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Golden Standard Consulting

For
Gold Coast Science Network
Final Report

December 5, 2016

Submitted to: Kristin Majda & Sharon King, Gold Coast Science Network
and Amy Johnson, Pepperdine University

Monica Amezquita, Allison Berry, Kevin Carroll,


Michael Kleber, and Jack Miller

Pepperdine University Service Leadership


Fall 2016
Board of Directors
Gold Coast Science Network
520 N. Elevar Street
Oxnard CA 93030

December 03, 2016

Dear Gold Coast Science Network,

As per the contract established on October 4, 2016 between the two parties of Golden Standard
Consulting (GSC) and Gold Coast Science Network (GCSN), Golden Standard Consulting
formally established agreement in assisting Gold Coast Science Network in the following fields:
1. Policies for:
a. Conflict of Interest
b. Sponsorship
c. Compensation
d. Employment
2. Style Guide
3. Policy Template
Golden Standard Consulting proudly and excitedly presents to you the final report, which fulfills
the requirements agreed upon in the Contract. Within this report, you will find information
regarding the:
1. Expanded Project Objective
2. Methodology
3. Presentation of Results
4. Strategy for Implementation
5. Recommendations
6. Supporting Appendices

Golden Standard Consulting will ensure to provide Gold Coast Science Network with an
additional document consisting of only the project deliverables.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with this wonderful organization dedicated to
promoting such an undeniably important cause! STEM education is crucially important to this
technology-centered society, so by promoting passion amongst students, Gold Coast Science
Network ensures and promotes a bright and talented group of students! Golden Standard
Consulting is extremely proud to assist you in any means that we, the consulting group, can.

Golden Standard Consulting wants to thank you so much for such a wonderful and priceless
experience! We cannot put into words how excited we are to see the effects of this policy manual
to your amazing organization.

Sincerely,
Golden Standard Consulting

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary…………………………………….……………….............3
1. Introduction………………………………………………….…………………6
2. Business Challenge……………………………………….…….….…………8
3. Methodology…………………………………...……………….……..………9
3.1 Survey……………………………….……...……………….……..…10
3.2 Interviews……….....……………………...……………….…………11
3.3 Research…………….………………...……………….…….…........15
4. Presentation of Results………………….……………….…………………19
4.1 Conflict of Interest………....……….……………….………………19
4.2 Employment…………….…….……………….…………...……..…25
4.3 Compensation……...….….….……………….…………...………..36
4.4 Sponsorship……….…….……………….…….……...…………….38
5. Strategies for Implementation…………....….…………….…….…………41
6. Recommendations………...….…………….…….…………………………42
Conclusion……...….…………….…….………………………………………..44
Bibliography……...….…………….…….………………………………………45
Appendix……...….…………….…….………………………………………….47

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Executive Summary
Gold Coast Science Network, an established 501(c)(3) organization, primarily dedicates
its time to promoting and advancing education in STEM courses for students in
kindergarten through high school by ensuring students remain excited and passionate
about these courses. In order to fulfill their mission, Gold Coast Science Network
connects teachers of STEM courses to outside resources so that teachers may
collaborate, network, and share information with professionals within the same field. In
doing so, teachers can bring new light and excitement to their students in the
classroom.

In order to continue efficiently executing and fulfilling the mission of the organization,
Gold Coast Science Network partnered with Golden Standard Consulting to obtain
assistance in policy creation. Policies are crucially important to the development,
operation, and expansion of any organization. These policies establish and standardize
procedures within these fields of operation as well as ensure that organizations abide
by regulations established by organizations such as the Internal Revenue Service, the
Financial Accounting Standards Board and the federal and state governments.
Although Gold Coast Science Network already has in place some policies, Gold Coast
Science Network asked Golden Standard Consulting to draft a formal policy manual
that includes policies for:
1. Conflict of Interest
2. Sponsorship
3. Board Compensation
4. Employment
These policies were established in the formal contract concerted between both parties
on October 4, 2016. Golden Standard Consulting also drafted a style guide and
template for future policies created within Gold Coast Science Network.

In order to effectively draft policies relevant to Gold Coast Science Network, Golden
Standard Consulting conducted a plenitude of research through the following means:
1. Survey of Gold Coast Science Network’s Board
2. Interviews of professionals working in the nonprofit spectrum
3. General Research of articles and information posted by relevant
organizations.

Golden Standard Consulting commenced the research of this project by creating a


survey and submitting it to the board of Gold Coast Science Network. The survey
consists of 10 different questions inquiring the board for information regarding issues
such as potential conflicts of interest, areas in which GSC could assist GCSN, and
policies the board believes should be implemented. By submitting this survey, Golden
Standard Consulting received first hand opinions and information of people working
within Gold Coast Science Network. It is extremely important for Golden Standard
Consulting to understand the structure and politics of the organization to draft policies
specifically tailed to GCSN. Direct communication with the entire board is the sole

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means of receiving this information from the organization, and surveys typically take
the least amount of time to complete. Therefore, Golden Standard Consulting found
this to be the most appropriate form of research to obtain the highest turnout ratio of
responses.

Once Golden Standard Consulting obtained results from the survey, analyzed, and
extracted all necessary information, GSC interviewed professional individuals
experienced in working with, serving on the board, and consulting for various nonprofit
organizations. Golden Standard Consulting interviewed the following individuals and
organizations:

1. Jeanne McCarty, Real School Gardens


2. Jessica L. Sawko, California Science Teachers Association
3. Andie Safon, DonorsChoose.org
4. Regan Schaffer, Pepperdine University

The abovementioned individuals provided professional insight as well as guidance as


to how Golden Standard Consulting should craft policies. With years of serving on
boards and as CEOs to major well-known nonprofit organizations, these individuals
provided extremely insightful and crucially helpful information made credible by
experience to Golden Standard Consulting. These interviewees also provided
information regarding important resources useful for policy making. Through these
interviews, Golden Standard Consulting gained new insight as to an improved and
more efficient course of action.

Golden Standard Consulting also researched various nonprofit organizations similar to


Gold Coast Science Network. GCSN originally provided Golden Standard Consulting
with a list of organizations similar in size, mission, and structure. Outside of these
recommended organization, Golden Standard Consulting also researched a number of
organizations that shared similar missions and values. By looking at policies employed
by similar organizations, Golden Standard Consulting gained an understanding of
standard policy manuals, and necessary subsections within these policies. Along with
similar nonprofit organizations, Golden Standard Consulting researched major
organizations dedicated to assisting nonprofits in all operational aspects. The data
extracted from these organizations provided Golden Standard Consulting with a
general best practices overview of drafting policies.

Policies are developed and implemented to maintain order and ensure legal conduct.
Golden Standard Consulting recommends that the board of Gold Coast Science
Network analyze the documents, discuss these policies, and make any modifications
to better fit the needs of GCSN. Gold Coast Science Network should vote and adopt
the policies which best fit the organization’s needs. As the demand for further policies
arise, Golden Standard Consulting strongly advises Gold Coast Science Network to
utilize the style guide and policy template provided in this document when drafting
further policies.

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Introduction

1.1 Course:
The Service Leadership course (Business Administration 498) is taken senior year by all
undergraduate business majors, as well as all nonprofit management minors. The
objective of the course is to combine an academic class with community service.
Students form consulting teams to serve local nonprofit organizations by applying
business concepts, and non-profit principles to complete a productive, agree-up final
project. In this model, both students and clients are seen as learners and teachers, as
well as servers and served. Through this course, students are able to utilize the
concepts and skills they have learned in their courses in a real life scenario while giving
back to their community.

1.2 Client:
Gold Coast Science Network (GCSN) is a local chapter of the California Science
Teachers Association (CSTA) and was created in 1993 to improve the quality of
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in K-12 and
postsecondary institutions. GCSN is located in Camarillo and serves the Ventura
County and its Central California neighbors including Santa Barbara, San Louis
Obispo, Los Angeles, and Kern. GCSN works to connect STEM teachers with each
other, as well as with other resources. Beyond building connections between people
and to resources, GCSN works to educate teachers about the California content
standards, and current trends in education. Every 12-24 months, GCSN organizes a
STEM education conference to bring educators, homeschooling parents, and other
individuals interested in STEM together to learn about the latest in STEM education as
well as network. Currently, GCSN has no staff members, but plans to create paid staff
positions in the future. The organization currently has nine members on their board.
GCSN has many volunteers, who enable the organization to hold conferences at
minimal cost.

1.3 Client Contacts:


Gold Coast Science Network connected member at large, Sharon King, and President
Kristin Majda with Golden Standard Consulting as key contacts for the project.
• Sharon King, M.Ed. taught integrated science at Palisades Charter High School
in Pacific Palisades, California before retiring in 2015. She has a master’s degree
in education and earned a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT. Prior to
teaching, she worked as a research chemist, computer programmer, and stay-
at-home mom. Sharon has served on the GCSN board since 2009.

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• Kristin Majda, M.S. M.B.A., is a high school and college science educator and
has led multiple schools in creating benchmark assessments and aligning
curriculum to the state standards. She worked for four years as a technical
writer in the computer industry prior to pursuing a career in education and
possesses a BS in biology from UCSB with a minor in professional writing, and
an MBA and MS in biotechnology from CSU Channel Islands. In addition to
serving on the GCSN board since 2009, Kristin is an active member of the
California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); and serves on the
operating Council of the Discovery Center for Science and Technology.

1.4 Consultants:
Golden Standard Consulting is committed to providing quality solutions and
exceptional results through diligence and expertise in a dynamic global environment.
We approach the foundational challenges faced by our clients as our own: searching
for solutions to solve the problems of today, and positioning our client to prevent the
problems of the future.

● Monica Amezquita is a senior studying business administration and computer


science. She brings strong communication and analytical skills, as well as a
strong passion for the STEM fields.
● Allie Berry is a senior studying Hispanic Studies and Nonprofit Management.
She was raised by a STEM educator, and brings strong non-profit experience to
the table.
● Kevin Carroll is a senior studying Business Administration. He is a strong
analytical thinker with management systems experience.
● Michael Kleber is a senior studying International Business. He is a visionary
thinker with a passion for global non-profits.
● Jack Miller is a senior studying International Business. He has non-profit
experience and is focused on systems development and entrepreneurship.

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2. Business Challenge

2.1 Introduction

Gold Coast Science Network engaged Golden Standard Consulting as outside


consultants to address a specific business challenge. This section discusses the state
of the organization, and introduces the business challenge GSC addresses in the
course of this report.

2.2 Business Challenge

Gold Coast Science Network has operated since 1993 and has recently attained
501(c)3 status. The recent and projected growth as a non-profit organization has
created a need to establish a formal policy manual as well as operating procedures to
ensure that the organization operates in a consistent, as well as ethical manner. An
effective and well-constructed policy is an important aspect of a nonprofit's
foundation, as it acts as a guide for all actions of the board and staff. In addition to a
policy manual helping to make nonprofits more effective, it also works to protect the
board of directors, who are held legally responsible for all actions of the organization.
Strong, clear, and concise policies work to ensure legal and ethical operations of the
organization. GCSN has ambitions to grow, to reach more educators, to increase their
presence, and to ultimately increase the quality of STEM education in the region.
GCSN recognizes that in order to do that, they need to have a firm organizational
foundation.

Gold Coast Science Network engaged Golden Standard Consulting’s to create draft
policies that will help GCSN develop a firm policy base so they can continue their
upward trajectory in the most ethical and effective manner possible. The sample
policies that GSC created address four policy areas: compensation, conflict of interest,
employment and sponsorship. GCSN will then use these template policies to create
their official policy manual. GSC will provide assistance in further policy development in
the form of a style guide and template. GSC will also provide a list of priority policies,
or policy areas that need to be developed for structural, ethical, or legal reasons

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3. Methodology

3.1 Introduction
Golden Standard Consulting employed a number of methods to address the business
challenge. Each method provided a unique dimension and level of depth, allowing
GSC to develop holistic policies. This section introduces each method and expands
on the purpose and key findings of each.

Forms of research Golden Standard Consulting employed in constructing draft


policies:
a. Interviews of Nonprofit Industry Experts
b. Scholarly Articles Published by Credible Organizations
c. Reference and research of polices employed by model organizations

Golden Standard Consulting surveyed the Gold Coast Science Network Board of
Directors. The survey allowed GSC to gain valuable insights to the key concerns of the
board and the direction of the organization. Through the survey, the policy concern
areas were validated, which empowered GSC to move forward with increased
confidence and context.

