Standard 1: Ethics, Mission and Community Engagement

“Land trusts maintain high ethical standards and have a mission committed to conservation, community service, and serving the public interest.”



A. Ethics
  1. Adopt a written code of ethics and/or values statement and adhere to it in implementing the land trust’s mission, in its governance and in its operations.
  2. Adopt a written whistleblower policy that protects individuals who come forward with information on illegal practices or unethical behaviour.
  3. Do not participate in transactions that are potentially fraudulent or abusive.


Ethics Policy & Statement – Template Ontario Land Trust Alliance ——————– 35 KB pdf
Statement of Values & Code of Ethics Independent Sector  2004 110 KB word
Whistle Blower Policy Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2019 47 KB word
Preventing fraud
in not-for-profit
Independent Sector 2024 47 KB word
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B. Mission, Planning and Evaluation
  1. Adopt a mission that advances conservation and serves the public interest.
  2. Establish strategic goals for implementing the mission, and then review and update them, as needed, at least once every five years.
  3. Review your programs and activities at least annually to ensure they are advancing the strategic goals and make adjustments, as appropriate.


Strategic Plan 2017-2020 Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2017 160 KB pdf
Strategic Plan 2021 – 2024 Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2021 740 KB pdf
Strategic Planing Process Institute for Conservation Leadership ——————- 51 KB pdf
OFT Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020  Ontario Farmland Trust 2017 314 KB word
ORMLT Strategic Plan  2012 – 2016 Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust 2012 871 KB word
Ten Ingredients of Sustainable Organization Institute for Conservation Leadership 2015 78 KB pdf
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C. Community Engagement
  1. Develop an inclusive, welcoming organizational culture that respects diversity.
  2. Seek to engage people who are representative of the community in which the land trust works and foster opportunities to connect them with the land.
  3. Develop an understanding of the land trust’s community, and communicate the land trust’s work, services and impact in a manner that resonates with and engages that community.
  4. Build, maintain and enhance relationships with community leaders and other groups interacting with the land trust community.
    1. When applicable, engage with local indigenous communities to discuss how traditional knowledge and practices can inform the land trust’s programs and activities.


Public Relations & Education Policy – Template Ontario Land Trust Alliance ——————- 7 KB word
Social Media Style Guide Ontario Farmland Trust 2018 1,266 KB pdf
Communications & Outreach Program Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust 2012 361 KB word
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