Partner Agency 2013 Accreditation Standards
United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN) is committed to assuring that our donor contributions are used effectively in addressing the needs of our community. As part of this commitment we require our partner agencies meet and adhere to quality standards of operation as follows.
These standards are reviewed during the accreditation process. Those health and human service providers with exemplary fiscal accountability and the capacity to produce outcomes will be considered viable for partnership with UWSN.
As a partner agency producing programs that make a community impact, your organization may be eligible for funding opportunities through UWSN and would receive recognition by other funders for excellent governance practices as well as exposure through UWSN’s communications tools including www.uwsn.org.
United Way of Southern Nevada will accept applications for accreditation from those agencies meeting the following criteria:
- 501 (c)(3) IRS qualified for at least three years prior to requesting United Way of Southern Nevada accreditation.
- Annual budget of at least $500,000 per fiscal year.
- Annual independent audit.
- Administration costs as reported on the agency’s annual audit and IRS Form 990 do not exceed 25 percent of revenues.
- Local volunteer board of directors.
- Health and human services provided in Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye or White Pine counties in Nevada.
- Willing and able to sign an affiliation agreement with United Way of Southern Nevada.
Should your agency meet the required criteria above and the standards outlined as follows, please complete the accreditation application available on this website and submit it and the requested documentation via electronic means (CD or jump drive) by Friday, March 8, 2013.
After receipt of the application, your agency’s submission will be reviewed, including a site visit. Successful applications will then be presented to the Board of Directors of UWSN. Notification of accreditation status will occur in June 2013. No information will be made available prior to that date.
IRS 501 (c) (3) LETTER OF TAX EXEMPTION – notification that agency is a qualified tax-exempt not for profit organization under Federal law, and is in conformance with all Federal requirements under the statute.
Essential Standard: Required by Federal law.
NEVADA LETTER OF EXEMPTION – license or letter of exemption issued to tax-exempt not-for-profit organizations in the State of Nevada permitting the licensed agency to solicit funds from State residents within guidelines established by the State. A Letter of Exemption can be issued to not-for-profit organizations that do not engage in any fund raising activities and/or comply with exemption status qualifications in the state.
Essential Standard: Required by State law.
IRS FORM 990 or FORM 990EZ – information forms which are required by the IRS, and which must be filed annually by all tax-exempt organizations. For purposes of submitting Certification Review documentation, the 990 must match the year of the audit and should include all schedules.
Essential Standard: Required by IRS.
NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY – a written policy adopted by the agency’s governing body that stipulates factors such as race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin or age will not be used in hiring of staff, recruitment of volunteers and Board members or in delivery of service. For an agency to receive county program funding, the specific county’s nondiscrimination policy must be followed. This standard does not prohibit an agency from operating specific programs based on age, gender or disability designed to meet the special needs of a target population with those characteristics.
Essential Standard: Agencies receiving funds must provide services to clients without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. A written policy adopted by governing body that stipulates factors of race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age or sexual orientation will not be used in hiring of staff, recruitment of volunteers and Board members or in delivery of service.
DOCUMENT DESTRUCTION POLICY – The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) makes it a crime to alter, cover-up, falsify or destroy any document to prevent its use in an official proceeding. The policy should cover financial records, significant contracts, employment files, and fund raising obligations. The policy should include guidelines for electronic files.
Essential Standard: Policy that outlines document retention and destruction policies. Board minutes reflecting approval.
LIABILITY INSURANCE – There are three levels of liability insurance appropriate for non-profit organizational management: Directors & Officers Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, General Liability Insurance. Coverage in all areas is highly desirable, and for some activities may be considered essential by the governing body. Directors & Officers Insurance is highly desirable for all non-profit organizations. Comprehensive auto and real and personal property insurance are also recommended if applicable.
Essential Standard: Provision of certificate(s) of insurance or Board minutes reflecting discussion of agency liability insurance needs as noted above and determination of appropriate action.
