Code of Ethics
The values of The Pew Charitable Trusts are described in this Code of Ethics and implemented through Pew’s internal policies and practices. These values and the institution's commitment to the public interest inform and guide the actions of our board and staff.
Personal and Professional Integrity
The board and staff of Pew act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings on behalf of Pew. Pew promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness and the highest professionalism.
Pew has a clearly stated purpose, approved by its board of directors, to serve the public interest by providing information, advancing policy solutions and supporting civic life, all in the pursuit of the public good. Pew’s programs support that purpose and all who work for or on behalf of Pew understand and promote that mission.
Pew has a governing board of directors that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of Pew, as well as oversight of the policies, programs, finances and operations of Pew. Pew’s board works to ensure that:
- its board members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all directors understand and fulfill their responsibilities for the benefit of Pew and its public purposes;
- any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means pursuant to Pew's bylaws and board conflict of interest policy (for more read "Staff Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedure");
- Pew’s board is responsible for the hiring, firing and annual review of the performance of the CEO, including setting reasonable compensation;
- the CEO and appropriate staff provide the Pew board with timely and comprehensive information so that the governing body can effectively carry out its duties;
- Pew conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
- Pew promotes working relationships with board members, staff, grantees and partners that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness;
- Pew is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for all staff positions;
- policies of Pew are in writing, clearly articulated and properly adopted;
- the resources of Pew are responsibly and prudently managed; and
- Pew has the capacity to carry out its mission effectively.
Pew is knowledgeable of and complies with all applicable laws and regulations.
Pew manages funds responsibly and prudently by:
- spending a high percentage of its annual budget on programs that further the organization's mission;
- spending an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff and other expenditures critical to professional management;
- compensating staff, and any others who may receive compensation, reasonably and appropriately;
- maintaining appropriate operating revenues;
- respecting donor intent;
- working to ensure that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of Pew;
- ensuring that financial reports are accurate and complete in all material respects; and
- obtaining an annual third-party audit by a certified public accounting firm.
Pew provides detailed information to the public, the media and all stakeholders, and responds in a timely manner to all reasonable requests, including requests for the Form 990 annual tax return and audited financial statements. Information made available by Pew accurately reflects the policies and practices of the organization. All financial, organizational, and program reports are complete and accurate in all material respects.
Pew regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future initiatives. Pew is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and develops mechanisms to promote learning from its activities.
Nondiscrimination and Inclusiveness
Pew has a policy of nondiscrimination and promotes inclusiveness. Pew forbids discrimination based on race, creed, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, familial status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, and takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of staff.
Any fundraising materials of Pew are truthful and accurate. Pew respects the privacy concerns of donors and expends funds consistent with donor intent. Pew discloses important and relevant information to potential donors. In raising funds from the public, Pew respects the rights of donors to:
- be informed of the mission of Pew, the way resources will be used and Pew's capacity to use contributions effectively for their intended purposes;
- be informed of the identity of those serving on Pew's governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its responsibilities;
- have access to Pew's most recent audited financial statements;
- be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given;
- receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition;
- have their anonymity preserved if requested, to the extent permitted by applicable law; and
- expect that all relationships with individuals representing Pew will be characterized by the highest professionalism.
As an institution that makes grants, Pew assumes the following additional responsibilities in carrying out its charitable mission. Pew endeavors to:
- foster constructive relations with charitable partners based on mutual respect and shared goals;
- communicate clearly and on a timely basis with potential charitable partners; and
- treat grantseekers and charitable partners fairly and with respect.
This Code of Ethics is, by necessity, general in outlining broad ethical principles for Pew. Pew is guided by it as well as by other relevant standards for the charitable sector when responding to specific issues not explicitly mentioned above. Questions about the policy can be addressed to Pew’s managing director, Legal Affairs.