Interviews with industry experts provided a first-hand look into the ideologies and
reasoning for actions and policy developments. This source of information was crucial
to providing personal insights into procedural developments, and the application of
polices to boards. By interviewing experts, Golden Standard Consulting attained more
personal information as well as advice regarding the development of policies and the
context for their application.

GSC conducted research through several general information sources, created by a


number of organizations seeking to aide in the development of successful nonprofits.
These sources provided information into the purpose of policies and the reasons for
policy development.

GSC referenced and researched the policies employed by organizations of similar size
and/or mission. These models served as a basis for several of the policies, and
provided insights into working policies, outside of the general information gathered
otherwise.

Section 3 provides in depth information regarding the means of research conducted,


as well as key findings.

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3.2 Survey
Following the initial interview, in order to develop policies for the board at large the key
concern areas needed to be identified. These concern areas may vary by each board
member’s structural function and background, so GSC developed a survey to assess
the needs and concerns of each of the members. The advantages to implementing a
survey include the fact that it produces empirical data, based on real-world
observations. It allows for a breadth of coverage that GCSN could not have achieved
via interview alone, and requires less effort for respondents to participate. The
disadvantages that GSC considered in survey implementation are the fact that
responses lack the detail that would have been obtained via interviews, and high
response rates are often difficult to achieve.
In designing the survey, GSC first considered the ultimate goals of the survey. The
survey goal is to identify and understand the key concern areas of each board
member, so that the policies developed can best fill the needs of the board. In order to
achieve this goal, GSC consulted best practices models and forums at
SurveyMonkey.com, an online survey service that leads the market, as well as the text
Research Design by John Creswell. The survey included both quantitative questions,
to better understand board demographics and to construct respondent identities, and
qualitative questions to identify the concern areas to examine, as well as the context
for the concerns)

3.2 A Accomplishments
● Designed and Distributed survey to all board members
● Collect Responses from 8 of 9 Board Members
● Analyze Responses

3.2 B Key Findings


● All members of the board are currently, or were previously educators
● All members agree policies need to be developed and implemented for the
maximization of capacity building as well as expansion
● Key concerns are lack of tax code knowledge and sufficient policies in place
● Pointed to Heal the Bay, K12 Alliance, Non-profit help, and CSTA as similar
organizations to consult for relevant guidance

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3.3 Interviews

3.3 A Introduction
In order to understand the most effective policies, Golden Standard interviewed three
nonprofits (REAL School Gardens, California Science Teachers Association,
DonorsChose.org) and one nonprofit industry specialist (Dr. Regan Schaffer). The
objective of conducting interviews was to obtain information from nonprofits that
currently have policies in place and how they created them. By consulting an industry
specialist with experience in working with, serving on the board, and consulting for
various nonprofits GSC gained invaluable information on how to create effective
policies and insight into the nonprofit sector. In order to prepare for the interviews GSC
referenced information from Duke University that aided in the creation of interview
questions and general interview techniques. For each interview GSC contacted either
nonprofit contact listed on their website either by email or phone. Each organization
and if possible each interviewee were extensively researched and interview questions
were created that were specific to each nonprofit. Therefore, the interview questions
were different and specifically tailored to the interviewee/organization they represent
(see Appendix A for interview questions).

3.3 B Interview with Jeanne McCarty, REAL School Gardens


● Jeanne McCarty is the CEO of REAL School Gardens, which is connected to the
Green Teacher Network. REAL School Gardens is a national nonprofit dedicated
to improving STEM education by training teachers and creating learning gardens
that engage students on new levels. She has been an integral part of the
organization since the beginning and is an excellent reference for organizational
growth and structuring. Prior to coming to REAL School Gardens, she spent
eight years as vice president and director of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots &
Shoots, a global youth service program focused on conservation.
● Ms. McCarty was interviewed over the phone on Friday, October 28 at 8:00AM
PST. She called GSC at 951-427-8845, but her national office can be contacted
at 202-621-2375.
● Key Findings:
o Develop Core Values:
§ Entire Board must be on the same page as far as the nonprofit's
vision goes.
§ A clear mission can convince those outside your organization to do
work for the nonprofit pro-bono.
o Board Makeup:

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§High functioning nonprofits almost always have a diverse board
(i.e. gender, occupation, age, expertise, contacts).
§ Though difficult to first impose, board term limits ensure members
do not become complacent and unproductive
§ Each board member should have a list of contacts, influences, and
experts outside of the organization that could potentially help the
nonprofit.
o Board Responsibilities:
§ As a 501(C)3, board members are responsible for the fiscal and
legal behavior off the nonprofit - members should consider taking
out officer or director insurance to protect themselves.
§ Growth can only occur within structure. Board operations are
much more sophisticated than setting budgets.
§ May be beneficial for to hire an accounting and legal team to
formalize financial policies (if not possible, Board Source Online
could be a helpful resource).

3.3 C Interview with Jessica L. Sawko, California Science Teachers Association


● Jessica Sawko is an Executive Director for the California Science Teachers
Association, a Northern Californian based nonprofit committed to promoting
higher quality education in the science field. GSC conducted a phone interview
to ask her about the policy creation for CSTA as well as logistics of the
organization. Additionally, Ms. Sawko provided GSC with a wide variety of
policies and other relevant documents which were used to create draft policies
for GCSN. Ultimately, GSC wanted to understand at a deeper level the ways in
which California Science Teachers Association is organized. As our main focus
is about policies, most questions pertained to policy development,
implementation and various house keeping necessities. As questions varied
throughout this interview it became apparent that Ms. Sawko’s knowledge
would be beneficial to GCSN needs and that leveraging her ideas and
suggestions would be an asset.
● Ms. Sawko was interviewed over the phone on Thursday, November 10th at
4pm PST. She was reached by calling (916) 979-7004.
● Key Findings:
o Policy committee organized to create/discuss new or old policies.
o Committee includes current board members to gain insider knowledge as
well as outside parties for another point of view.
o Committee will meet once a year and go through all policies and
determine their worth to the organization.

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o GSC was given all policies from CSTA to help organize and draft sample
policies for GCSN.

3.3 D Interview with Andie Safon, DonorsChoose.org


● Andie Safon is an Operations Associate for the nonprofit Donors Choose, an
online charitable website allowing anyone to donate money to specific
classroom projects around the United States. GSC asked questions regarding
policies, taxes, and creating specific manuals. Unfortunately, Ms. Safon was
unable to answer many questions due to privacy concerns and legal actions that
may take place. For GSC, the main takeaway came from her comments
regarding with taxation. Ms. Safon was very direct, telling GSC that for best
practices, it is best to use professional help when dealing with taxes. Hiring an
outside party creates an environment where unethical actions cannot be taken
and allows a third party to give an outsider's perspective on how well an
organization is doing.
● Ms. Safon was contacted on November 3rd, through the DonorsChoose
Question / Contact Portal.
● Key Findings:
○ Unable to disclose many polices to GSC, but stressed the ideas of
Seeking professional help when dealing with taxes and the IRS.

3.3 E Interview with Regan Schaffer, Pepperdine University


● Dr. Regan Schaffer is a professor of management and organizational behavior in
the business administration division at Pepperdine University. She is the
executive director of the Pepperdine Nonprofit Leadership Collaborative and the
Service Leadership Collaborative. Through her service to Pepperdine she was
worked with a magnitude of nonprofits in addition to serving on various
nonprofit board and consulting for nonprofits. Dr. Schaffer was an invaluable
resource due to her extensive experience in all portions of nonprofits. GSC
chose to interview Dr. Schaffer due to her vast experience and knowledge in the
process of creating and implementing effective policies. Dr. Schaffer
● Dr. Schaffer was contacted by email (regan.schaffer@pepperdine.edu) to set up
interview. She was interviewed in person on November 15 at 2pm.
● Key Findings:
○ Necessary that all board members (and potential board members) know
they will not be compensated
§ Serving on a board is voluntary
o There are few circumstances where board members can be reimbursed

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§ i.e.: travel expense to attend meetings, but there should be a limit
to the amount allowed to be reimbursed and this should be
decided by board and added to policy
o A strong board is just as important as having strong policies
§ Strong board:
§ Diversity of members (gender, race, occupation, age, etc.)
§ Understanding that the role of the board is to keep the
mission
§ Understanding of legal responsibility as a member
§ Board training at least yearly if not more often
§ Disclosure of all conflict of interest issues

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3.4 Research: Online Nonprofit Resources

In order to draft policies, Golden Standard Consulting researched, discovered, and


extracted relevant information from various documents posted by credible online
sources. Golden Standard Consulting utilized the following sources, which served as
the basis for policy-creation.

3.4 A National Council of Nonprofits


The National Council of Nonprofits is a reliable resource and advocate for
America’s charitable nonprofits. Through their network of State Associations
and 25,000-plus members, the Council of Nonprofit serves as a central
coordinator and mobilizer to help nonprofits achieve greater collective impact in
local communities across the country. The National Council of Nonprofits
identifies emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that
benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve.
3.4 B 501 Commons
501 Commons is a multi-purpose site that connects contract services to
nonprofits, mobilizes support for organizations, and works to bring the modern
technology of business to the nonprofit sector coined “zap the gap”. The site
provides a wealth of information regarding best practices and has policy
examples available to be used freely as reference and for implementation.
3.4 C Independent Sector
The Independent Sector is a leadership network for nonprofits, foundations, and
corporations committed to advancing the common good. GSC utilized an
Independent Sector document, Principles for Good Governance and Ethical
Practice which outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable
organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure,
effective governance, financial oversight and responsible fundraising.
3.4 D Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that
helps millions of Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through
service. The site provides resources for nonprofit organizations that can be
utilized without discrepancy for reference and implementation. This is
organization also runs AmeriCorps programs, which demonstrates the ability of
the organization to scale its policies and activities.
The Corporation for National and Community Service’s Sample Employee
Handbook set the precedent for the overall structure of policy manuals as well
as the content within the manuals. This document provides an exact and

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unquestionably detailed policy manual outline, which served as the predominant
basis for the structure of the employment policy manual.
3.4 E Montana Nonprofit Association
Golden Standard Consulting utilized the explicitly outlined policies provided by
this site. The information posted by this organization provide clear explanations
in regards to policy-making in a casual tone allowing for an enjoyable read. The
policies provided by this site undeniably follow a concrete and concise
structure. Henceforth, GSC established that mtnonprofit.org as an ideal
reference when drafting policies for the client.

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3.5 Research: Organizations
In order to have a comprehensive understanding of the most effective and ethical
policy creation, Golden Standard Consulting looked at real nonprofits to gain insight
into a more real world understand of the best type of policies, wording/formatting of
real functioning policies. Ultimately, the major reason GSC looked at these nonprofits
were to look at their policy manual and use them as a format guide for the creation of
draft policies for GSCN. Nonprofits that had a similar in the mission of GCSN with
some organizations being slightly bigger in size were researched. In the initial research
nine organizations were analyzed, but three were found to not be beneficial in the
scope of the project. The following six organizations were extensively research by the
GSC team.
3.5 A TERC
TERC, Technical Education Research Center, was an important player in the
policy creation process as all of their policies are listed online and they acted as
a template to help GSC create the draft policies. Another important point to note
is the size of TERC. This non-profit is larger in size, which may be an important
tool, as GCSN wants to grow in size. With the knowledge that TREC can
provide, GSC is confident with that TERC can be used to help develop a policy
manual.
3.5 C California Science Teacher Association
California Science Teachers Association was chosen as they are helpful in that
they have a similar mission to GCSN. CSTA is incorporated as a 501(c)(3), and is
currently growing in size. Golden Standard Consulting looked at California
Science Teachers Association’s policies regarding taxes, compensation, etc,
and provided a strong foundation in how sample policies were drafted for
GCSN.
3.5 D Donors Choose
Donors Choose was a good organization to research because of the similarities
between Donors Choose and GCSN. The reason why it was especially helpful
was because they work primarily on receiving and giving donations to schools
around the country. Donors Choose does not work directly with schools, but
rather funds the programs or supplies that they need. With this, the policies and
agreements of the organization were a vital source when creating draft policies
for GCSN. Golden Standard Consulting recognized that one of the main
concerns is how GCSN receives money in a non constricting way, and since
Donors Choose appears to be a leader in these activities they provided great
knowledge on policies and practices that GCSN.

