Standards for Charity Accountability & Transparency
PIFFP, Inc. empowers a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity’s operations and its staff. Adequate oversight includes, regularly scheduled appraisals of the Executive Director’s performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fundraising practices, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.
PIFFP, Inc. empowers a board of directors with a minimum of three voting members. Five voting members will be seated on the board once annual gross income meets or exceeds $500,000. A quorum is required to substantiate a vote.
PIFFP, Inc. schedules a minimum of four board meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance. A conference call of the full board can substitute for meetings when necessary.
PIFFP, Inc. has a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization’s performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve the mission. A written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment will be created with recommendations for future actions.
PIFFP follows the PetSmart Charities business model. Note: PetSmart Charities, which is the largest fundraiser and grantor in animal welfare in the United States, meets the Accredited Charities Standards. Contributions to PetSmart Charities include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fundraising efforts. PetSmart Charities spends at least 65% of its total budget on program activities and spends no more than 35% on fund raising and administration. PIFFP, Inc. has adopted the same “customary and reasonable” standard as the aforementioned PetSmart Charities standard for general contributions only. General contributions include but are not limited to private donations, fundraising efforts and honorarium/legacy gifts. General Contributions will be applied to “programs.”
All grants gifted to PIFFP, Inc. require grant writing, administration of the grant, implementation of a specific program and final reporting. For this collective effort, human resource requirements present a monetary cost to PIFFP, Inc. The organization will not charge a fee that’s based on a percentage of the amount of the grant award. This is to avoid the suggestion that the amount that a Grantor is requested to provide is in some way inflated to cover these costs. Therefore, all grant requests will have a flat fee assessed contingent on the requirement of time and effort in direct correlation to the proposed program(s). Example: Based on the same human resource requirement and expenses, Grantors can be assured that a $10,000 gift will be handled the same as a $50,000 gift. Final Reporting for all grants is submitted to the grantor at the 1 year anniversary of the award or up to 60 days after all funds have been spent. For complete transparency, reporting will include an itemized budget of all expenses with receipts if appropriate. An administration fee is published upon final reporting. A summary of successes and/or accomplishment is included in final reporting.
Donors that are familiar with current or future programs may direct a donation to a specific program for funding. Donations will be applied to the specified program only. Donor directed dollars for special programs are managed in a separate account.
To avoid accumulating funds that could be used for immediate program activities. PIFFP, Inc. unrestricted, and available, net assets should not be more than three times the size of the past year’s expenses or three times the size of the current year’s budget, whichever is higher.
PIFFP, Inc. makes available to all, upon request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements will be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. If annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is an accepted standard. Should the annual gross income be less than $250,000, an internally produced, completed financial statement meets accepted standards.
Included in the financial statements is a breakdown of expenses that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to programs, fundraising, and administrative activities. Because PIFFP, Inc. has more than one major program category, the schedule will provide a breakdown for each category.
Solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, will be accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not be used. Additionally, PIFFP, Inc. will substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied for a specific solicitation/program.
PIFFP, Inc. makes an annual report available to all, upon request, that includes:
- The organization’s mission statement
- A summary of the past year’s program service accomplishments
- A roster of the officers and members of the board of directors
- Financial information that includes
- Total income in the past fiscal year
- Program(s) expenses
- Administrative categories – as in the financial statement
- Ending net assets
PIFFP, Inc. addresses privacy concerns of donors by providing in written appeals a check off box, for both new and continuing donors, to inform PIFFP, Inc. if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization. PIFFP, Inc. informs web site visitors what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used. Visitors to the web site receive instruction on how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections.