Conflict of Interest

Numerous blogs, articles and books have been written about conflicts of interest. Numerous workshops, seminars and webinars have also been presented on the subject. Yet, hardly a week goes by without the media identifying where an individual or individual’s handling of a conflict of interest, whether actual or perceived, ended up harming an organization.

 It is essential that a non-profit/not-for-profit adopt and implement policies to ensure that all conflicts of interest (real or perceived) within the board are appropriately addressed with signed disclosures before a problem arises. Along with the conflict of interest statement, there should also be a completed and signed statement of disclosure that addresses specific potential conflicts of interest.

 The common sense reasons for this are as follows:

  1. Conflicts of interest can be potential, perceived or material and need to be addressed.
  2. Not all conflicts of interest are illegal or unethical, but often are unavoidable.
  3. How the board handles a conflict of interest reflects on the organization.
  4. Only board members who do not have a conflict of interest should vote when the situation arises.
  5. Those with a conflict should recuse themselves for discussions and voting on the matter.
  6. A written signed conflict of interest statement serves as a guide to addressing situations where a conflict of interest can arise.

 How does your organization handle a conflict of interest?

 Contact me if you would like a sample copy of a conflict of interest statement and/or a statement of disclosure at

About caseywheeler

My interests include: Model trains, Reading, Genealogy, New York Yankees and helping organizations be successful.
This entry was posted in Board Governance, Leadership, Policies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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