Patriot Act Compliance – The USA PATRIOT Act and Executive Order 13224 have broad implications for information privacy, security, and records retention policy. It is desirable for all non-profit organizations to enact a basic policy to cover activities and use of funds.
Essential Standard: A signed statement which includes:
- Organization is not on a government “watch list”
- Funding will not go to an entity on the “watch list”
- Funding will not go outside the US outside of IRS guidelines
MISSION STATEMENT – statement of primary purpose of the organization. Often contained in the By-Laws, this statement should be regularly updated by the governing body to accurately reflect the principle goals and objectives of the organization.
Essential Standard: Statement of organizational purpose.
BY-LAWS – organizational operating principles, including statement of organizational purpose, governance definitions and procedures, principal officers and their duties and other relevant operating principles.
Essential Standard: Description of purpose, a minimum number of Board positions, voting procedures, description of Board officers, definition of annual meeting of members, and definition of a quorum minimum amount of Board members.
Best Practice: In addition to above, a minimum of 12 Board members and quorum defined as a majority. Definition of term limits and number of consecutive terms allowed. Description of standing sub-committees and their duties, and title and duties of chief staff person. Governing body meets at least quarterly. Bylaws reviewed and/or updated annually.
BOARD ROSTER – current list of all Board members with designation of officers, including names, addresses and indication of each member’s profession/occupation and/or community affiliations.
Essential Standard: Detailed Board roster that is inclusive of the community and of the agency’s clientele.
MAINTENANCE OF BOARD MINUTES – file records of governing body proceedings, including notation of all key actions taken. Minutes are records of organizational history and reference points for organizational accountability.
Essential Standard: Written documents of each governing body meeting, including those in attendance, summary of proceedings and record of actions taken.
Best Practice: In addition to above, follow-up notation on results of actions taken at prior meetings, and written records maintained of all permanent organizational sub-committees of the Board.
BOARD ORIENTATION and JOB DESCRIPTIONS FOR BOARD MEMBERS – sessions tailored to explicate goals/objectives of organization, organization plan of action, duties and responsibilities of Board members, Board officers and organization staff – written description of responsibilities, accountability and limits of authority for Board members.
Essential Standard: Orientation session outline and content for annual orientation of new members and a refresher segment for veteran members. Includes clear written description of duties and responsibilities of board members and agency management team.
CODE OF ETHICS – statement of principles and standards that guide the decisions and actions of the organization, and that connect those values and ideals to the day-to-day work of the agency.
Essential Standard: Policy reflecting Board and staff commitment to clearly stated ethical principles such as personal and professional integrity, conflict of interest, nepotism, commitment to diversity, confidentiality.
STRATEGIC PLANNING – annual review of organizational goals and development of strategies to meet organizational goals through key objectives.
Essential Standard: Annual review of key organizational goals and clear measurable objectives for at least a three-year period of time approved by the governing body.
ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES – those support activities which are essential to the agency’s existence that are not identifiable with a single program or fund raising activity, such as oversight, business management, general record keeping, budgeting, finance, and all management and administration except for the direct conduct of program services or fund raising activities.
Essential Standard: Together with fund raising expenses, management and general costs, expenses should be 25% or less of total revenue as stated on the agency’s IRS Form 990 or 990EZ.
ANNUAL BUDGET – a summary of projected agency revenue and expense with sufficient detail to allow regular monitoring and correction of actual expenses by management and governing body. For example, an annual budget should contain line items which summarize projected Salaries; Benefits; Travel; Outside Consultant Fees; Building Maintenance; Printing & Related; Supplies; Program Expense and Revenue. Agency Board minutes indicating approval of the budget.
Essential Standard: Current operating budget and Board minutes reflecting approval.
FINANCIAL REPORTS – regular reports to the governing body with clear information regarding actual expenses as they relate to the annual budget, and actual revenues compared to projected income.
Essential Standard: Financial reports at each agency governing body meeting; reports are part of the minutes.
Best Practice: The reports compare current year-to-date with previous year-to-date. Also compare year-to-date actual to year-to-date budget. Minutes include the report and any actions taken.
