Code of Ethics

A Message from the United Way of Pickens County Board of Directors

At the core, to care for one another, we have to trust one another.

As volunteers, employees, and representatives of United Way of Pickens County, we have a responsibility to uphold the highest of ethical standards–both for ourselves and for the benefit of the community. We believe these standards go beyond compliance with laws and regulations–calling us to fulfill higher obligations as stewards of the public trust.

This Code of Ethics is an important way for us to reaffirm our ethical commitments. It sets forth the principles and standards that guide our decisions and actions. It is more than a set of standards and responsibilities. It is a way of connecting our values and our ideals with the work we do every day.

The Code is not just about what we should do, but why we do it.

Of course, no document can give us all the answers to our ethics questions. This Code is meant to help us further the discussion of ethics in our workplace. It also encourages us to seek guidance and clarification when we have questions about applying our principles and standards. The involvement of all our employees and volunteers is essential to upholding these principles and standards. Only by continuing to work together on these issues can we ensure that the United Way of Pickens County fulfills its commitment to build and maintain the public trust in all that we do.


United Way of Pickens County (UWPC) is committed to the highest ethical standards. Indeed, based on the unique trust placed in UWPC to serve the public good, we have a special obligation to act ethically.

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

This UWPC Code of Ethics (Code) is based on our mission and guided by our fundamental values. (See Our Core Values)

We are mindful that these core values must be clearly articulated, communicated and continuously reinforced. In addition, more 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 guidelines and will assist UWPC volunteers, staff and representatives in making good decisions that are ethical and in accordance with applicable legal requirements. All are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns they have with President or with the Board Chair.


A personal commitment to integrity in all circumstances benefits each individual as well as the organization. We therefore:
Strive to meet the highest standards of performance, quality, service and achievement in working towards the UWPC mission.
Communicate honestly and openly and avoid misrepresentation.
 Promote a working environment where honesty, open communication and minority opinions are valued.
Exhibit respect and fairness toward all those with whom we come into contact.


UWPC is responsible to its stakeholders, which include donors, partner agencies, and others who have placed faith in UWPC. To uphold this trust we:
Promote good stewardship of UWPC resources, including contributions and grants that are used to pay operating expenses, salaries, and employee benefits.
Refrain from using organizational resources for non-UWPC purposes.
Observe and comply with all laws and regulations affecting UWPC.


The most responsive contributors are those who have the opportunity to become informed and involved. We therefore:
Promote voluntary giving in dealing with donors and vendors.
Refrain from any use of coercion in fundraising activities, including predicating professional advancement on response to solicitations.


UWPC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the principle of diversity. We therefore:
 Value, champion, and embrace diversity in all aspects of UWPC activities and respect others without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
 Support affirmative action and equal employment opportunity programs throughout UWPC.
Refuse to engage in or tolerate in any other form of discrimination or harassment.


To avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest which could tarnish the reputation of UWPC as well as undermine the public’s trust in UWPC staff and representatives: 
Avoid any activity or outside interest which conflicts or appears to conflict with the best interest of UWPC, including involvement with a current or potential UWPC vendor, grantee, or competing organization unless disclosed to and not deemed to be inappropriate by the Board Chair.
 Ensure that outside employment and other activities do not adversely affect the performance of their UWPC duties or the achievement of UWPC’s mission. 
Ensure that travel, entertainment and related expenses are incurred on a basis consistent with the mission of UWPC and not for personal gain or interests. 
Decline any gift, gratuity or favor in the performance of UWPC duties except for promotional items of nominal value, and any food, transportation, lodging, or entertainment unless directly related to UWPC business.
 Refrain from influencing the selection of staff, consultants or vendors who are relatives or personal friends or affiliated with, employ, or employed by a person with whom they have a relationship that adversely affects the appearance of impartiality.


Should not knowingly take any action, or make any statement, intended to influence the conduct of UWPC in such a way to confer any financial benefit on themselves, their immediate family members or any organization in which they or their immediate family members have a significant interest as stakeholders, directors or officers. 
Disclose all known conflicts or potential conflicts of interest in any matter before the Board of Directors, if they are Board members, or any committee upon which they serve and withdraw from the meeting room during any discussion, review and voting in connection with such matters.
 Members of the Board shall annually file with the President a disclosure of all known potential conflicts of interest.


Confidentiality is a hallmark of professionalism. We therefore:
 Ensure that all information, which is confidential, privileged or nonpublic, is not disclosed inappropriately.
Respect the privacy rights of all individuals in the performance of their UWPC duties.


UWPC encourages individual participation in civic affairs. However, as a charitable organization, UWPC may not make contributions to any candidate for public office or political committee and may not intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. We therefore:
 Refrain from making any contributions to any candidate for public office or political committee on behalf of UWPC. 
Refrain from making any contributions to any candidate for public office or political committee in a manner that may create the appearance that the contribution is on behalf of UWPC.
 Refrain from using any organizational financial resources, facilities or personnel to endorse or oppose a candidate for public office.
 Clearly communicate that we are not acting on behalf of the organization, if identified as an official of UWPC, while engaging in political activities in an individual capacity. 
Refrain from engaging in political activities in a manner that may create the appearance that such activity is by or on behalf of UWPC.


Volunteers, staff, and representatives are encouraged to seek guidance from the President concerning the interpretation or application of this Code of Ethics. Any known or possible breaches of the Code of Ethics should be disclosed. Staff and representatives should contact the President. Volunteers should contact the Board Chair. Reports of possible breaches will be handled in the following manner: 
All reports of possible breaches will be treated in confidence as much as the organization’s duty to investigate and the law allow. If confidentiality cannot be maintained, the individual disclosing the possible breach will be notified.
All reported breaches will be investigated and, if needed, appropriate action taken based upon the policies of the organization.
Retaliation against a person who suspects and reports a Breach in good faith will be treated as an independent breach of the Code. 
UWPC affirms prompt and fair resolution of all reported breaches.


Candidate for Public Office: An individual who offers herself or himself or is proposed by others as a contestant for an elected public office, whether such office is federal, state or local.

Contribution, political: Anything of value, including monetary and in-kind gifts, provided for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election.

Donors: All individuals and entities that make charitable or in-kind contributions to UWPC.

Immediate family members: An individual’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, and spouses of children and siblings.

Nonpublic Information: Any business, financial, or personal information, which is not publicly known or available.

Political Committee: Any party, committee, association, fund or other organization organized and operated primarily for accepting contributions to influence the selection, nomination, or election of any individual to any federal, state or local office.

Privileged Information: Information that is protected from involuntary disclosure by legally recognized privileges such as attorney-client, doctor-patient, and others.

Promotional Items of Nominal Value: Gifts used to promote an organization’s name, products, or services which have a retail value of $25 or less.

Representatives: Individuals who provide personal services to UWPC as independent contractors, consultants or loaned executives.

Staff: All individuals who provide services to UWPC as employees or leased employees.

Vendors: Entities which provide goods and services to UWPC for a fee.

Volunteers: All members of the UWPC Board of Directors and committees appointed by the Board of Directors, who perform their UWPC duties without compensation, as well as any individual who provides service to UWPC without compensation.