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Whistleblower Policy


The Delaware County Foundation is committed to lawful and ethical behavior in all of its activities and requires directors, volunteers, consultants, and employees to act in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies and to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. 

Whistleblower Policy and Procedures 

The objectives of the Foundation’s Whistleblower Policy are to establish policies and procedures to prevent or detect and correct improper activities, encourage each Foundation director, officer, employee, and volunteer to report what he or she in good faith believes to be a material violation of law or policy or questionable accounting or auditing matter by the Foundation, ensure the receipt, documentation, retention of records, and resolution of reports received under this policy, and protect Reporting Individuals from retaliatory action.

Reporting Responsibility 

Each Reporting Individual has an obligation to report what he or she believes is a material violation of law or policy or any questionable accounting or auditing matter by the Foundation, its officers, directors, employees, volunteers, agents, or other representatives. Reporters must also notify the Foundation if an action needs to be taken in order for the Foundation to be in compliance with law or policy or with generally accepted accounting practices.  Examples of concerns that should be reported include, but are not limited to the following:

  • False or misleading information in the Foundation’s financial documents, grant reports, tax returns, or other public documents
  • False information to or withholding material information from the Foundation’s auditors, accountants, lawyers, Board of Directors, or other representatives responsible for ensuring the Foundation’s compliance with fiscal and legal responsibilities
  • Embezzlement, private benefit, or misappropriation of funds
  • Material violation of foundation policies such as confidentiality, conflict of interest, ethics, whistleblower, and document retention
  • Facilitation or concealing any of the above or similar actions.


Any person who has a good faith concern should promptly advise the Foundation’s President.  If the President is unresponsive or is the subject of the concern, the report should be made to the Foundation’s Chairman of the Board. 

Whenever practical, reports should be in writing. Reports may be submitted anonymously. Because it is impossible to seek additional information from a reporting individual about anonymous reports, such reports should include as much specific information as possible. 

Investigating a Complaint

The Foundation will investigate all reports filed in accordance with this policy with due care and promptness. The scope and other details of every investigation will depend on the nature of the report and the related circumstances.  

The Finance/Audit Committee will oversee the intake of and response to complaints concerning financial matters; the Executive Committee will oversee all other complaints.   The assigned Committee will evaluate and investigate the allegations of misconduct as expeditiously as practicable.  If the assigned Committee determines the complaint is outside its scope of responsibility or the matter for other reasons is best investigated by another party, it will refer the complaint accordingly for investigation.  Such appropriate parties could include outside legal counsel, accountants, or private investigators.

Responding to a Complaint

Complaints will be addressed in a timely manner, and the individual, if identified, bringing a complaint will receive a response.  The Committee will maintain a record of all such complaints and concerns, along with the investigative outcomes, on a confidential basis, except as provided below.  Individuals bringing a complaint should, in good faith, participate in any subsequent activities necessary to investigate the complaint.

Conflicts of Interest 

If the complaint involves the President, the board chair, or anyone charged with investigating the report, the involved individual(s) will not be permitted to participate in the consideration of the compliant or determine the action to be taken in response. In the event that the board chair has a conflict of interest, the investigation will be assigned by the next individual on the following list without a conflict of interest: nominating and governance committee chair or president.


Reports, and investigations pertaining thereto, shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. However, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation, the Foundation cannot guarantee complete confidentiality.   If it is necessary to disclose the complaining party’s name in order to fully investigate the complaint, the Committee or other party investigating the complaint will seek the complaining party’s consent to such disclosure prior to proceeding and, should consent be given, limit such disclosure as much as possible while accomplishing the objectives of the investigation.  Persons reporting allegations of wrongdoing should be aware that protecting the identity of the reporting individual cannot be guaranteed if the allegation of wrongdoing results in a public investigation.

Disclosure of information relating to an investigation under this policy by Foundation staff, directors, or others involved with the investigation to individuals not involved in the investigation will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.

Whistleblower Protection

No director, volunteer, or employee who makes a report in good faith under this policy shall be threatened, discriminated against or otherwise subject to retaliation.  A volunteer or employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a concern in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including dismissal from the volunteer position or termination of employment. The Foundation will treat retaliation as a separate and independent violation of this policy. Whistleblowers who believe that they have been retaliated against may file a written complaint with the CEO or Board Chair. 

Other Protected Conduct

Protection under this policy also extends to any director, officer, employee, agent, professional advisor, volunteer, or other member of the Foundation community who:

  • files, testifies, or participates in a proceeding relating to possible fraudulent or dishonest conduct or suspected violations of the law
  • refuses to engage in improper activities that are reportable under this Policy, or 
  • refuses to carry out a directive in furtherance of fraudulent or dishonest conduct or other violations of law.

Acting in Good Faith 

Anyone reporting under this policy must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the mater raised is a serious violation of law or policy or a material accounting or auditing matter. The act of making allegations that prove to be unsubstantiated, and that prove to have been made maliciously, recklessly, with gross negligence, or with the foreknowledge that the allegations are false, will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.


The Foundation shall retain all complaints and reports under this policy for a minimum of two years.

Amended 3.17.21