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3.5 E Minnesota STEM Network
Minnesota STEM Network is a non-profit organization that is extremely similar to
GCSN. Minnesota STEM Network wants to connect teachers within the science
field to greater resources to be able to provide better teaching skills to students,
something that GCSN wants to do as well. This company was a great reference
point and had an established policy manual available on their website.
3.5 F San Diego Science Alliance
San Diego Science Alliance is partnered with major renown companies such as
Apple, AT&T, California Department of Education, and many others - the list is
provided on their website. They host events such as BE WiSE - Better Education
for Women in Science and Engineering and Youth Space Institute. In a given
year, they host seven programs dedicated to the improvement of education in
STEM. With these known events scheduled, SDSA provided a pivotal guide
when creating policies regarding conflict of interest and any other household
needs when curating events.
3.5 G REAL School Gardens
The REAL School Gardens program helps students succeed by creating learning
gardens in low-income schools and training teachers how to use them to
improve student engagement and academic achievement. This organization
provided a valuable information due to it’s similar mission of engaging students
in science. GSC’s interview with the CEO provided insight into the necessity of
building a policy structure for the future vision on an organization

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4. Presentation of Results

4.1 Conflict of Interest Policy

4.1 A Introduction

A conflict of Interest Policy is essential to develop, implement, and uphold, because


the IRS form 1023 requires it. Beyond the IRS requirement, clear conflict of interest
policies can also work to ensure a cohesive board by reducing points of tension. This
section outlines the specific sources that were referenced in developing the policy,
presents the policy draft, and provides an implementation strategy.

4.1 B Methodology
Golden Standard Consulting developed this policy through research focused on
addressing the project’s objective, developing an understanding of why this is a crucial
policy to develop and maintain, and looking at models set forth by reputable
organizations.

GSC has gathered a host of policies and developed this conflict of interest draft policy
by referencing TERC’s conflict of interest policy (located in the appendix) and with the
guidance of policies drafted by the 501(c)3 commons at www.nationalservice.gov. The
reasons to develop the policy and context were gathered from the Independent
Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice, as well as the Policies
and Procedures handbook provided by The Corporation for National and Community
Service.

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4.1 C Presentation of Results: Conflict of Interest Draft Policy

Gold Coast Science Network defines conflict of interest as a situation in which an individual has a
duty to more than one person or organization, but may not be able to do justice to the actual or
potentially adverse interests of both parties. Gold Coast Science Network assumes that all members
of the board will work together, and conduct themselves responsibly and ethically. Even with
responsible and ethical conduct, there is the potential that real or perceived conflicts of interests can
arise. Given this potential, effective governance is essential. It requires deliberate, thoughtful, and
unbiased decision-making by directors and staff members.

Directors and staff members have the duty of complete allegiance to Gold Coast Science Network’s
(GCSN) mission when acting on behalf of GCSN. This duty requires that directors and staff members
recognize and respond appropriately to any real or perceived conflict of interest. A conflict may exist
when a director or staff member participates in the deliberation and resolution of an issue on behalf of
GCSN while the individual has or previously had other professional, business or volunteer
responsibilities outside of GCSN that could cause such individuals to address the issue with less than
complete, undivided allegiance to GCSN. Circumstances that may result in an actual or perceived
conflict of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Granting funds to a charitable nonprofit organization on which a director or staff
member or their families are serving as staff, board members or volunteers.
• Participating on fundraising committees or in fundraising efforts for an organization
seeking a grant from the GCSN.
• Investing GCSN funds.
• Hiring vendors or consultants for GCSN.
• Employing a director or a relative of a director or staff as staff or as a consultant for a
project.
• Divestiture of prohibited financial interests.
• Disclosure of financial interests.
• Outside activities.
• Awards.
• Engaging in networking activities that may benefit some entity besides GCSN.
• Compensating or reimbursing GCSN members.

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It is the GCSN’s policy to deal with such conflicts in an open and direct manner. In accordance with
this policy, all directors and staff members are required to disclose an actual or perceived conflict (to
be recorded in minutes) and to remove themselves from participation in any related discussions or
decision-making by GCSN. However, a director or staff member may, if requested by the Board or a
committee of the Board, provide factual information that may assist the Board or committee in its
deliberations. A director or staff member may seek guidance from the Board or a committee of the
Board as to whether a particular activity or relationship constitutes an actual or perceived conflict of
interest. A copy of this policy shall be provided to all prospective directors and staff members. By
accepting appointment as a director or employment as a staff member, an individual agrees to strictly
adhere to this policy.

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4.1 D Disclosure documents

Potential Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

Please complete the questionnaire below, indicating any potential conflicts of interest.
If you answer "yes" to any of the questions, please provide a written description of the
details of the specific action, policy or transaction in the space allowed. Attach
additional sheets as needed.
A conflict may exist where an interested party directly or indirectly benefits or profits
as a result of a decision, policy or transaction made by Gold Coast Science Network.
The interested party would not have obtained this benefit were it not for his/her
relationship with Gold Coast Science Network.
● Has Gold Coast Science Network proposed to contract or contracted to
purchase or lease goods, services, or property from you or from any of your
relatives or associates?________

● Board members/Executive Directors only: Has Gold Coast Science Network


offered employment to you or to any of your relatives or associates?________

● Have you used your relationship with Gold Coast Science Network to obtain a
contract, employment for yourself or any of your relatives or associates, from a
person or entity that does business with Gold Coast Science Network? ________

● Have you or any of your relatives been provided use of the facilities, property, or
services of Gold Coast Science Network in a way that is not available to others
who benefit from the organization’s services? ________

● Have you, a relative or an associate been in a position to benefit financially from


an action, policy or transaction made by Gold Coast Science Network? ________

● Are you aware of other issues or situations not addressed above? ________

Name (Please print)________________________________

Signature___________________________________ Date________________________

Golden Standard Consulting 21


Conflict of Interest Affirmation of Compliance

I have received and carefully read the Conflict of Interest Policy for board members, the
executive director and managers. I have considered not only the literal expression of the policy,
but also its intent. By signing this affirmation of compliance, I hereby affirm that I understand and
agree to comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy. I further understand that Gold Coast Science
Network is a nonprofit organization, and that in order to maintain its federal tax exemption, it
must engage primarily in activities that accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes
without personal inurement or benefit by board members, consultants/volunteers or staff (other
than by salary).

I hereby state that I do not have any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, that may be seen
as competition with the interests of Gold Coast Science Network, nor does any relative or
associate have such a potential conflict of interest.

If any situation should arise in the future that I think may involve me in a conflict of interest, I will
promptly and fully disclose in writing the circumstances to the Chair of the Board of Directors or
to the Executive Director, as applicable.

I further certify that the information set forth in the Disclosure Statement and attachments, if any,
is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.

Name (Please print) ______________________________________________

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

Annual Review and Reaffirmation

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

These Documents can be found in Appendix E.

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4.1. E Implementation
This policy requires the entire board to fill out and provide to the board a Potential
Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement, as well as a document affirming their
compliance with the conflict of interest policy. Both of these documents have been
provided, and are adapted from models set forth by the 501 Commons. Golden
Standard Consulting recommends that the client, Gold Coast Science Network, review
the provided policies and make any necessary adjustment, as the board deems
necessary. The organization’s Board of Directors should host annual meetings in which
members discuss and renew conflict of interest policies as new conflicts of interest
issues may arise with time.

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4.2 Employment Policy

4.2 A Introduction

An employment policy and handbook is essential to develop because while Gold Coast
Science Network has no employees to date, as the organization grows, and capacity
building operations take place, there will be an increasing need for employees. In
order to employ an individual, the organization must have a clear employee handbook
to protect against litigation, to ensure that employees know their rights and are fairly
treated. This section outlines the specific sources that were referenced in developing
the policy, presents the policy draft, and provides an implementation strategy.

4.2 B Methodology
In order to construct an effective employment policy manual specifically tailored to the
needs of Gold Coast Science Network, Golden Standard Consulting initially conducted
research in order to understand how established nonprofit organizations and non profit
assistance organizations, such as the National Council of Nonprofits organize
employment policy manuals. Golden Standard Consulting established that
supplementing scholarly articles with working models for existing organizations would
be the most effective means of understanding employment policies.

Among the most helpful sources were the Corporation for National and Community
Service’s “Policies and Procedures Handbook”, which provides an abundance of
information delineating how most organization should establish their policy manuals.
This document outlines subsections of Governing Policies and Procedures, which
include section of information about mission statements, bylaws, board organization,
employment, etc.

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4.2.2 Presentation of Results: Employment Policy Manual Draft

Gold Coast Science Network must develop and employ a clear and concise
employment policy manual. Due to its status as a 501(c)3 organization, the employment
of workers is extremely important to the capacity building of the organization to ensure
expansion in the future.
For purposes of this document, please note the difference between employee versus
board member or volunteer. Gold Coast Science Network defines an employee as a
person in the service of another under the contract of hire, express or implied, oral or
written, where the employer has the power or right to control and direct the employee
in the material details of how the work is to be performed. A volunteer may change
status to employee in the eyes of the IRS if they are paid for their work.
Upon employment, Gold Coast Science Network must ensure that the employee signs
the Employee Receipt and Acceptance document as well as the Confidentiality
Disclosure Agreement.

Here forward, you will find the employment policy manual.

Employee Receipt and Acceptance Document


I hereby acknowledge receipt of the Gold Coast Science Network Employee
Handbook. I understand that it is my continuing responsibility to read and know its
contents. I also understand and agree that the Employee Handbook is not an
employment contract for any specific period of employment or for continuing or long‐
term employment. Therefore, I acknowledge and understand that unless I have a
written employment agreement with Gold Coast Science Network that provides
otherwise, I have the right to resign from my employment with GCSN at any time with
or without notice and with or without cause, and that GCSN has the right to terminate
my employment at any time with or without notice and with or without cause. I have
read, understand and agree to all of the above. I have also read and understand the
Gold Coast Science Network Employee Handbook. I agree to return the Employee
Handbook upon termination of my employment.

Signature _______________________________________________________

Print Name ________________________ Date ________________________

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Confidentiality Policy
All information concerning clients, former clients, our staff, volunteers, and financial
data, and business records of Gold Coast Science Network is confidential.
“Confidential” means that you are free to talk about Gold Coast Science Network and
about your program and your position, but you are not permitted to disclose clients’
names or talk about them in ways that will make their identity known. No information
may be released without appropriate authorization. This is a basic component of client
care and business ethics. The board of directors, staff, and our clients rely on paid and
volunteer staff to conform to this rule of confidentiality.

Gold Coast Science Network expects you to respect the privacy of clients and to
maintain their personal and financial information as confidential. All records dealing
with specific clients must be treated as confidential. General information, policy
statements or statistical material that is not identified with any individual or family is not
classified as confidential. Staff members are responsible for maintaining the
confidentiality of information relating to other staff members and volunteers, in addition
to clients.
Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in termination of your employment, or
other corrective action. This policy is intended to protect you as well as GCSN because
in extreme cases, violations of this policy also may result in personal liability.

Certification
I have read Gold Coast Science Network’s policy on confidentiality and the Statement
of Confidentiality presented above. I agree to abide by the requirements of the policy
and inform my supervisor immediately if I believe any violation (unintentional or
otherwise) of the policy has occurred. I understand that violation of this policy will lead
to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of my service with GCSN.

Signature ________________________________________________

Name _________________________Date________________________

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Organization Overview
The Gold Coast Science Network Employee Handbook (the “Handbook”) has been
developed to provide general guidelines about Gold Coast Science Network policies
and procedures for employees. It is a guide to assist you in becoming familiar with
some of the privileges and obligations of your employment, including Gold Coast
Science Network’s policy of voluntary at‐will employment. None of the policies or
guidelines in the Handbook are intended to give rise to contractual rights or
obligations, or to be construed as a guarantee of employment for any specific period of
time, or any specific type of work. Additionally, these guidelines are subject to
modification, amendment or revocation by Gold Coast Science Network at any time.
The personnel policies of Gold Coast Science Network are established by the Board of
Directors, which has delegated authority and responsibility for their administration to
the Executive Director. The Executive Director may, in turn, delegate authority for
administering specific policies. Employees are encouraged to consult the Executive
Director for additional information regarding the policies, procedures, and privileges
described in this Handbook. Questions about personnel matters also may be
reviewed with the Executive Director. Gold Coast Science Network will provide each
individual a copy of this Handbook upon employment. All employees are expected to
abide by it. The highest standards of personal and professional ethics and behavior are
expected of all Gold Coast Science Network employees. Further, GCSN expects each
employee to display good judgment, diplomacy and courtesy in their professional
relationships with members of Gold Coast Science Network’s Board of Directors,
committees, membership, staff, and the general public.

