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Operational + Financial Transparency

As a public charity exempt from taxes, Connect Northshore upholds the values of accountability and transparency as principles of ethical leadership and as part of our legal obligation. Our leadership believes that financial transparency is essential in maintaining the trust that our donors place in us with each contribution. Moreover, this transparency and accountability foster a positive work culture, encouraging the trust of our employees and volunteers. Earning this trust goes beyond legal requirements – it reflects our dedication to ethical conduct. We ensure that certain financial information is available to the public upon request, and our board members have access to additional financial data to fulfill their fiduciary duties.

In line with this, Connect Northshore has adopted the best practices and guiding principles of The National Council of Nonprofits.

What must a nonprofit disclose to the public?

Upon request, tax-exempt nonprofits must provide copies of the three most recent annual information returns (IRS Form 990) and the organization's application for tax-exemption (which includes correspondence with the IRS related to the application). In our commitment to transparency, we aim to make access to this information easy by providing these documents on our website.

Learn more about the IRS public disclosure requirements.

Ten additional ways we demonstrate financial transparency

  1. We are honest in our solicitation materials and clear in our communications with donors about how their gifts are being used.
  2. We have adopted a conflict of interest policy with a disclosure statement that all board and staff review annually.
  3. We have an executive compensation policy to ensure that the full board approves the compensation of the executive director/CEO.
  4. Our board of directors reviews timely financial reports and the IRS Form 990 before filing.
  5. We have adopted sound financial management policies, including internal controls, to ensure accountability.
  6. We are clear about who is accountable for expenditures by adopting expense policies, such as a travel expense reimbursement policy.
  7. We are open about our tax-exempt status on our organization's website.
  8. We are transparent about our board of directors by publishing a list of their names.
  9. We provide, upon request, timely financial information, such as a copy of our recent IRS Form 990, audited financial statements, and annual reports, as applicable.
  10. We respond appropriately to requests for copies of financial reports, as required by the IRS public disclosure requirements.

Privacy + Privileged Information

Given the nature of our work supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, including mental health services and advocacy work, we are bound by privacy laws. These laws prohibit us from disclosing certain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about those we assist without their express written consent. To respect these legal and ethical standards, we will only disclose audited public financials. Connect Northshore does not operate an "open book" policy to protect the sensitive information about those we serve.

The Donor's Bill of Rights

Donor's Bill of Rights Credits: AFP, AHP, CASE, and Giving Institute Logos

PHILANTHROPY is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.

To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.

To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.

To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.

To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.

To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.

To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board ,and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.

To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.

To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.