Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

What Are the Principles?

The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising. The Principles should be considered by every charitable organization as a guide for strengthening its effectiveness and accountability. The Principles were developed by the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector in 2007 and updated in 2015 to reflect new circumstances in which the charitable sector functions, and new relationships within and between the sectors.

33 Principles

Digital Resources

Principles digital resources support your organization’s efforts to understand and implement recommendations made in the 33 Principles. Visit the Principles Resource Center for to download the guide, reference edition, and get more than 300 other digital resources and tools to help guide your organization in good governance and ethical practice



Publication and dissemination of the Principles was made possible through the generous support of:

  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Hogan Lovells
  • The James Irvine Foundation
  • Lilly Endowment, Inc.
  • Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Otto Bremmer Foundation
  • The Wallace Foundation

Independent Sector works in collaboration with state nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to distribute co-branded versions of Principles across the country. Current co-branding partners include:

  • Florida Philanthropic Network
  • Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Idaho Nonprofit Center
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • Nonprofit Association of Oregon