Mission of the Organization


Founded in 1993, Gold Coast Science Network (GCSN) is a 501c3 nonprofit
organization dedicated to improving STEM education. The mission and objectives of
GCSN are to 1) Promote improvements in K-12 and postsecondary education; 2)
Advocate scientific thinking and the utilization of the methods of science; 3) Share
information regarding STEM education and opportunities for collaboration, networking,
and professional development between and for those interested in promoting STEM
education.

Voluntary At-Will Employment


Your employment with Gold Coast Science Network is a voluntary one and is subject
to termination by you or GCSN at will, with or without cause at any time. Nothing in
these policies shall be interpreted to be in conflict with or to eliminate or modify in any
way the employment-at-will status of Gold Coast Science Network employees.

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This policy of employment-at-will may not be modified by any officer or employee and
shall not be modified in any publication or document. The only exception to this policy
is a written employment agreement approved at the discretion of the President or the
Board of Directors, whichever is applicable.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy


Gold Coast Science Network does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race,
color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry),
disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or
operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff,
selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to
providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients,
volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

Gold Coast Science Network is an equal opportunity employer. We will not


discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination
in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation,
termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any
employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age,
religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender
expression. The Executive Director shall act as the responsible agent in the full
implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity policy.

Gold Coast Science Network will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination. All
employees are expected to cooperate fully in implementing this policy. If GCSN
determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, it will take appropriate
disciplinary action against the offending party, which can include but may not be
limited to counseling, warnings, suspensions, and termination. Employees who report,
in good faith, violations of this policy and employees who cooperate with investigations
into alleged violations of this policy will not be subject to retaliation. Upon completion
of the investigation, Gold Coast Science Network will inform the employee who made
the complaint of the results of the investigation.

Gold Coast Science Network is also committed to complying fully with applicable
disability discrimination laws, and ensuring that equal opportunity in employment exists
at GCSN for qualified persons with disabilities. All employment practices and activities
are conducted on a non‐discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations will be
available to all qualified disabled employees, upon request, so long as the potential
accommodation does not create an undue hardship on GCSN. Employees who believe

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that they may require an accommodation should discuss these needs with the
Executive Director.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the Executive Director.

Policy Against Workplace Harassment


Gold Coast Science Network is committed to providing a work environment for all
employees that is free from sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory
harassment. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional
manner and to show respect for their co‐workers.

Gold Coast Science Network’s commitment begins with the recognition and
acknowledgment that sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory harassment
are, of course, unlawful. To reinforce this commitment, GCSN has developed a policy
against harassment and a reporting procedure for employees who have been
subjected to or witnessed harassment. This policy applies to all work‐related settings
and activities, whether inside or outside the workplace, and includes business trips and
business‐related social events. GCSN’s property (e.g. telephones, copy machines,
facsimile machines, computers, and computer applications such as e‐mail and Internet
access) may not be used to engage in conduct that violates this policy. Gold Coast
Science Network’s policy against harassment covers employees and other individuals
who have a relationship with GCSN, which enables GCSN to exercise some control
over the individual’s conduct in places and activities that relate to GCSN’s work (e.g.
directors, officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, etc.).

Prohibition of Sexual Harassment


Gold Coast Science Network’s policy against sexual harassment prohibits sexual
advances or requests for sexual favors or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual
nature, when: (1) submission to such conduct is made an express or implicit condition
of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for
employment decisions affecting the individual who submits to or rejects such conduct;
or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an
employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or
offensive working environment.

While it is not possible to list all of the circumstances which would constitute sexual
harassment, the following are some examples: (1) unwelcome sexual advances ‐‐
whether they involve physical touching or not; (2) requests for sexual favors in
exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary

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increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment; or (3) coerced
sexual acts.

Depending on the circumstances, the following conduct may also constitute sexual
harassment: (1) use of sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual
conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; (2) sexually oriented comment on an
individual’s body, comment about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or
prowess; (3) displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons; (4) unwelcome
leering, whistling, deliberate brushing against the body in a suggestive manner; (5)
sexual gestures or sexually suggestive comments; (6) inquiries into one’s sexual
experiences; or (7) discussion of one’s sexual activities.

While such behavior, depending on the circumstances, may not be severe or pervasive
enough to create a sexually hostile work environment, it can nonetheless make
coworkers uncomfortable. Accordingly, such behavior is inappropriate and may result
in disciplinary action regardless of whether it is unlawful.

It is also unlawful and expressly against GCSN policy to retaliate against an employee
for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating with an investigation of a
complaint of sexual harassment.

Prohibition of Other Types of Discriminatory Harassment: It is also against GCSN’s


policy to engage in verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or
aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, gender, religion, sexual
orientation, age, national origin, disability, or other protected category (or that of the
individual’s relatives, friends, or associates) that: (1) has the purpose or effect of
creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment; (2) has
the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work
performance; or (3) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment
opportunities.

Depending on the circumstances, the following conduct may constitute discriminatory


harassment: (1) epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, jokes, or threatening,
intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to race, color, gender, religion, sexual
orientation, age, national origin, or disability; and (2) written or graphic material that
denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group because of race, color,
gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability and that is
circulated in the workplace, or placed anywhere in GCSN’s premises such as on an
employee’s desk or workspace or on GCSN’s equipment or bulletin boards. Other

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conduct may also constitute discriminatory harassment if it falls within the definition of
discriminatory harassment set forth above.

It is also against GCSN’s policy to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint
of discriminatory harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint of
discriminatory harassment.
Reporting of Harassment: If you believe that you have experienced or witnessed
sexual harassment or other discriminatory harassment by any employee of GCSN, you
should report the incident immediately to your supervisor or to the Executive Director.
Possible harassment by others with whom GCSN has a business relationship,
including customers and vendors, should also be reported as soon as possible so that
appropriate action can be taken.

Gold Coast Science Network will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of
harassment as discreetly and confidentially as practicable. The investigation would
generally include a private interview with the person making a report of harassment. It
would also generally be necessary to discuss allegations of harassment with the
accused individual and others who may have information relevant to the investigation.
GCSN’s goal is to conduct a thorough investigation, to determine whether harassment
occurred, and to determine what action to take if it is determined that improper
behavior occurred.

If GCSN determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, it will take appropriate
disciplinary action against the offending party, which can include counseling, warnings,
suspensions, and termination. Employees who report violations of this policy and
employees who cooperate with investigations into alleged violations of this policy will
not be subject to retaliation. Upon completion of the investigation, Gold Coast Science
Network will inform the employee who made the complaint of the results of the
investigation.

Compliance with this policy is a condition of each employee’s employment.


Employees are encouraged to raise any questions or concerns about this policy or
about possible discriminatory harassment with the Executive Director. In the case
where the allegation of harassment is against the Executive Director, please notify the
staff member designated as grievance officer.

Employee Compensation Policies


Everything Gold Coast Science Network does is for the benefit of its people—its
member-owners, employees and community. Gold Coast Science Network

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demonstrates this commitment through its history as a pioneer leader in the
cooperative credit union movement, and the credit union values its employees and
volunteers and their contributions to its member-owners’ financial success.

As an employer, Gold Coast Science Network believes that it is in the best interest of
both the organization and its employees to fairly compensate its workforce for the
value of the work provided. It is GCSN’s intention to use a compensation system that
will determine the current market value of a position based on the skills, knowledge
and behaviors required of a fully competent incumbent. The system used will be
objective and nondiscriminatory in theory, application and practice. The company has
determined that this can best be accomplished by using a professional compensation
consultant and system recommended by executive management and approved by the
board of directors.

Attendance and Punctuality


Attendance is a key factor in your job performance. Punctuality and regular
attendance are expected of all employees. Excessive absences (whether excused or
unexcused), tardiness or leaving early is unacceptable. If you are absent for any
reason or plan to arrive late or leave early, you must notify your supervisor and the
office manager as far in advance as possible and no later than one hour before the
start of your scheduled work day. In the event of an emergency, you must notify your
supervisor as soon as possible. For all absences extending longer than one day, you
must telephone your immediate supervisor prior to the start of each scheduled
workday. When reporting an absence, you should indicate the nature of the problem
causing your absence and your expected return‐to‐ work date. A physician’s
statement may be required as proof of the need for any illness‐related absence
regardless of the length of the absence. Except as provided in other policies, an
employee who is absent from work for three consecutive days without notification to
his or her supervisor or the Executive Director will be considered to have voluntarily
terminated his or her employment. The employee’s final paycheck will be mailed to the
last mailing address on file with Gold Coast Science Network. Excessive absences,
tardiness or leaving early will be grounds for discipline up to and including termination.
Depending on the circumstances, including the employee’s length of employment,
Gold Coast Science Network may counsel employees prior to termination for excessive
absences, tardiness or leaving early.

General Compensation Guideline


The board of directors or trustees, or authorized committee (“Governing Body”) shall
review and approve the compensation of Compensated Individuals.

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Specific Requirements.
The Governing Body reviewing and approving compensation for Compensated
Individuals shall satisfy the following requirements or procedures:

Approval by Persons Without a Conflict of Interest


Compensation shall be reviewed and approved by the Governing Body, provided that
persons with a conflict of interest with respect to the compensation arrangement at
issue are not involved. Members of the Governing Body do not have a conflict of
interest if they (a) are not benefitting from or participating in the compensation
arrangement; (b) are not in an employment relationship subject to the direction or
control of any person benefitting from or participating in the compensation
arrangement; (c) do not receive compensation or other payments subject to the
approval of any person benefitting from or participating in the compensation
arrangement; (d) have no material financial interest affected by the compensation
arrangement; and (e) do not approve a transaction providing economic benefits to any
person participating in the compensation arrangement, who in turn has or will approve
a transaction providing economic benefits to the member.

Use of Comparability Data


In its review and approval of compensation, the Governing Body shall affirmatively
determine that compensation is reasonable to the organization based upon information
sufficient to determine whether the value of services is the amount that would ordinarily
be paid for like services by like enterprises, whether taxable or tax exempt, under like
circumstances. Relevant information includes, but is not limited to, compensation
levels paid by similarly situated organizations, both taxable and tax exempt, for
functionally comparable positions; the availability of similar services in the geographic
area of the organization; current compensation surveys compiled by independent
firms; and actual written offers from similar institutions competing for the services of
the compensated person. If the organization has average annual gross receipts of less
than $1 million for the prior three tax years, the Governing Body will have appropriate
comparability information if it has information on compensation paid by three
comparable organizations in the same or similar communities for similar services.

Recording Compensation Deliberations


The Governing Body’s review and approval of compensation shall be promptly
recorded in the minutes of its meetings and contain: (a) the terms of the compensation
and the date approved; (b) the names of the members of the Governing Body who
were present during the discussion and those who voted on the approved
compensation; (c) the comparability data obtained and relied upon, and how it was

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obtained; (d) any action taken with respect to consideration of the compensation by a
member of the Governing Body who had a conflict of interest with respect to the
compensation; and (e) if the reasonable compensation is higher or lower than the range
of comparability data obtained, the basis for the decision. Such minutes shall be
reviewed and approved by the Governing Body as reasonable, accurate and complete
within a reasonable time after the review and approval of the compensation.

Position Description and Salary Administration


Each position shall have a written job description. In general, the description will
include the: purpose of the position, areas of responsibilities, immediate supervisor(s),
salary range, and working conditions affecting the job, e.g., working hours, use of car,
etc.

