GOA National Board Code of Conduct and Responsibilities

As a member of the Gift of Adoption Fund (GOA) National Board of Governors, I have an obligation to the organization I serve, to the general public, and to myself to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct. I will neither commit acts contrary to these standards nor will I condone the commission of such acts by others within the Organization. I have a responsibility to:


• Keep confidential information confidential unless legally obligated to do otherwise.

• Refrain from using or appearing to use confidential information acquired in the course of my service for unethical or illegal advantage either personally or through third parties.

Conflict of Interest

• Avoid direct or indirect, actual or apparent, conflicts of interest and advise all appropriate parties of any potential conflict, e.g.:

a. A GOA representative’s personal business provides goods or services to GOA for consideration.

b. A friend or relative of GOA representative provides goods or services to GOA for consideration.

c. A vendor or business acquaintance with which a GOA representative has an outside business relationship provides goods or services to the GOA for consideration.

• Refrain from engaging in any activity that would prejudice my ability or the ability of others to carry out duties ethically.

• Refuse any gift, favor, or hospitality that would influence or would appear to influence my actions or the actions of others, e.g. a GOA representative receives a referral fee or preferential discount, gift, or other valuable consideration from a vendor, paid promoter, fundraising event sponsor, or any other outside party, for referring Gift of Adoption business to such party.

• Refrain from engaging in electoral political activity, except for on a personal basis, provided the activities do not conflict with my ability to carry out GOA responsibilities or create confusion between positions or actions that are taken by me personally versus as a GOA representative.

• In the event any member of the National Grant Selection Committee, National or Chapter Board of Directors, staff, or any other person engaged in the determination of grant awards has a relationship with a Grant Applicant, whether personal or professional, that member must excuse him/herself from the decision making related to that applicant’s grant request.


• Refrain from violating any criminal or civil law or regulation.

• Disclose if I have ever been party to or convicted of any felony or crime of moral depravity.

• Refrain from either actively or passively subverting the attainment of GOA’s legitimate and ethical objectives.

• Refrain from engaging in or supporting any activity that would discredit GOA.

• Perform my duties in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, GOA policies and standards.

Represent the interests of all people served by GOA and not favor special interests inside or outside the organization.

Public Speaking

We honor the deeply personal nature of adoption and the many motivations that move individuals to adopt, become involved in the cause and/or financially support Gift of Adoption. In recognition of the unique inspiration and circumstances surrounding each adoption, our organizational culture reflects a profound commitment to honoring the diversity of experiences and motivations of all we are privileged to know and work with.  To reinforce this important dimension of our culture, our board has established the following policy guidelines that apply to those speaking publicly on Gift of Adoption’s behalf.

Gift of Adoption grants are awarded without regard to an applicant’s race, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, or sexual orientation.

We highly value and respect our diverse population of families, volunteers, donors and supporters.  We ask that anyone speaking publicly on our behalf to show respect for Gift of Adoption’s non-discriminatory grant making policy, even if it clashes with that person’s personal beliefs, political affiliations or expression of faith.

By agreeing to speak on behalf of GOA, the potential speaker agrees to share personal stories and motivations while avoiding partisan political statements or using the opportunity to evangelize for anything other than the cause of adoption.

Whistle-Blower Policy and Complaint Procedures

As a matter of general policy, the immediate supervisor will provide an open door for discussion and a receptive ear and will review all staff member/volunteer suggestions or complaints concerning our work practices and procedures.

If a staff member/volunteer wishes to make a formal complaint, it should be done within a reasonable time after the incident has occurred or the issue has arisen. We consider an open discussion between employee/volunteer and the immediate supervisor as the first step in the complaint procedure. The supervisor must respond to the complaint in a timely manner.

At this point, the complaint must be submitted in writing, with the nature of the grievance clearly outlined. The immediate supervisor will investigate the complaint and notify the staff member/volunteer, in writing, of a decision within a reasonable amount of time. If the staff member/volunteer feels its complaint was not fully evaluated the next step would be to address the complaint to the Chief Executive Officer.

As a last resort, a staff member/volunteer may take a complaint to the National Board of Governors. The National Board of Governor’s decision constitutes the organization’s final word on the matter.

For concerns about financial irregularities, employees/volunteers are instructed to contact the Treasurer of the National Board of Governors. This is compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley: Section 301, which mandates organizations implement a system to allow employees to come forward with concerns surrounding accounting and auditing irregularities. Our organization encourages you to submit concerns and complaints regarding workplace issues, such as accounting discrepancies, fraud, accounting misrepresentations, auditing matters, accounting omissions, ethics violations, or any other financially related concerns you may have. If you have any other workplace concerns that are not financially related, please utilize our current procedures as described above. Your confidential report will be forwarded to the individuals our organization has deemed appropriate to review and respond to your concerns.

National Board Responsibilities

In serving on a GOA National Board of Governors, I agree to actively participate in carrying out the GOA mission and to fulfill the following duties to the best of my ability:


  1. Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities, such as reviewing the quarterly financial statements, approving a budget, developing fundraising goals for the organization and approving the annual audit, reviewing and monitoring board governance policies and providing general financial oversight of the organization.
  2. Act as an ambassador for Gift of Adoption by staying informed about the organization’s mission, policies and grant making process, introducing the organization to those in your network and promoting its mission.
  3. Sign a confidentiality and conflict of interest statement annually and submit to a background check during candidacy process and with each new (3 year) board term.
  4. Participate (by phone or in person) in at least 70% of board meetings. Attend at least 1 in person meeting annually, including 1 National Leadership Conference per 3 year term.
  5. Participate actively on at least one National Board Committee.
  6. Make a minimum cash donation of at least $5,000 annually. (Note 1)
  7. Raise at least an additional $5,000 annually. (Note 2)


  1. Personal Cash Gift: This annual board gift ($5,000) is separate from other cash gifts – i.e. chapter events, investor board membership, signature event sponsorship, etc. If a board member’s company has a matching gift program, this match is on top of the board member’s gift and counts toward the additional fundraising amount. The Year 1 board gift is pro-rated by appointment date as follows:Q1 (July – September): $5,000Q2 (October – December): $3,750 Q3 (January – March): $2,500.
  2. Fundraising: Fundraising goals and activities generally align with reaching one of the organization’s major development areas: national board, investor board, signature event sponsorship or chapter expansion.  The following are guidelines:
    1. Introduce and recruit a new National Board member: $5,000
    2. Introduce and recruit an Investor Board member: $2,500
    3. Introduce and recruit one Friend of the Fund: $1,000
    4. Recruit a Signature Event sponsor: Counted dollar-for-dollar contributed
    5. Enroll a Foundation Donor: Counted dollar-for-dollar contributed
    6. Recruit an emerging Chapter leader: $3,500
    7. Recruit a Chapter Board Member: $1,000
    8. Recruit a Keynote Speaker for a major GOA event or program:  $2,500
    9. Fundraising for a chapter or chapter event: Counted dollar-for-dollar raised