Progressive Multiplier Conflict of Interest Policy

Purpose:  The purpose of the conflict of interest policy is to protect the interest of Progressive Multiplier Fund and Progressive Multiplier Action Fund (the “Corporation”) when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an officer or director of the Corporation or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction.  This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state and federal laws governing conflict of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable Corporations.

Policy:  Anyone making decisions on behalf of the Corporation should always act based on the best interests of the organization, and no individual associated with the Corporation should use her position for personal benefit, for the benefit of friends or relatives, or to further any outside interests or personal agenda.  This standard applies to all transactions and decisions, whether or not covered by the detailed policies and procedures below.

Definitions:

(A)          An interested person may be a director, officer, member of a committee or staff member of the Corporation.

(B)          A potential conflict of interest exists whenever the personal, professional or financial interest of an interested person is opposed to that of the organization, or when such an interest or any conflicting fiduciary duty might influence the interested person’s actions and judgment on behalf of the Corporation.  A potential conflict also exists when there is an appearance that an interested person’s actions may be influenced by a competing interest or duty.

(C)          A conflict of interest exists whenever an interested person’s competing interest or fiduciary duty is substantial enough that the interested person cannot reasonably be expected to exercise independent judgment and take action in the best interest of the Corporation.

Conflicts of interest most frequently arise in (but are in no way limited to) the context of:

  • decisions about an interested person’s compensation (as a contractor or employee);
  • decisions about transactions with entities in which an interested person holds an ownership interest;
  • decisions about transactions with an entity by which an interested person is employed.

Conflicts (or the appearance of conflicts) may also arise when the Corporation is contemplating a transaction with a close relative or domestic partner of an interested person, or any entity in which such a related person has an ownership interest or which employs such a person.

Conflicts of interest will generally not be considered to arise when the potential benefit to the interested person is tenuous or remote, such as an interested person with investments in a mutual fund which holds a small amount of stock in a particular company. In addition, the fact that an interested person is also a director, officer, member or volunteer of a not-for-profit organization that obtains or seeks funds from institutions or individuals from which the Corporation also obtains or seeks funds shall not by itself be deemed to be a conflict of interest if there are otherwise no indications that the interested person has a conflict of interest.

Procedure: Board:  Whenever a director, officer, or committee member becomes aware of a potential conflict of interest, whether financial or otherwise, s/he shall make the situation known to the board or committee (as the case might be) and provide all facts material to understanding the nature and scope of the conflict, including whether the interested person believes his or her ability to make an independent decision based solely on the best interest of the Corporation has been compromised.  If the interested person involved does not make this disclosure, another director or committee member with knowledge of the potential conflict should draw it to the body’s attention.

The interested person with the potential conflict must retire from the meeting and not participate in final discussion and voting on the existence of the conflict.  If a conflict is found to exist, the interested person may be invited to provide any relevant information that could be of use to the board in making its decision, but shall again retire and not participate in the final discussion and voting regarding the transaction.  The board or committee’s decision shall be based on consideration of whether the transaction:

  1. is in the organization’s best interest and for its own benefit;
  2. is fair and reasonable to the organization; and
  3. is the most advantageous transaction or arrangement the organization can obtain with reasonable efforts under the circumstances.

The minutes of the board or committee reflect that the conflict of interest was disclosed, the resolution of the conflict of interest and determinations made, and that the interested person did not vote and was not present during deliberations and vote. If alternative transactions were required to be considered due to the presence of a substantial financial interest, the minutes shall document such consideration as well.

Procedure:  Staff:  Whenever a staff member becomes aware of a potential conflict of interest in an area where s/he exercises any discretion in carrying out her/his duties for the Corporation, s/he shall promptly disclose the potential conflict to the Executive Director.  If the Executive Director has a potential conflict, s/he shall disclose it to the board or an executive committee.  The person or body to whom disclosure is made (hereinafter “supervisor") shall determine whether there is a conflict that requires recusal of the interested person.  When a conflict is found to exist, the interested person shall provide the supervisor with all information s/he has relevant to any decision to be made in which s/he has an interest, and the final decision shall be made by the supervisor.  The supervisor shall keep notes or other appropriate contemporaneous record documenting that the potential conflict was disclosed, whether a conflict was determined to exist, that the interested person did not participate in any decision regarding the transaction.

Annual Distribution, Acknowledgment, and Disclosure: This conflict of interest policy shall be distributed annually to all directors, officers, members of board committees, and staff.  All covered individuals shall sign an annual acknowledgment that they have received a copy of this policy, understand it, and agree to abide by its terms.

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