Volunteer Service Policy
Participation as a volunteer on an Allinace for Water Efficiency (AWE) advisory committee or workgroup provides an opportunity for members to influence work considered by the AWE Board of Directors, network with professional associates, and serve the profession. AWE knows that volunteers have many demands on their time. AWE appreciates their willingness to use part of that time to serve the mission of AWE.
Advisory Committees are established by the Board and made up of volunteers executing AWE’s strategic initiatives via a Board-approved annual strategic plan. Advisory committee members actively engage in work efforts affecting final policy decisions made by the Board. Advisory committees, and their members, serve at the discretion of the Board.
Good standing means an organization that is current with respect to the payment of its annual AWE membership dues.
Volunteer is a representative of an organizational member in good standing.
Workgroups are made up of advisory committee members who gather to work on time-sensitive or single-issue projects for the committee, and then disband. Workgroups function under the auspices of an advisory committee.
During the course of service as a member of an advisory committee or workgroup, volunteers may have access to, or receive, information which is proprietary or confidential. Such information includes, but is not limited to; trade secrets, customer, employee or member data, information related to the operations or plans of AWE or of firms, companies or individuals doing business with AWE which is otherwise personal, private or of a sensitive nature. Volunteers should consider all information received or discussed during their service as confidential, and volunteers may not disclose any such information without express permission from the Board.
Conflict or Duality of Interest
Volunteers agree to protect AWE’s interests during a specific committee or workgroup assignment. Protecting AWE’s interest includes being free of conflict of interest or self-dealing; acting in good faith, demonstrating the care an ordinarily prudent volunteer would exercise under similar circumstances.
Volunteers are required to conduct the business of the committee within guidelines that prohibit actual or potential conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest may arise in relation to committee members with third parties including but not limited to:
- Competing or affinity organizations
- Donors and other supporters of AWE
- Agencies, organizations and associations that affect the operations or mission of AWE
- Family members and friends
- Persons, organizations, and governmental representatives or organizations with whom AWE is dealing or planning to deal in connection with the its policy objectives and strategies
Conflicting interest may be defined as an interest, direct or indirect, with any persons or organizations when AWE’s position differs or might differ from the interest of position of another entity or individual with whom the AWE member is associated. Examples of when conflict of interest might arise include through holding office, serving on the board, participating in management or the legislative affairs of any competing or affinity organization, entity, or individual.
Conflicts can arise from many ordinary and appropriate activities; the existence of a conflict does not imply wrong doing on one’s part. But when conflicts do arise, they must be recognized and disclosed, and then either eliminated or resolved so as to not negatively impact AWE’s interests. Some relationships may create an appearance of a conflict; those too are important to disclose and either eliminate or resolve so that we may maintain public confidence in our activities and enable maximum success with AWE’s policy objectives.
A volunteer has a duality of interest if the person, directly or indirectly or through a family member, serves in a substantial leadership role with another organization whose interests may be adverse to, in conflict with, or in competition with those of AWE. A substantial leadership role would include serving on a governing body or advisory body to the organization or having a prominent public connection with the organization. A duality of interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest. In some cases, it may be to the advantage of AWE for an advisory committee member to have a substantial leadership role with another organization. A volunteer who has a dual interest should disclose such any existing or potential duality of interest as above.
A volunteer will disclose to the advisory committee chair(s) and staff any potential conflict or duality of interest as soon as the conflict arises. The advisory committee chair(s) and staff shall review such disclosure. In the event the conflict has the potential of negatively impacting AWE’s interests, the chair(s) and/or staff may limit the volunteering member’s participation on the advisory committee or terminate their committee membership.
Activities Which May Discredit AWE
Volunteers should not engage in, promote, or participate in any activities which would reasonably be anticipated to discredit or result in damage to AWE’s reputation or otherwise discredit the core standards and principles it represents.
Procedures are needed in any organization to guarantee fairness and consistency in the treatment of volunteers and in the conduct of good relations, to promote good management and to assist the organization to operate effectively. If there is a concern about a volunteer’s conduct, it is first raised with the advisory committee or workgroup leadership and staff. After an initial review and discussion with the volunteer, the advisory committee or workgroup leadership and staff will discuss and jointly decide whether the volunteer’s conduct is something that can be improved or if the volunteer can no longer serve.
The committee chair(s) and staff will write to the volunteer with copies to the Board Executive Committee within ten business days to convey and explain their decision. An appeal of this decision must be made in writing within ten business days to the Board Chair. Within two weeks, the Board Chair will investigate and discuss the situation (as deemed necessary) and will reply to the volunteer in writing. The Board Chair’s decision is final.
Service Policy Statement
All volunteers serving on an advisory committee or workgroup must review and adhere to this Volunteer Service Policy and the AWE Advisory Committee Operations Policy as applicable.
Last Revised: December, 2018