Interior Hero

Conflict of Interest Policy

  • Purpose: It is the policy of DONA International that all Board of Directors, committee chairs and members, contractors and consultants shall, in actions taken by them on behalf of DONA International, avoid conflicts and the appearance of such conflicts, between their personal and professional interests and those of DONA International. This policy guideline shall be furnished to each Board of Director, committee chair, committee member, contractor and consultant.
  • Definition: A volunteer, contractor or consultant shall be considered to have a personal or professional interest in any educational program, publication, contract, grant, investment decision or similar transaction from which the volunteer, contractor or consultant or a member of his or her immediate family (i.e., spouse, child, sibling, parent) will or could receive payment, profit or other remuneration, or if any commercial or non-profit entity with which he or she is associated may similarly benefit.
  • Enforcement: The President or Executive Director should regularly review the Disclosure Forms to be able to remind those in conflict if necessary. Depending on the policy, a member with a conflict either will leave the room before discussion starts or may participate in deliberation but will not be present during the voting. This process protects the organization from biased decision making and allows the board to keep its integrity.
  • Disclosure: Disclosure of personal interest shall be accomplished in the following manner:
  • I. Disclosure Form: An essential part of a strong conflict-of-interest policy is a disclosure form. This is a document that every board member, committee chair and member, contractor and consultant should fill out annually, listing all of his or her professional, financial and personal affiliations that might affect his or her independent decision-making capacity during service to DONA International. This document serves as a guide to determine conflict of interest over specific issues. The Disclosure Form should be presented to the Executive Director to be filed with the DONA International Home Office by January 1st of each year.
  • II. Discussion and Vote: At the beginning of any formal discussion of any issue before the board or committee in which a board or committee member concludes that a conflict of interest exists, the member shall inform the Executive Director or committee chair and committee that such a conflict exists and shall refrain from discussing or voting on such issue. The minutes of such discussions shall identify any members abstaining from such discussion or votes.
  • If any questions shall arise as to whether a particular activity or organizational association constitutes a conflict of interest for a board member, committee chair or member, contractor or consultant, the question shall be submitted to the Board of Directors for decision. A majority vote of the Board of Directors shall decide such questions. In any case in which the Board of Directors determines that a conflict of interest exists, the board member, committee chair or member, contractor or consultant shall take the action required above. If the board member, committee chair or member, contractor or consultant fails to take the action required, the Board of Directors may remove said individual according to the requirements existing under the DONA International By-laws or may ask said individual for resignation of his or her term or position.
  • Guidelines to help determine what may be a conflict of interest:
  • A conflict of interest can be considered to exist in any instance where the actions or activities of an individual on behalf of DONA International also involve the obtaining of an improper gain or advantage to an individual, an entity with which they are affiliated, or an adverse effect on the interests of DONA International. This includes instances in which the individual acts to support or advance projects at their place of employment or business, or for a place for which they provide consultant services. Conflicts of interest can also arise in other instances. Although it is impossible to list every circumstance that may give rise to a potential conflict of interest, the following will serve as a guide to the types of activities that might cause conflicts.
  • I. Outside Interests: To hold, directly or indirectly, a position or financial interest in any outside concern from which the individual has good reason to believe DONA International secures services. To compete, directly or indirectly, with DONA International in the purchase or sale of property rights, interests or services.
  • II. Outside Activities: To render directive, managerial, or consultative services to any outside concern or association that does business with or competes with the services of DONA International in the field of doula training and certification. No board member, representative, committee chair, committee member, consultant, business associate, affiliate or trainer from another national or international organization that offers doula training and certification will hold any DONA International leadership position.
  • In general, members of the Board of Directors and committees may provide personal, professional or consultant services to commercial and other entities consistent with other contents of this statement, but may do so only in their individual capacities and not as a representative of DONA International. The identities of such relationships should be made by each member of the Board of Directors, as noted above.
  • III. Gifts, Gratuities and Entertainment: To accept gifts, gratuities, entertainment or other favors from any outside concern that does, or is seeking to do, business with DONA International.
  • IV. Outside Information: To disclose or use information relating to the business of DONA International for the personal profit or advantage of the individual or her/his immediate family, or an entity with which the individual is affiliated.