The supervisor(s) or the Executive Director shall have discretion to modify the job
description to meet the needs of Gold Coast Science Network. Paychecks are
distributed on the 15th and the last day of each month, except when either of those
days falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, in which case paychecks will be
distributed on the preceding workday. Timesheets are due to the Executive Director
within two days of each pay period. All salary deductions are itemized and presented
to employees with the paycheck. Approved salary deductions may include: federal
and state income taxes; social security, Medicare, and state disability insurance;
voluntary medical and group hospitalization insurance premiums (if in force and if paid
by employee) and other benefits (e.g., life insurance, retirement).

4.2 C Implementation of Results


Due to various regulations put in place by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it is of
diligent importance that every organization enact a policy manual delineating the
guidelines for employment guidelines and compensation. The IRS requires
organizations to file various tax forms depending on
Status or operational purpose of said organization. Based on plenty of research
conducted by Golden Standard Consulting, the IRS asks that nonprofit organizations
file the 990-tax form. In order to file this specific tax form and to comply with FASB
accounting principles (GAAP), these organizations require that nonprofit organizations
fill out timesheets for its employees as well as take note of employees who qualify for
overtime pay (exempt vs. nonexempt employees). By constituting a relevant
compensation manual, the organization is more likely to abide by IRS regulations and
maintain appropriate employee compensation.

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4.3 Compensation

4.3 A Introduction

The IRS code allows for board members of nonprofit organizations to be compensated
up to $600, before a form 1099 must be completed. It is not uncommon for the
policies of organizations to prohibit compensation of board members for anything
beyond basic reimbursements for the costs associated with serving on the board. This
prohibition ensures no conflicts of interest can arise in regards to the motivation for
members’ service on the board. Clear policies and transparency of compensation
activity ensures that an organization is functioning ethically, and legally. This section
outlines the specific sources that were referenced in developing the policy, presents
the policy draft, and provides an implementation strategy.

4.3 B Methodology
In order to create a compensation draft policy for board members, GSC consulted the
Independent Sector’s Principles Good Governance and Ethical Practice. This
document highlighted the key importance of having a compensation policy as well as
components of an effective policy. All specific links and information extracted from
every source utilized to draft this document can be found in Appendix G.

4.3 C Presentation of Results: Compensation Draft Policy

Gold Coast Science Network defines compensation as a situation in which an individual


receives money/wages for a service they have completed within the organization. Gold
Coast Science Network assumes that all members of the board will work together, and
conduct themselves responsibly and ethically. Gold Coast Science Network
understands the challenges faced when compensating board members for completing
work they have done, as well as hiring future employees as the organization grows in
size.

The following policy delineates board member compensation:

Serving as a Board members of Gold Coast Science Network is a volunteer position.


Board members are generally expected to serve without compensation, other than
reimbursement for expenses incurred to fulfill their board duties, pending discussion
and approval by the board. Compensation other than this can create a conflict of
interest within GCSN because individuals who have a personal financial interest in the
affairs of GCSN may not be as likely to question the decisions of those who determine

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their compensation or fees or to give unbiased consideration to changes in
management or program activities.

When GCSN finds it appropriate to compensate board members due to the nature,
time or professional competencies involved in the work, they must be prepared to
provide detailed documentation of the amount of and reasons for such compensation,
including the responsibilities of board members and the services they provide. Board
members of GCSN are responsible for ascertaining that any compensation they receive
does not exceed to a significant degree the compensation provided for positions in
comparable organizations with similar responsibilities and qualifications

4.3 D Implementation
Golden Standard Consulting suggest Gold Coast Science Network decides as a board
appropriate levels of reimbursement (if any) for board members. In addition, a
compensation committee should be created consisting of board members and
outsiders to decide the terms of reimbursement and review of all requests.

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4.4 Sponsorship Policy

4.4 A Introduction
Sponsorships are key sources of funding for many nonprofit organizations, and are
governed very tightly by the IRS. In order to ensure that sponsorships are conducted
in accordance with tax codes so that and are tax deductible, Gold Coast Science
Network needs a clear sponsorship policy that is implemented and upheld
consistently. This section outlines the specific sources that were referenced in
developing the policy, presents the policy draft, and provides an implementation
strategy.

4.4 B Methodology
Golden Standard Consulting utilized resources found on the National Council of
Nonprofits’ website as well as Tides’ sponsorship policy, a donor advised fund located
in San Francisco that provides money to organizations working to advance progressive
policy in the areas of the environment, healthcare, labor, and human rights.
Additionally, Golden Standard Consulting referenced policies in the 501(c)3 commons
at nationalservice.gov.

Reasons behind the development of a sponsorship policy were gathered from the
Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice and the
Policies and Procedures handbook provided by the Corporation for National and
Community Service All specific links and information extracted from others sources
utilized to draft this document can be found in Appendix H.

Golden Standard Consulting 37


4.4 C Presentation of Results: Sponsorship Draft Policy

As a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Gold Coast Science Network can


gratefully and strategically accept donations from foundations, individuals, and
corporations. As an educational organization, Gold Coast Science Network has a
responsibility to its community to present fair and unbiased information; and as a
nonprofit, Gold Coast Science Network must follow IRS regulations in terms of what
GCSN can accept from donors and what GCSN can do in return for said donations.

To comply with its educational mandate and IRS regulations, GCSN welcomes
sponsorships subject to the following guidelines:

1.) GCSN solicits and gratefully accepts sponsorships as a mutually-beneficial


exchange in which GCSN can receive cash from sponsors to support its
educational work. The sponsor must then receive an acknowledgement of
receipt on behalf of Gold Coast Science Network.
2.) GCSN chooses which sponsorships it wishes to accept and reserves the right to
reject any sponsorship offer, particularly if Gold Coast Science Network’s
acceptance and maintenance of said sponsorship proves to outweigh the
benefits.
3.) Sponsorships may vary by sponsor. GCSN does not endorse—either explicitly or
implicitly—any of its sponsors, nor does it endorse those sponsor's products,
services, or ideas.
4.) GCSN staff and contractors should not receive any substantial benefit from
association with sponsors. Any substantial benefit should be brought to the
attention of the GCSN Project Director.
5.) GCSN retains full control of its work, program, and content. Sponsors do not
have authority over the operation of what they have sponsored.
6.) GCSN retains the right to review and approve all communications in regard to a
sponsorship. This includes—but is not limited to—announcements, articles, and
press releases about the sponsorship.

Golden Standard Consulting 38


4.4.3 Implementation

In return for a sponsorship, GCSN may acknowledge the sponsor on the GCSN
website by:
1.) Placing the sponsor’s logo in the footer of the GCSN website.
2.) Placing the sponsor’s logo and a one-paragraph value-neutral description of the
sponsor and its product line(s) or service(s) on the Sponsors page of the GCSN
website. (GCSN will not place descriptions on the website that contain
qualitative or comparative descriptions of a sponsor’s products, services, facility
or company, as this would be considered a “substantial return benefit” by the
IRS.)
3.) Providing a hyperlink on the Sponsors page of the GCSN website to the
sponsor’s homepage, provided that product(s) and service(s) are not sold on the
homepage, as IRS regulations consider this to be advertising. If at any time the
sponsor changes its website and begins selling product(s) or service(s) on its
homepage, the sponsor must notify GCSN immediately and provide an alternate
page to link to where product(s) and service(s) are not sold.
4.) GCSN will place the items mentioned in the preceding three bullet points on the
GCSN website upon accepting a sponsorship and will leave them in place for
one year.
5.) GCSN will not acknowledge its sponsors in any newsletter, including an email
newsletter, as IRS regulations consider this to be advertising.

Golden Standard Consulting 39


5. Strategies for Implementation

In addition to specific implementation strategies for each policy that can be found
under each policy in section four (Implementation of Results), Golden Standard
Consulting suggests the following in order to implement the drafted policies:

5.1 Discuss and Adapt

Golden Standard Consulting worked to tailor the four draft policies to best-fit Gold
Coast Science Networks needs, but GSC acknowledges further refinement will be
needed to be done for the policies to best fit the organization. After all changes have
been discussed and decided upon, policy document should be edited and kept in
correct formatting and brought to following board meeting for voting (See Appendix J
for Style Guide).
• Timetable: Golden Standard Suggests discussing drafted policies at next board
meeting or holding a special meeting to discuss policies within the next three
months.

5.2 Vote and Adopt

After discussing and adapting the policies, GCSN should take time in a board meeting
to vote on policies and adopt them as a governing document.
• Timetable: Golden Standard Consulting suggest adapting, voting, and adopting
drafted polices within six months.

Golden Standard Consulting 40


6. Recommendations

6.1 Create Additional Policies

GSC suggest that GCSN use the following list to begin creating additional policies in
order to create a strong policy manual that will help to guide actions of the
organization. A policy style guide and template has been provided in Appendix J to aid
in the creation of these policies. In addition, all resources in appendix and bibliography
will be beneficial to utilize.

Suggested Additional Policies (From Nonprofit Risk Management Center)


• Compensation policy for chief staff officer and key senior staff, including
independent contractors/consultants
• Personnel policies for employees and volunteers
• Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics
• Travel expenditure policy for business travel by staff
• Financial management policies, including financial controls and hiring/review
of outside auditors (as applicable)
• Whistleblower protection policy
• Document Destruction and Retention Policy
• Gift Acceptance policy
o Special attention to non-cash, unusual gifts such as art work, real
estate and speculative securities or partnerships, and royalties
• Fundraising policies
o Review of contracts with independent paid fund raisers
o Charitable Registration

6.2 Create Policy Committee

The creation of a special policy committee is beneficial because it allows policies to be


reviewed on at least a yearly basis in order to adapt to changes within the nonprofit.
This will be important as GCSN continues to grow and expand. In addition to reviewing
policies, the committee would be responsible for creating new policies as needed. The
committee should consist of board members as well as outsiders.
Suggested resources for creation and utilization of committees:
• Social Venture Partners: “How Nonprofit Boards can Effectively Use
Committees”
(http://socialventurepartners.org.s3.amazonaws.com/www.socialventurepartners
.org/sites/60/2013/08/SVP-White-Paper-Utilize-Committees-Effectively-
2011.pdf)
• Board Cafe: “Overview of Committee Job Descriptions”
(https://www.compasspoint.org/board-committee-job-descriptions)

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6.3 Board Strengthening

Several interviews and articles consulted in this report point to the fact that board
strengthening is a process that is never complete, and is an area that can always be
worked at, even with the most elite teams. Through each of our methods of research,
the theme of a strong and diverse board of directors always recurred. Through a board
with diverse expertise, it is possible to have an in house tax-expert, fundraising expert,
an event-planning expert, and so on. This section presents a number of opportunities
for board strengthening that GCSN could gain access to.

6.3 A Board Recruitment and Diversity:


Having a diverse board (in terms of gender, race, age, experience, profession, etc.) is
important to a nonprofit for many reasons. The first being that each person brings their
own perspective and ideas to the table. Second, diverse members can provide
personal and professional contacts to help the organization grow. Third, a diverse
board that is also sensitive to cultural differences is usually one is better at attracting
and retaining board members - as well as keep up with community needs (From
"Diversity On Nonprofit Boards").
Suggested resources for board recruitment and diversity:
• See Appendix I for sample board diversity/competency matrix
• Boardsource: “Envision Your Ideal Board” (link)
• Boardsource: “Recruit Board Members” (link)
• Nonprofit Quarterly: “The Inclusive Nonprofit Boardroom” (link)

6.3 A Board Training:


Providing training/orientation before a member joins the board (if not currently being
done) and ongoing training for the entire board is a crucial part of an effective
organization. GSC suggests creating a mandatory training session for new members of
the board where they can learn the important parts of the organization (if not currently
being done). GSC also suggests creating mandatory yearly (or more often) training for
current members to keep them up to date with the sector trends and the organization
as well.
Suggested resources for board training:
• Community Tool Box: “Welcoming & Training New Members to a Board of
Directors”
(http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/organizational-structure/train-
board-of-directors/main)
• National Council of Nonprofits- “Board Orientation”
(https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/board-orientation)
• Center for Nonprofit Management- List of Southern California Seminars
(http://cnmsocal.org/education/)

Golden Standard Consulting 42


Conclusion

Through our extensive research, informative interviews with those in number of spaces
within the nonprofit industry, and interactions with those on Gold Coast Science
Network’s board, Golden Standard Consulting firmly believes that the policies set forth
in this report will substantially help Gold Coast Science Network in establishing their
own policies around ‘conflict of interest’, ‘sponsorship’, ‘employment’, and
‘compensation’. In Golden Standard Consulting’s relationship with Gold Coast Science
Network, we learned much about the legal standards nonprofits are held to in addition
to Gold Coast’s role in STEM education in the greater Ventura County region. Though
challenging, this project taught our team how to think critically in solving organizational
issues and deliver our conclusions in a clear and professional manner. This experience
only helped us grow both personally and professionally, and we thank Gold Coast
Science Network for working with us through this process.

