Every nonprofit has its fair share of staff members, interns or volunteers flouting internal codes of conduct and processes. In these usually awkward situations, the primary concern for a nonprofit would be:
Depending on the severity of the violation, nonprofits are usually keen to demonstrate zero tolerance for such acts while ensuring that the matter is handled in such manner that it doesn’t make the news, or end up in litigation. Indeed, the temptation does exist for a nonprofit to reach a settlement, rather than contemplate litigation – even in the face of a glaring infraction.
Where a settlement or other “quick-fix” method adopted, the nonprofit gets the erring individual out of the organisation with minimal fuss; however, the real result is that the erring persons are left free to move on to other nonprofits, ‘rinse and then repeat’. Conversely, in their eagerness to demonstrate zero tolerance for rule-breakers, some nonprofits breach their own internal disciplinary rules, which exposes them to litigation.
It is instructive to note that sticking to the rules of the disciplinary process does not insulate a nonprofit from litigation; rather, it inspires confidence that in the event of that litigation ensues, their defence will be rock solid, so much so that it would be safe to project from the beginning that all things being equal, judgment will favour the nonprofit.
Guidance to achieving this is precisely what this Morsel seeks to offer.