ANNUAL AUDIT – examination of agency financial statements by an independent Certified Public Accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, to include an opinion regarding the presentation of the agency’s financial statements.
Essential Standard: Annual audit, including opinion, submitted within 9 months of fiscal year end, for accredited agencies with annual revenue of $500,000 or more. Board minutes indicating Board review of the audit.
Best Practice: Annual audit with unqualified opinion submitted within 6 months of fiscal year end.
MANAGEMENT LETTER – communication from the accountant or firm conducting an audit, in addition to the audit opinion report, regarding significant financial or governance issues discovered in the audit process that recommends management action related to internal procedures and practices.
Essential Standard: Auditor’s management letter, if one exists.
FINANCIAL RESERVE POLICY – a practice, approved by the governing body, that promotes the building and retention of agency cash reserves in an amount sufficient to keep the agency solvent in the event of unforeseen disruption of incoming revenue for a time period determined to be sufficient by the governing body. Such a policy often represents a target that is being achieved through a specific plan to set aside funds on a regular basis.
Essential Standard: A Board-specified policy of retaining funds readily convertible into cash within 30 days sufficient to maintain agency operations through periods of cash flow shortfalls or other crises, generally three to six months.
Best Practice: Documented retention of reserve funds sufficient to cover operational expenses for a Board specified period of time, generally three to six months. The Board receives regular reports regarding financial reserves.
EVENTS THAT MAY THREATEN VIABILITY OF AGENCY – partner agencies must advise United Way of Southern Nevada of any event that may threaten viability and have significant negative financial impact on agency operations or service delivery. Examples include incidents of internal fraud or embezzlement, discontinuation of funding or service.
Essential Standard: Notification of United Way of Southern Nevada of any event that may have a significant negative financial impact. Board minutes reflecting discussion of the threatening situation.
Human Resources Standards
PERSONNEL POLICIES – practices and procedures for hiring, supervision, evaluation and compensation of organization staff, including employment rights, benefits and appeal procedures.
Essential Standard: Personnel policies are maintained and reviewed regularly and by the Board at least every five years. Board minutes reflect review of policies.
STAFF JOB DESCRIPTIONS – list of specific responsibilities and accountabilities for each Board approved position.
Essential Standard: Provision of each job description.
PERFORMANCE REVIEW – means of assessing staff performance against expected accomplishments, with feedback oriented to personal and professional growth.
Best Practice: Annual review of objectives with emphasis on changes in performance needed to reach measurable goals, including Executive Committee or Board review of Chief Staff person.
STAFF ORIENTATION – a systematic process to train and orient new staff to their duties, responsibilities and reporting requirements.
Best Practice: Thorough orientation within two weeks of new hire.
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION – a systematic process to train and orient new volunteers to their duties, responsibilities and expected requirements.
Essential Standard: Written position descriptions for each volunteer; with each volunteer signing statements of confidentiality and conflict of interest.
Best Practice: Thorough orientation within two weeks of new volunteer duty.\
SALARY RANGE AND BENEFIT REVIEW – Periodic review by Board of current organizational salary ranges and benefits with a comparison of salaries and benefits in similar organizations.
Best Practice: Annual Board review of salary structure, benefits and other personnel policies, including comparative data from other organizations. Board minutes reflecting most recent review.
RESPONSIVE PROGRAMMING - a formal means of collecting information regarding needs of the population it serves is exhibited; programs are accessible and responsible to target population; clients are involved in program development; and program goals are consistent with the organization’s mission statement.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENT – the organization must constantly monitor and assess its performance against a series of goals or performance indicators in that a system for monitoring program effectiveness and satisfaction by all interested parties is in place; the organization: reviews results; identifies areas of needed improvement; implements and evaluates improvements on a small or broad scale; modifies implemented improvements as needed; and keeps staff informed and involved throughout the cycle.
COLLABORATION - Organization works in collaboration with other local community-based organizations if providing similar services as other organizations and/or provides referral to programs and services not provided.
For 2013 Accreditation Application Packet