Golden Standard Consulting 43


Bibliography
"Breaking down Your Nonprofits Obligation Pay Overtime under the New Federal
Rules." National Council of Nonprofits. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.

"Compensation for Nonprofit Employees." National Council of Nonprofits. N.p., n.d.


Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

"Corporate Sponsorship." National Council of Nonprofits. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov.


2016.

"Executive Compensation." National Council of Nonprofits. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov.


2016.

"IRS Form 990." N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.

"Is Corporate Sponsorship Income Taxable or a Charitable Contribution." National


Council of Nonprofits. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Jensen, Jerry. "Salary Management for Nonprofits: The Fine Art of Distributing
Dissatisfaction Equitably." The Grantsmanship Center. N.p., 1997. Web.

“Information for Charities & Other Nonprofits." International Revenue Service N.p., 21
Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.

McRay, Greg. "How to Pay Your Nonprofit Staff." Foundation Group. N.p., 2 Oct. 2015.
Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Muhl, Charles. "What Is an Employee? The Answer Depends on the Federal Law."
Monthly Labor Review. Jan. 2002. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.

"Policies and Procedures Handbook." Nationalservice.gov. Walker & Co., 2010. Web. 3
Dec. 2016.

"Sample Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement." Long


Island Center for Nonprofit Leadership. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

"Sample Employee Handbook." 501 Commons. National Council of Nonprofits


Association, 2004. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.

Tesdahl, Ben. "Unrelated Business Income, Corporate Sponsorships, and Affinity


Programs." National Council of Nonprofits. 2009. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.

Golden Standard Consulting 44


"The Attorney General’s Guide for Board Members of Charitable Organizations." State
of Massachusetts. N.p., Mar. 2015. Web.

"Volunteer Definition." Cambridge English Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2016.

"Boards and Governance."Nonprofit Risk Management Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec.
2016.

"Diversity on Nonprofit Boards." National Council of Nonprofits. N.p., 08 Nov. 2016.


Web. 04 Dec. 2016.

Golden Standard Consulting 45


Appendix

Appendix A: Survey……………………………………………………….......................…48
A.1 Survey Questions in Full
A.2 Summary of Survey Responses
Appendix B: Interviews…………………………………………………………………...…54
B.1: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Jeanne McCarty, REAL
School Gardens
B.2: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Jessica L. Sawko,
California Science Teachers Association
B.3: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Andie Safon,
DonorsChoose.org
B.4: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Dr. Regan Schaffer,
Pepperdine University
Appendix C: Research: Online Nonprofit Resources……………………………….....57
Appendix D: Research: Organizations……………………………………………………58
Appendix E: Conflict of Interest……………………………………………………………62
E.1: Sources and Expanded Key Findings
E.2: Disclosure Documents
Appendix F: Employment……………………………………………………………..……67
F.1: Sources and Expanded Key Findings
Appendix G: Compensation…………………………………………………………..….…69
G.1: Sources and Expanded Key Findings
Appendix H: Sponsorship……………………………………………………………..……70
H.1: Sources and Expanded Key Findings
Appendix I: Recommendations……………………………………………………….……72
I.1: Sample Board Matrix
Appendix J: Policy Style Guide and Template…………………………………………. 73
Appendix K: Golden Standard Consulting Portfolio……………………………………79
Appendix L: Contract Between GSC and GCSN………………………………………. 89
Appendix M: Research Report 1….……………………………………………………….94
Appendix N: Interim Report………………………………………………………….…...101
Appendix O: Research Report 2………………………………………………………….125

Golden Standard Consulting 46


Appendix A: Survey

Appendix A.1: Survey Questions in Full

Golden Standard Consulting 47


Golden Standard Consulting 48
Golden Standard Consulting 49
Appendix A.2: Summary of Survey Responses

Do you work in education outside of Gold Coast Science Network? If so, to what
capacity?
In no particular order, our respondents reported that one is a Curriculum Specialist for
a STEAM[sic], two are High School teachers and leader of workshops, one is a retired
full time teacher who is now a substitute teacher, one is in professional development,
and one is a former teacher who now works as a STEM education consultant.

Do you believe that GCSN has sufficient policies in place to continue expanding?
Summary of Responses:
Golden Standard Consulting needed to understand where board members sat on the
issue of the quantity of policies. Many of the board members believe that the creation
of formalized policies would be extremely useful for operational, as well as expanding,
purposes.

Comments in summary:
I do not know enough to comment.
We currently have policies that are unwritten but do in fact exist.
We must ensure we have policies in place that ensure lawful operation in regards to
taxes and financial reporting, as well as regarding membership structure.

What are the top three policy areas you believe GCSN needs to address?
Summary of Responses:
Responses in summary: In this survey, we included a question regarding the policy
areas the board members would like to see addressed. The three top areas of concern
are Conflict of Interest, Membership, and Governance Responsibilities.

1st concern area:


Recruitment of New Members
Conflict of Interest
Financial - tracking expenses, paying employees, tax reporting/filing

2nd Concern Area:


Sponsorship / Donations
Membership structure - how to become a member, duration/benefits/qualifications of
membership - especially in regards to CSTA membership & dues

3rd Concern Area:


Governance Responsibilities - annual filings, elections of officers, approval of budgets,
year-end reporting, periodic review of bylaws
Employment - handling payment & reporting

Golden Standard Consulting 50


Are you concerned with potential conflict of interest? If so, please explain a
situation in which that may arise.
Summary of Responses:
The board members of Gold Coast Science Network want to ensure that through the
implementation of policies regarding conflicts of interest, issues said conflicts of
interest- such as how to select speakers for ethical reasons- will diminish.

Responses in summary:
Support is normally sought from familiar resources and people, but how can we be
sure we are selecting speakers, presenters, and partners in an ethical and fair manner?

What most occupies time at board meetings? Please order from most time
required to least.
Summary of Responses:
Golden Standard Consulting wanted to understand how time is allotted during board
meetings. Most people felt that “old business”, member reports, and financial
decisions took up the majority of the meeting time.

1: 2: 3: 4: 5:
Old Business New Business Member Policy Financial
Old Business Member Reports Decisions Decisions
Member Reports New Policy Financial
Reports Financial Business Decisions Decisions
Member Decisions Policy New Business Old Business
Reports Old Business Decisions Financial Policy
Policy Financial New Decisions Decisions
Decisions Decisions Business
Member
Reports

Each bin represents the rating of priority followed by the responses received per rating.
The responses to this question are mixed, and may indicate that the question was
poorly designed and resulted in the number one and five options being switched in
some responses. The small sample space results in unclear data as Golden Standard
Consulting only received four responses.

Golden Standard Consulting 51


Do you recommend we consult with any specific organizations to develop a
policy manual for GCSN? If so, who and why?
Summary of Responses:
Golden Standard Consulting asked the board of GCSN for recommendations regarding
non-profit organizations that would be helpful to our research. The most popular
organizations recommended to GSC were Heal the Bay, K12 Alliance, and CSTA.
Heal the Bay - they have educational components and need insurance for events
K12 Alliance - They do STEM-centric events and have similar membership of
consultants, educators, and administrators
CSTA - Very similar goals and GCSN is a chapter of the organization (supported
several times)

What new challenges, if any, do you anticipate as GCSN moves into its first tax-
season as a 501(c)3 organization?

Summary of Responses:
Golden Standard Consulting asked the board of GCSN what their concerns were
moving into tax season given GCSN’s recent non-profit status. Many of the board
members feel that GCSN would benefit from further tax expertise as well as money
accountability.

Responses in Summary:
Lack of tax code expertise, and lack of accountability with money.
GCSN lacks expertise in tax laws, and has been unable to find tax advisor within
budget. The organization needs to be aware of laws and implement effective financial
reporting systems. Need to be very sensitive to the time of board members.

Golden Standard Consulting 52


Appendix B: Interviews

B.1: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Jeanne McCarty, REAL
School Gardens

Agenda/Interview Questions:
• Greetings, Introduce Project / Consulting Project & Client
• Gold Coast Science Network, Division of California Science Teachers
Association, 501(c)3
• How to real school gardens fit into green teacher network?
• How did you approach developing policies?
• What advice do you have for GCSN as they move forward and expand?

Key Findings:
Develop Core Values:
• Entire Board along with the organization must be on the same page as far as the
nonprofit's vision goes.
• A clear mission encourages can convince those outside your organization to do
work for the nonprofit pro-bono.
Board Makeup:
• High functioning nonprofits almost always have a diverse board (i.e. gender,
occupation, age, expertise, contacts).
• Though difficult to first impose, board term limits ensure members do not
become complacent and unproductive cogs in an organization.
• Each board member should have a list of contacts, influences, and experts
outside of the organization that could potentially help the nonprofit.
Board Responsibilities:
• As a 501(C)3, board members are responsible for the fiscal and legal behavior
off the nonprofit - could behoove members to take out officer or
director insurance to protect themselves.
• Growth can only occur within structure. Board operations are much more
sophisticated than setting budgets.
• May be beneficial for Gold Coast to hire an accounting and legal team to
formalize financial policies (Board Source Online could be a helpful resource).
• Also of note, policies differ regionally, even in the state of California.

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B.2: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Jessica L. Sawko,
California Science Teachers Association

Interview Questions:
• What policies do you find going back to the most?
• How are policies implemented in this organization?
• Who creates and changes policies within the organization?
• How large is the policy committee?
• How often does the policy committee meet?

Key Findings:
• Policy committee organized to create/discuss new or old policies.
• Committee includes current board members to gain insider knowledge as well
as outside parties for another point of view.
• Committee will meet once a year and go through all policies and determine their
worth to the organization.
• GSC was given all policies from CSTA to help organize and draft sample policies
for GCSN.

B.3: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Andie Safon,


DonorsChoose.org

Interview Questions:
*The following questions were proposed to Ms. Safon, but she was unable to answer
many questions due to privacy concerns and legal actions that may take place.
• What policies do you find going back to the most?
• How are policies implemented in this organization?
• Who creates and changes policies within the organization?
• How large is the policy committee?
• How often does the policy committee meet?

Key Findings:
• Unable to disclose many polices to GSC, but stressed the ideas of seeking
professional help when dealing with taxes and the IRS.

Golden Standard Consulting 54


B.4: Interview Questions and Expanded Key Findings: Regan Schaffer,
Pepperdine University

Interview Questions:
• What are the key components of making policies?
• In your experience, what type of policies are the most beneficial?
• Why are conflict of interests policies so important?
• Do you have any advice for creating a sponsorship policy?

Key Findings:
• Necessary that all board members (and potential board members) know they will
not be compensated
o Serving on a board is voluntary
• There are few circumstances where board members can be reimbursed
o i.e.: travel expense to attend meetings, but there should be a limit to the
amount allowed to be reimbursed and this should be decided by board
and added to policy
§ There should be a cap, and approval process for the board,
develop a framework (“Will reimburse costs above xxx, and up to
xxxx per year”)
• A strong board is just as important as having strong policies
o Strong board:
§ Diversity of members (gender, race, occupation, age, etc.)
§ Understanding that the role of the board is to keep the mission
§ Understanding of legal responsibility as a member
§ Board training at least yearly if not more often
§ Disclosure of all conflict of interest issues

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Appendix C: Research: Online Nonprofit Resources

Each of the following online sources were used in the creation of GSC’s drafted
policies and because multiple portions of the websites were used, the research
extracted from each website and citations can be found in the following appendices.
GSC suggests GCSN can utilize these resources when creating future policies.

