CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY
Last Updated on Nov 6 2018
Conflict of interest in using the EBC to personal gain
Purpose of Policy
Conflicts of interest raise issues for EBC. It is our intention to address any concerns, avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, and uphold the reputation of our members and the EBC to the highest level of integrity.
A conflict of interest is a situation in which a Board Member, EBC community member, or one of his or her family members has a personal or financial interest that could compromise either:
- Independence or judgment in exercising his/her responsibilities to EBC, or
- The principle of the EBC that we are here to collaborate with one another, not to sell to each other.
Principles covered by this policy
In recognition of the following principles, which are sometimes contradictory:
- That it is not the intention of the EBC for members to use the EBC as a means of selling to other members.
- That selling to the EBC is not intended to be a marketing strategy.
- That there may be cases where members need a specific service and it makes sense for them to use the services of another member, or an organization which pays commissions to a member.
- That the EBC, as an organization of business owners, considers the making of money to be not only appropriate in business, but a primary intent of business.
- In the event of choosing contractors to support the EBC, it is the EBC intention to give preference to members as opposed to outside parties. It is not the intention of this policy to disadvantage our members over outside service providers.
A. To address circumstances of selling to the EBC
For the creation of member benefits (special offers and free offers)
- Any members benefit must be test-driven by at least 2 or members of the Board or Wisdom Council before making it a member benefit
- Should at any given time the reputation of EBC be impacted by the referred service or product we have the right to terminate immediately and inform the membership
- Any member may bring a special offer or free offer to the membership. It is expected this will include a discount for membership. That member may benefit through either direct sale of the product or affiliate commissions.
- In the event of affiliate commissions, it is expected that the member will negotiate a suggested donation back to the EBC or a nominated cause of the EBC, at the sole discretion of the EBC.
- In the event that a member benefit is intended to be highlighted to the membership, such as group insurance, or other business systems that may benefit the membership, any member benefitting from the relationship must disclose that benefit and not be part of the decision making in rolling the benefit out. Membership roll out typically includes:
- Mention in the newsletter for most new member benefits
- In the event a benefit is a business resource that is likely needed by the majority of membership (e.g. discount insurance, discounted marketing systems, etc.) mailings to the membership and calls to explain may be conducted. The decision to do this will be based on the level to which this benefit is expected to support the entire membership. No person that benefits may be party to the decision of whether or not this level of roll out is appropriate.
- These decisions will be decided by an email out to the Board based on who responds within 48 hours.
For use of EBC resources to promote products or services
- Members may use members to assist in promotion, but are asked not to promote their products to the membership, unless through venues outside of the EBC
- Members may not promote their products, services, memes or other promotional materials to the EBC Facebook group.
- Members may ask for advice, request support, or ask members to spread the word in the appropriate daily meme.
B. To address circumstances of use of EBC resources or accolades (i.e. awards or invitations to speak at events) to member benefit
- No member may use their position on the EBC Board or a decision-making committee to personal advantage without making the possible conflict known and abstaining from any relevant discussions and decisions. Examples of this might include, but not be limited to:
- social media committee members using EBC resources to promote their own work,
- award commitment members abstaining from discussions if they were one of the award nominees.
- Members who have applied to speak at an event asking to sit on the speakers selection committee
Procedure for disclosing potential conflict of interest
- In bringing any matter to the Board, describe the potential Conflict of Interest in writing as soon as a Conflict of Interest is known and email to two impartial Board Members. If those two Board Members are unanimous, a decision and recommendation can be made by those Board Members. Otherwise the matter will be taken to the Board.
- In the event the matter requires a Board decision, the Board will review by email or in discussion at a Board meeting. Any member having a potential for conflict will be asked to abstain from the discussion.
The Board maintains a Decision log of decisions that involve potential conflicts of interest
Violation of this Policy
When violation is discovered, the party in conflict or perceived conflict will be given 10 days to correct with a timeline and report back to the Board. If that is not met, and steps are not put in place to address the conflict, then the Board will consider
- Removing the Board Member from the EBC Board
- Removing the member from any role in which conflict of interest exist, or removed from membership.
Verbal notice will be given if a violation is noted. If this violation is severe enough then a written notice shall be sent via email in the case that a EBC Board member or membership is rescinded.
Exceptions to What is Considered a Conflict of Interest Under This Policy
A member listing a member resource to the EBC is not considered to create any potential conflict where
- They are the party offering their resource and
- There is no discussion of an increased promotion or high-lighting to members, e.g. high lighting a training course to the EBC that is offered by a member.
- Where a member resources is given out as a result of their leading at an event, it will be disclosed that selling may happen down the road and the EBC takes no responsibility for that.
Each Board member and volunteers in roles of making decisions on behalf of the EBC will be asked to read and sign this policy as evidence of their commitment to compliance.
It is expected that if a conflict should arise between members who have chosen to collaborate, or use each others services – they will discuss the conflict themselves or choose a third party to mediate. Neither the EBC management team nor the EBC Board shall take on a role in the conflict resolution process.
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