Code of Ethics/Ethical Responsibility

Northwest Area Foundation is committed to high ethics and business standards. Trust is at the heart of our connections — with our communities, vendors, families, and each other. Trust is built on honesty, integrity and dependability — all components of ethical behavior. The Foundation places a high value on the character of its employees and their positive interactions with grantees, vendors, funding partners, and the general public. Foundation employees are expected to adhere to the organization’s Code of Ethics which encourages honesty and openness about mistakes as well as successes. Expectations Include:

  • Complying with all laws and regulations that impact their jobs.
  • Complying with all Northwest Area Foundation policies.
  • Maintaining appropriate ethical and professional behavior.
  • Not assisting others who are attempting to violate any law, regulation, or policy or attempting to commit an unethical act.
  • Reporting suspected unethical behavior.

If you become aware of activities involving Foundation employees that are inconsistent with the standards above, members of the public may contact the Northwest Area Foundation CEO, CFO, or Chair of the Audit Committee to report a violation. These executives are sensitive to the need for confidentiality and are committed to researching concerns and issues. However, information that involves a threat to life and property, illegal activities, or legal action against Northwest Area Foundation may require action that does not allow for complete anonymity. It is against Northwest Area Foundation policy for the Foundation to institute retaliation or recrimination against anyone who in good faith reports a suspected violation.

Kevin Walker, CEO, (651) 224-9635, kwalker@nwaf.org
Ramya Rauf, Chief Financial Officer, (651) 225-3897, rrauf@nwaf.org
Libby Hlavka, Chair of the Audit Committee, libbyhlavka@stanfordalumni.org


Northwest Area Foundation’s whistleblower policy requires employees to be in full compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, accounting standards and audit practices. The Foundation is committed to fair, accurate, and transparent accounting of financial matters. It expects all employees, officers and directors to conduct themselves with the highest ethical standards and to act in accordance with the requirements and spirit of this policy. The Foundation encourages anyone with information about suspected violations of this policy to report it without fear of retaliation.

Reporting Complaints, Concerns or Questionable Financial Practices

If you have complaints or concerns about Northwest Area Foundation’s accounting, accounting controls or auditing matters, contact the Northwest Area Foundation CEO, Kevin Walker, or the Chair of the Audit Committee. The CEO will then turn the matter over to the Chair of the Audit Committee.

To confidentially report violations or suspected violations of this Policy or applicable laws, you can call the Foundation’s fraud hotline, provided by external vendor Syntrio/Lighthouse, at (833) 202-5112. The service is staffed and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers are provided with a report number and instructions for creating a PIN to use for follow up if desired. All reports to the fraud hotline remain confidential and are forwarded to the Chair of the Foundation’s Audit Committee and copied to the CFO or CEO as appropriate.

Investigation and Response

The Audit Committee, under the leadership of its Chair, will receive, handle, and investigate allegations of questionable accounting or auditing matters. Based on its probe, the Audit Committee will direct Northwest Area Foundation to take prompt and appropriate corrective action if necessary to ensure compliance with legal and ethical requirements. If the Audit Committee determines that a particular complaint or concern is not covered by this policy, it will refer the complaint or concern to the Chair of the Northwest Area Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation CEO, or the Foundation CFO for appropriate handling and response.

Confidentiality and Non-retaliation

Reports of questionable accounting or audit practices will be kept confidential to the extent possible. If you do not receive an answer in a timely fashion or are still concerned that the issue has not been addressed, or if the concern is regarding the acts of the management team, you may also choose to contact the Chair of the Audit Committee. The Chair may confer with counsel on how best to proceed. It is against NWAF policy to institute retaliation or recrimination against people who, in good faith, reported such concerns.