National Council of Nonprofits


https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/

501 Commons
https://www.501commons.org/

Independent Sector
http://independentsector.org/

Corporation for National and Community Service


http://www.nationalservice.gov/

Montana Nonprofit Association


http://www.mtnonprofit.org/

Golden Standard Consulting 56


Appendix D: Research: Organizations

Appendix D.1: Background of Organizations and Key Findings

California Science Teachers Association


http://www.cascience.org/csta/csta.asp

Mission: CSTA's mission is to promote high quality science education. CSTA is a non-
profit 501(c)(3) membership organization that:
• Represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every
grade level, Kindergarten through University.
• Demonstrates leadership in science education in the state by organizing and
participating in statewide reform initiatives, and provides leadership
opportunities for members who wish to serve on state advisory committees,
including framework, standards, and textbook committees.
• Works to ensure that the interests of science educators are represented at the
state level, with legislators and state education policy-makers. Learn about
some successes achieved on your behalf, and what our current policy priorities
are.
• Sponsors the California Science Education Conference, the largest state
conference designed specifically for science educators statewide.
• Recognizes excellence by sponsoring awards programs for both students and
teachers.
is supported by local and subject area science educator groups, and promotes
their membership and activities.

Conclusion: California Science Teachers Association may be helpful in that they have
a similar mission to Gold Coast Science Network. They have been incorporated as a
501(c)(3). Golden Standard Consulting will look at California Science Teachers
Association’s policies regarding taxes, compensation, etc.

Heal the Bay


http://www.healthebay.org/

Mission:
• Fight to make Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including
Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean.
• Worked from a base of science to educate you, the media and government
agencies about the causes and effects of pollution on our Bay.
• Greatest threats to our coastal waters and watersheds, and to all of us - both
human and animal - that rely on the ocean for pleasure, income or sustenance,
come from urban and storm water runoff, plastic pollution, and the ever-

Golden Standard Consulting 57


increasing stresses to the marine’s environment from over-fishing and climate
change.
• Heal the Bay continues to partner with you and thousands of your neighbors in
southern California through community action programs such as Nothin' But
Sand and Coastal Cleanup Day and through advocacy efforts to move
municipal, state and Federal government and regulatory agencies to act in our
collective interests.
• Couldn't meet our challenges without the help of local businesses, community
leaders, grassroots activists, and our dedicated volunteers and supporters
across Los Angeles County and beyond.

Conclusion: Heal the Bay listed a portion of their financial information and policies on
their website. Heal the Bay also involves themselves in the education sector.

TERC
https://www.terc.edu/display/HOME/Home

Mission:
• TERC’s mission is to improve mathematics and science education.
• TERC works at the frontiers of theory and practice to contribute to a deeper
understanding of learning and teaching.
• Trying to enhance instruction through teacher professional development;
develop applications of new technologies to education; create curricula and
other products; and support reform in both school and informal settings.
• TERC imagines a future in which learners from diverse communities engage in
creative, rigorous, and reflective inquiry as an integral part of their lives.

Conclusion: TERC is an important player in our process as it may aid us in how we


research our policies. Having the same type of field as GCSN, TERC can assist us on
any specifics we may need for policies. Another important point to note is the size of
TERC. This non-profit is larger in size, which may be an important tool, as GCSN wants
to grow in size. With the knowledge that TREC can provide, GSC is confident with that
TERC can be used to develop a policy manual.

Golden Standard Consulting 58


DonorsChoose.org
https://www.donorschoose.org

Mission:
• Making it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a
nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they
need for a great education.
• Have an interactive website designed to allow you choose where your money
goes too.
• An important cross country non-profit, Donors Choose has over 600,000
requests for help and was founded by teachers. This direct line of contact
between the organizers and schools is a great resource to study on.

Conclusion: Donors Choose is a great starting point because of the similarities


between Donors Choose and GCSN. The reason why this non-profit may be especially
helpful is because they work primarily on receiving and giving donations to schools
around the country. Donors Choose does not work directly with schools, but rather
funds the programs or supplies that they need. With this, the policies and agreements
will be a vital source when conducting policies for GCSN. Golden Standard Consulting
recognizes that one of the main concerns is how GCSN receives money in a non
constricting way. Donors Choose appears to be a leader in these activities and can
provide us with great knowledge on policies and practices that GCSN.

Minnesota STEM Network


http://scimathmn.org/mnstemnet/

Mission:
• Connects business, education, civic, and community leaders so that they can,
together, strengthen the appeal of science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics
• Communicates its importance to Minnesota's future
• Promotes opportunities for students and their families to engage in high-quality
STEM experiences
• Fosters continuous improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

Conclusion: Minnesota STEM Network is a non-profit organization that is extremely


similar to Gold Coast Science Network. Minnesota STEM Network wants to connect
teachers within the science field to greater resources to be able to provide better
teaching skills to students, something that GCSN wants to do as well. This company
would be a great reference point. They have an established policy manual available on
their website, so this policy would be a perfect reference for guidance.

Golden Standard Consulting 59


San Diego Science Alliance
http://sdsa.org/about/

Mission:
• Dedicated to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics
(STEM) in the San Diego County region
• Serves all of San Diego county with high-quality STEM programming, country
wide events, and resources and services that support the education-industry
workforce pipeline

Conclusion: San Diego Science Alliance has members and are partnered with major
renown companies such as Apple, AT&T, California Department of Education, and
many others - the list is provided on their website. They host events such as BE WiSE -
Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering and Youth Space Institute. In
a given year, they host seven programs dedicated to the improvement of education in
STEM. Utilizing a company of this size as part of our research would allow us to
understand how non-profit organizations of this size operate therefore providing us
with vital information for the creation of GCSN’s policy manual.

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Appendix E: Conflict of Interest

Appendix E.1: Sources and Expanded Key Findings

Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance & Ethical Practice:


• A charitable organization should adopt and implement policies and procedures
to ensure that all conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof, within the
organization and the board are appropriately managed through disclosure,
recusal, or other means.
• A conflict of interest arises when a board member or staff person’s duty of
loyalty to the charitable organization comes into conflict with a competing
financial or personal interest that he or she (or a relative) may have in a
proposed transaction

MBI Consulting Policies and Procedures Handbook:


• By definition, a conflict of interest is considered an activity or interest,
which may cause bias for or against a particular transaction being
reviewed by the staff and Board of Directors.
• The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now requiring conflict of interest
policies for organizations applying for nonprofit status.
• Purpose: All Board Members and staff should reveal any conflicts of
interest for themselves or through a family relationship. It is essential that
all conflicts be disclosed and each person agrees that they will abstain
from voting on any matters that are viewed as an actual or potential
conflict of interest.

Sample Policies Used to Model Draft Policies:

TERC Conflict of Interest Policy


1) TERC assumes that all of its employees act responsibly and with integrity at all times
so that public confidence in TERC is ensured. Nonetheless, situations can arise that
create conflicts of interest that TERC needs to address and resolve. 2) Accordingly, this
policy requires all TERC Investigators to disclose to a Conflicts Committee, described
below, any significant financial interest that would reasonably appear to affect actual or
potential TERC activities. 3) In addition, TERC expects that any employee who has a
situation that might constitute a conflict of interest will discuss that situation with
his/her principal investigator or with any member of the Conflicts Committee. If the
principal investigator believes a conflict of interest exists, or is not certain, s/he is
required to bring the situation to the attention of a member of the Conflicts Committee.

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Key Component Breakdown:
1. Language that engages and provides a positive context for those governed by
the policy
o Important because it demonstrates trust of members, but necessity of
policy
• Clearly states the decided protocol, but does not define “significant financial
interest”
§ Significant financial interest varies by scale of organization
§ Given that GCSN’s budget is below $5,000, and the majority of the
board cites conflict of interest as a key policy area, “significant
financial interest” may need to be defined
• Treats all members of the board like adults, expecting that they will discuss any
potential conflict of interest with the rest of the board members

Complete Sample Policy of Fictitious Organization


Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

ABCD Tutoring Corporation, Inc.


Conflict of Interest Policy

Adopted by Board of Directors, ____________

Effective governance requires deliberate, thoughtful and unbiased decision-making by


directors and staff members. At the same time, the ability to make wise decisions for
the ABCD Tutoring Corporation, Inc. (Corporation) is strengthened by each individual's
personal and professional interests. Directors and staff members have the duty of
complete, undivided allegiance to the corporation's mission when acting on behalf of
the Corporation. This duty requires that directors and staff members recognize and
respond appropriately to any real or perceived conflict of interest. A conflict may exist
when a director or staff member
participates in the deliberation and resolution of an issue on behalf of the Corporation
while the individual has or previously had other professional, business or volunteer
responsibilities outside the Corporation that could cause such individuals to address
the issue with less than complete, undivided allegiance to the Corporation.
Circumstances that may result in an actual or perceived conflict of interest include, but
are not limited to:

• Granting funds to a charitable nonprofit organization on which a director or


staff member or their families are serving as staff, board members or volunteers.
• Participating on fundraising committees or in fundraising efforts for an
organization seeking a grant from the Corporation.
• Investing Corporation funds.
• Hiring vendors or consultants for the Corporation.

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• Employing a director or a relative of a director or staff as staff or as a
consultant for a project.
• Divestiture of prohibited financial interests.
• Disclosure of financial interests.
• Outside activities.
• Awards.

It is the Corporation's policy to deal with such conflicts in an open and direct manner.
In accordance with this policy, all directors and staff members are required to disclose
an actual or perceived conflict (to be recorded in minutes) and to remove themselves
from participation in any related discussions or decision-making by the Corporation.
However, a director or staff member may, if requested by the Board or a committee of
the Board, provide factual information that may assist the Board or committee in its
deliberations. A director or staff member may seek guidance from the Board or a
committee of the Board as to whether a particular activity or relationship constitutes an
actual or perceived conflict of interest. A copy of this policy shall be provided to all
prospective directors and staff members. By accepting appointment as a director or
employment as a staff member, an individual agrees to strictly adhere to this policy.

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Appendix E.2: Disclosure Documents

Potential Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

Please complete the questionnaire below, indicating any potential conflicts of


interest. If you answer, "yes" to any of the questions, please provide a written
description of the details of the specific action, policy or transaction in the
space allowed. Attach additional sheets as needed.
A conflict may exist where an interested party directly or indirectly benefits or
profits as a result of a decision, policy or transaction made by Gold Coast
Science Network. The interested party would not have obtained this benefit
were it not for his/her relationship with Gold Coast Science Network.
● Has Gold Coast Science Network proposed to contract or
contracted to purchase or lease goods, services, or property from
you or from any of your relatives or associates?________

● Board members/Executive Directors only: Has Gold Coast Science


Network offered employment to you or to any of your relatives or
associates? ________

● Have you used your relationship with Gold Coast Science Network
to obtain a contract, employment for yourself or any of your
relatives or associates, from a person or entity that does business
with Gold Coast Science Network? ________

● Have you or any of your relatives been provided use of the facilities,
property, or services of Gold Coast Science Network in a way that
is not available to others who benefit from the organization’s
services? ________

● Have you, a relative or an associate been in a position to benefit


financially from an action, policy or transaction made by Gold
Coast Science Network? ________

● Are you aware of other issues or situations not addressed above?


________

Name (Please print)________________________________

Signature___________________________________
Date_______________________

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Conflict of Interest Affirmation of Compliance

I have received and carefully read the Conflict of Interest Policy for board members,
the executive director and managers. I have considered not only the literal expression
of the policy, but also its intent. By signing this affirmation of compliance, I hereby
affirm that I understand and agree to comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy. I
further understand that Gold Coast Science Network is a nonprofit organization, and
that in order to maintain its federal tax exemption, it must engage primarily in activities
that accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes without personal inurement or
benefit by board members, consultants/volunteers or staff (other than by salary).

I hereby state that I do not have any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, that may
be seen as competition with the interests of Gold Coast Science Network, nor does
any relative or associate have such a potential conflict of interest.

If any situation should arise in the future that I think may involve me in a conflict of
interest, I will promptly and fully disclose in writing the circumstances to the Chair of
the Board of Directors or to the Executive Director, as applicable.

I further certify that the information set forth in the Disclosure Statement and
attachments, if any, is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and
belief.

Name (Please print) ______________________________________________

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

Annual Review and Reaffirmation

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

Signature ________________________________ Date _________________

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Appendix F: Employment

F.1: Sources and Complete Key Findings

Corporation for National and Community Service: Policies and Procedures


Handbook
https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/resource/Policies_and_Procedures_
Handbook_rev.5.16.11.pdf

The policy handbook created by the Corporation for National and Community Service
provides information specifically to nonprofit organizations by outlining typical policies
held within most policy manuals and providing information for each type of policy. For
purposes of this project, Golden Standard Consulting predominantly focused on the
sections of the handbook related to the scope of the project. The document provided
actual conflict of interest policies, and generally provided Golden Standard Consulting
with a strong structure for all policies included within the draft policies.

