September 6, 2007
Digest: A judge may serve on the board of directors of a foundation associated with a not-for-profit organization and may assist the foundation in administering charitable contributions solicited by such associated not-for-profit organization.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3); 100.4(C)(3)(b)(I); Opinion 01-42 (Vol. XX).
A judge asks if it is ethically permissible to serve on the board of a foundation that receives and administers funds solicited by an associated not-for-profit organization. According to the inquirer, the foundation is a separate entity and does not itself solicit contributions.
Pursuant to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, a judge may be a member or serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, cultural, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for profit, subject to certain limitations and requirements. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3).
Although the Rules prohibit a judge from personally participating in the solicitation of funds or other fund-raising activities on behalf of such an organization, they specifically permit a judge to assist the organization in planning fund-raising and to participate in the management and investment of the organization's funds. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i).
Thus, the judge may serve on the board of a foundation that receives and administers funds solicited by an associated not-for-profit organization, and may assist the foundation in the administration of such funds. Opinion 01-42 (Vol. XX).