Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics


United Way of Greater Stark County (UWGSC) is committed to the highest ethical standards. Based upon the unique trust placed in UWGSC to serve the public good, we have a special obligation to act ethically.

The success of the United Way, and our reputation, depend upon the ethical conduct of everyone affiliated with UWGSC. Volunteers and staff set an example for each other by their pursuit of excellence in high standards of performance, professionalism, and ethical conduct.

The UWGSC Code of Ethics (Code) is based upon our mission and guided by our fundamental values of public trust, maximizing impact, open participation, ethical conduct, fulfilling commitments, partnership and collaboration. Detailed policies, guidelines, explanations, definitions and examples are often needed to bring these values into actual practice. While no document can anticipate all of the challenges that may arise, the Code communicates key principles and will assist UWGSC volunteers and staff in making good decisions that are ethical and in accordance with applicable legal requirements. All are encouraged to discuss any good decisions or any questions or concerns they have with a supervisor, the UWGSC President or the United Way Ethics Officer.

  1. PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT: A personal and professional commitment to integrity, honor and courtesy in all circumstances of performance and communications that will benefit each individual as well as the organization.
  2. ACCOUNTABILITY: UWGSC is responsible to its members which include donors, volunteers, United Way Service Providers, their clients and others who have placed faith in UWGSC to be good stewards of UWGSC finances, resources and services and shall make every effort to comply with all laws and regulations affecting UWGSC.
  3. SOLICITATION AND VOLUNTARY GIVING: The most responsive contributors are those who have the voluntary opportunity to become informed and involved. UWGSC, therefore, will refrain from any use of improper, deceptive or coercive fundraising activities.
  4. DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: UWGSC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to comply with all state and federal laws and regulations related thereto.
  5. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: UWGSC volunteers and staff shall avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest which would adversely affect the reputation of UWGSC or undermine the public’s trust, and shall disclose all known conflicts or potential conflicts of interest in any matter before the Board of Directors or a committee on which they may serve, and shall abstain from voting on any such conflict of interest. UWGSC volunteers and staff shall in no way receive personal benefits from decisions made by UWGSC. Employees must avoid appointments, including fiduciary appointments, which may harm United Way, conflict with the performance of their duties for United Way or otherwise interfere with their employment relationship with United Way. In the case of UWGSC employees, all fiduciary, community, and other appointments, except those on behalf of the employee’s immediate family members, must be approved by the employee’s supervisor prior to the employee’s acceptance of the appointment. Additionally, employees shall not utter, publish or permit themselves to be associated with any public or private statement or engage in any activity, whether or not on United Way time, which could reflect negatively on United Way, as solely determined by the United Way Board of Directors.
  6. DISCLOSURE OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: UWGSC volunteers and staff shall disclose any possible conflict of interest. In the course of meetings and activities, staff and volunteers shall disclose any interest in a transaction or decision where the individual’s personal, business, employer, family, not-for-profit affiliation or close associates will receive a benefit or gain. After disclosure, volunteers will be permitted to participate in the discussion, but will not be permitted to vote on the question. Volunteers shall leave the room for the vote if the individual so desires. Staff, Board of Directors, Officers and volunteers making funding decisions, must disclose in writing any possible conflicts and sign that they have reviewed the Code of Ethics annually.
  7. USE OF ASSETS: UWGSC volunteers and staff shall not use United Way assets for personal or professional gain. These assets include, but are not limited to, copiers, printers, donor data, automobile(s), facilities, computers, United Way’s Internet connection, phones, cellular phones, office supplies, cash or investments, credit cards or bank accounts.
  8. CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY: UWGSC volunteers and staff shall respect the privacy rights of all individuals and shall ensure that all information, which is privileged, remains so.
  9. WHISTLER BLOWER PROTECTION: UWGSC recognizes that from time to time staff, volunteers or members of the public may be aggrieved over the actions of the United Way, a volunteer or staff member. UWGSC aims to resolve these grievances and has a series of internal policies and procedures designed to achieve satisfactory resolution. In addition, depending on the nature of the grievance or concern, an aggrieved person may lodge a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, The United Way of America or any other local, state or federal regulatory agency. In compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1514A), UWGSC established procedures to facilitate the making of disclosures. This provides protection from retribution to persons who seek to make disclosures of wrong doing against a staff member, Officer, Board member or volunteer. This policy does not replace the existing grievance process. It is to be followed only if a staff member, volunteer or member of the public elects to make a disclosure of suspected or alleged corrupt or improper conduct and seeks protection under the Act.
  10. ETHICAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES: UWGSC strives for the highest ethical management. These include Board approved processes and procedures for the accuracy of the books, record retention, standards for expense reports, proper use of United Way assets and protecting proprietary information.
  11. PUBLIC INFORMATION: The goal of UWGSC is full transparency of activity. Donors, volunteers or the general public may request and should receive promptly public information including the United Way’s IRS 990 form, Audited Financial Statement, list of Board of Directors, annual agency allocations, overhead percentage and cost deduction for designated funds. Individuals may request and should receive clarity of any information. UWGSC may protect proprietary information.
  12. POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: As a charitable corporation, UWGSC observes all federal and state laws and regulations related to political contributions.


UWGSC staff is encouraged to seek guidance from the Ethics Officer concerning the interpretation or application of this Code of Ethics. Any known or possible breach of the Code of Ethics should be disclosed. Staff should contact the Ethics Officer concerning any possible breach. The Code of Ethics is part of United Way’s personnel policies so that employees who violate the Code are subject to the disciplinary measures set forth in those policies up to and including termination.

Volunteers should contact the United Way Ethics Officer, who is charged with investigating any breach of the Code and recommending appropriate action based upon the policies of the organization. UWGSC will provide prompt and fair resolution of all reported breaches.

Bob Marks, Ethics Officer
United Way of Greater Stark County
4825 Higbee Ave NW
Canton, OH 44718

Back to Policies and Finance »