our values in everything we do and show the public that charities aim to be places where everyone meets the highest ethical standards.”

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said:

“NCVO is pleased to have supported the development of the Charity Ethical Principles. I hope they will be widely used by charities in their decision making and in the development of their policies and procedures. This work does not end here and we are open to further development of this important guidance once organisations have started to use it as part of their decision making.”

NCVO has also said that it sees the Charity Ethical Principles as a living document and encourages voluntary organisations using the principles in their work to email with any comments.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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