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Law, Ethics, and Board Governance in Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations typically focus on fundraising and program delivery. Less attention is given to foundational principles essential to advancing and protecting an organization. As a result, many nonprofits, while acting in good faith, drift outside the boundaries of legal compliance, ethical integrity, and effective governance. They risk reputational damage and contribute to declining public trust in the nonprofit sector. While Boards of Directors have ultimate responsibility in this regard; they are the last stop in the chain of accountability, staff members, as well, must be aware of their obligations.
This course seeks to address this problem. It will provide students with an understanding of the sector’s legal, ethical, and governance framework. The course is designed for employees working for a nonprofit, board members, or those looking to enter the nonprofit world. The main topics will include the nonprofit board of directors (structures, functions, roles, and responsibilities); federal regulations; New York State regulations; financial oversight; and ethics. In addition to practical matters, the course will address theoretical questions, such as what constitutes an ethical culture, whether self-regulation works, and what the future holds for nonprofit governance.

  • Governance and board directors 
  • The practice of governance 
  • Federal law and nonprofit organizations 
  • State law and nonprofit organizations 
  • Ethics and the nonprofit sector 
  • Case studies in ethical decision making

This course is eligible towards the completion of the Certificate in Fundraising . Bundle your coursework and earn a professional credential that communicates knowledge and skills gained. Declared Certificate students receive 10% off of courses within the program.
Note: Full participation in Law, Ethics, and Board Governance in Philanthropic Organizations is applicable for 15 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • The ability to protect donor interests
  • Knowledge of how to be accountable to donors and the public
  • An understanding of federal laws affecting the nonprofit sector and the responsible agencies
  • Applied knowledge of ethical decision making

Ideal for

  • Fundraisers
  • Nonprofit volunteers

1 section

  • Fall 2024

    • Section

    • Semester

      Fall 2024
    • Date

      Oct 29 - Dec 10
    • Day

    • Time

      • Online
    • Format

      • Online
    • Sessions

    • Faculty

      Higdon, Timothy
    • Location

      Instructor Led