This document provided most useful with the drafting of the employment manual.
According to this document, employment manuals are extremely effective in
communicating the policies and procedures with new staff members. Employees will
refer to this manual throughout their employment at the organization, in this case Gold
Coast Science Network. Employment manuals must be as concise as possible, and the
organization must retain evidence that the employee acknowledged the employment
manual.

While there are a variety of subsections held within an employment manual, it is


important for the organization to decide which policies are most important to the
organization.
It is extremely important to note that policy manuals do not have to contain all of the
information stated in policy handbooks. The information presented within these
handbooks are merely there to provide assistance and guidance. Once the
organization understands and establishes which operations they want to standardize,
they can then decide which subsections are necessary to include within the policy
manual.

To obtain further information regarding other types of policies, please refer to the link
provided in this document.

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501 Commons: Sample Employee Handbook
https://www.501commons.org/resources/tools-and-best-practices/human-
resources/sample-employee-handbook-national-council-of-nonprofits

Every organization should establish and employee manual handbook. Because


employee manuals are lengthy and consequently tricky in terms of content, Golden
Standard Consulting referred to the Sample Employee Handbook provided by the 501
Commons organization. This sample handbook provided Golden Standard Consulting
with sample policies which are included in most employment handbooks. Through this
document, Golden Standard Consulting learned about the value of the employment
handbook as well as documents which are necessary to the quality of said handbook.

Most employment manuals commence with a signature page asking the employee to
read and sign as to acknowledge acceptance of the manual. After the signature page,
effective employment manuals typically introduce the organization to the employee. It
describes the mission, vision, and values of the organization to the employee. In doing
so, the employee understands who the organization is and ensures that the employee’s
work ethic aligns with the organization’s values.

Furthermore, the employment manual also provides employees with information as to


what is expected of them. The manual delineates expected performance, dress code if
applicable, and compensation regulations.

In referencing this document with specific policy examples, Golden Standard


Consulting understood the language typically employed by policy manuals as well as
understand the language of said handbook.

If need be, Golden Standard Consulting advises the client to read through the
remaining sections of the handbook which were not included in the final employment
policy in case the organization feels the addition of any one of these employment
policies are useful to their organization.

501 Commons Handbook


National Service

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Appendix G: Compensation

G.1: Sources and Expanded Key Findings


Independent Sector: Good Governance and Ethical Practice
https://www.independentsector.org/principles
1. Board members are generally expected to serve without compensation other
than reimbursement for expenses incurred to fulfill their board duties. A
charitable organization that provides compensation to its board members should
use appropriate comparability data to determine the amount to be paid,
document the decision and provide full disclosure to anyone, upon request, of the
amount and rationale for the compensation.
2. Although some charitable organizations reimburse expenses related to board
work, the vast majority of board members serve without compensation
3. When organizations find it appropriate to compensate board members due to
the nature, time or professional competencies involved in the work, they must
be prepared to provide detailed documentation of the amount of and reasons
for such compensation, including the responsibilities of board members and the
services they provide
4. Any compensation provided to board members must be reasonable and
necessary to support the performance of the organization
5. Compensation paid to board members for services in the capacity of staff of the
organization should be clearly differentiated from any compensation paid for
board service
6. Board members of charitable organizations are responsible for ascertaining that
any compensation they receive does not exceed to a significant degree the
compensation provided for positions in comparable organizations with similar
responsibilities and qualifications
7. Charities and foundations are permitted under current law to pay reasonable
compensation for services provided by board members. Reasonable
compensation is defined as the amount that would ordinarily be paid for like
services by like enterprises
8. Charitable organizations, with some exceptions, are required to report on their
Form 990 or 990-PF the name, title, and average hours of service per week of
every board member, officer, and key employee. In addition, the organizations
must report the compensation, contributions to employee benefit plans and
deferred compensation, expense account, and other allowances paid to any
board member by the organization and its affiliated entities.
9. Creating a good compensation policy requires the knowledge of Good
Governance and Ethical Practice. The reason this is so important to GCSN is
because without correct compensation policies, conflict of interest activities
may arise, putting GCSN in jeopardy. Having ethical behavior and establishing a
strong and clear policy for the organization will give board members, and future
employees and clear and direct path on where the organization is headed in the
future.

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Appendix H: Sponsorship

H.1: Sources and Expanded Key Findings

National Council of Nonprofits: Corporate Sponsorship


https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/corporate-sponsorship -
sthash.Q4fCIFAL.dpuf

Corporate sponsorship support is a payment by a business to a nonprofit to further the


nonprofit’s mission, that is generally recognized by the nonprofit with an
acknowledgment that the business has supported the nonprofit's activities, programs,
or special event.

A successful corporate sponsorship benefits both the charitable nonprofit and its
sponsor. However, there are tax issues to be aware of: In order for a corporate
sponsorship to be appropriate and legal, the benefit to the for-profit entity should not
outweigh the benefit to the tax-exempt charitable nonprofit.

Corporate sponsorships attract the attention of for-profit businesses because


sponsorships offer public recognition of the business’s connection with a certain
charitable cause, which may help businesses attract new customers or bolster the
company’s reputation because of the “halo effect” of the nonprofit’s good will.
Charitable nonprofits, in turn, receive financial support and may also experience
increased attention from the media and the public in-kind services, and/or product
donations.

• Examples of high profile corporate sponsorships include Macy’s “Go Red”


Campaign with the American Heart Association.

Tax Implications of Sponsorship:


Be aware that corporate sponsorships can result in unintended tax liability, even
for tax-exempt charitable nonprofits. We encourage you to read the Council of
Nonprofits’ resources regarding the tax treatment of corporate sponsorship
income, so you can distinguish between non-taxable charitable contributions,
and payments by a business to the nonprofit that the IRS will characterize as
“unrelated business income.”

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Practice Pointers

Is your nonprofit ready to approach a corporate sponsor? Consider these "readiness"


factors before reaching out to recruit a corporate sponsor:

• Identify the value proposition that will attract a business to sponsor your
nonprofit's mission or special event. (Do you know what the potential sponsor
wants? What would “success” look like for the sponsor?)
• What goals do you have for the nonprofit, besides financial contributions?
(publicity? volunteer/pro-bono assistance? gifts-in-kind?)
• Document both parties’ expectations, obligations, and deliverables in writing.
Most successful sponsorships are based on a written sponsorship agreement.

Keep in mind that anytime a nonprofit engages in a transaction with a for-profit, the
charitable nonprofit has an obligation to avoid private benefit which can occur, for
example, when the benefit to the for-profit business of the corporate sponsorship
outweighs the benefit(s) to the charitable nonprofit. Significant penalties can result.

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Appendix I: Recommendations

I.1: Sample Board Matrix

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Appendix J: Policy Style Guide and Template

Gold Coast Science Network


Policy Style Guide & Template

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Gold Coast Science Network Policy Style Guide

Good policies are clear policies, policies should be written clearly and concisely so that the
potential for misinterpretation is minimized.
1. Marks of clear writing:
a. Avoid use of shall
i. Instead use:
1. “Must” for obligation
2. “Must not” for prohibition
3. “May” for discretionary action
4. “Should” for recommendation
b. Use pronouns
i. Pronouns allow readers to relate to documents and increase understanding,
while ensuring that the document is easy to read.
c. Omit unnecessary words or phrases
i. When documents are wordy and dense, understanding is reduced.
d. Avoid Jargon or “Legalese”
i. Examples:

1. Above-mentioned
2. Hereafter
3. Therewith
4. Aforementioned
5. Hereby
6. Whatsoever
7. Foregoing
8. Thereafter
9. Wherein
10. Henceforth
11. Thereof
12. Whereof

e. Keep sentences short.


f. Use Lists to highlight series of requirements in a clear way.
g. Use tables to make complex material easier to understand.
i.
2. Before a policy is spelled out, what or who the policy governs needs to be defined.
3. Policies should be written using active voice. In active voice, the person/department/unit
that is taking the action is the subject of the sentence.
1. Use Times New Roman Font, Size 12

Expanded style guides are available from the following resources:


www.plainlanguage.gov
Elements of Plain Language,
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Writing Revisable Manuals

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Gold Coast Science Network
Policy Manual
Updated: (Insert most recent date of revision)

Golden Standard Consulting 74


Table of Contents

1. Policy….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….…..#
a. Subsection
b. Subsection (as necessary)
c. Documents (as necessary)
i. Document titles
2. Policy.….…..….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….....#
a. Subsection

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1. Policy Title
1.1. Definition of the policy
1.2. Policy Text
1.2.1. Subsections as needed
1.2.2. Subsections as needed
1.3. Documents (if necessary)
1.3.1. Document Titles

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X. Conflict of Interest
X.1 Definition:
Gold Coast Science Network defines conflict of interest as a situation in which an individual has
a duty to more than one person or organization, but may not be able to do justice to the actual or
potentially adverse interests of both parties.
X.2 Policy:
Gold Coast Science Network assumes that all members of the board will work together, and
conduct themselves responsibly and ethically. Even with responsible and ethical conduct, there
is the potential that real or perceived conflicts of interests can arise. Given this potential,
effective governance is essential. It requires deliberate, thoughtful, and unbiased decision-
making by directors and staff members.
Directors and staff members have the duty of complete allegiance to Gold Coast Science
Network’s (GCSN) mission when acting on behalf of GCSN. This duty requires that directors
and staff members recognize and respond appropriately to any real or perceived conflict of
interest. A conflict may exist when a director or staff member participates in the deliberation and
resolution of an issue on behalf of GCSN while the individual has or previously had other
professional, business or volunteer responsibilities outside of GCSN that could cause such
individuals to address the issue with less than complete, undivided allegiance to GCSN.
Circumstances that may result in an actual or perceived conflict of interest include, but are not
limited to:
• Granting funds to a charitable nonprofit organization on which a director or
staff member or their families are serving as staff, board members or
volunteers.
• Participating on fundraising committees or in fundraising efforts for an
organization seeking a grant from the GCSN.
• Investing GCSN funds.
• Hiring vendors or consultants for GCSN.
• Employing a director or a relative of a director or staff as staff or as a
consultant for a project.
• Divestiture of prohibited financial interests.
• Disclosure of financial interests.
• Outside activities.
• Awards.
• Engaging in networking activities that may benefit some entity besides GCSN.
• Compensating or reimbursing GCSN members.
It is the GCSN’s policy to deal with such conflicts in an open and direct manner. In accordance
with this policy, all directors and staff members are required to disclose an actual or perceived
conflict (to be recorded in minutes) and to remove themselves from participation in any related
discussions or decision-making by GCSN. However, a director or staff member may, if requested
by the Board or a committee of the Board, provide factual information that may assist the Board
or committee in its deliberations. A director or staff member may seek guidance from the Board
or a committee of the Board as to whether a particular activity or relationship constitutes an
actual or perceived conflict of interest. A copy of this policy shall be provided to all prospective
directors and staff members. By accepting appointment as a director or employment as a staff
member, an individual agrees to strictly adhere to this policy.

Golden Standard Consulting 77


Appendix K: Golden Standard Consulting Portfolio

G
Golden Standard Consulting
committed to quality, backed by confidence

Golden Standard Consulting 78


golden standard

our commitment

Golden Standard Consulting


is committed to providing
quality solutions and
exceptional results through
diligence and expertise in a
dynamic global environment.

G 1

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golden standard

contact information
Communication Liaison
Monica Marlene Amezquita
GoldenStandardConsulting@gmail.com
405-812-9405

Allie Berry
Allison.Berry@Pepperdine.edu
405-812-9405

Kevin Carroll
Kevin.Carroll@Pepperdine.edu
650-240-6230

Michael Kleber
Gerald.Kleber@Pepperdine.edu
714-470-7107

Jack Miller
Jack.Miller@Pepperdine.edu
951-427-8845

G 2

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golden standard

consultants
Monica Amezquita
Monica Amezquita is currently a senior at Pepperdine University
studying business administration and computer science. She
was born in Los Angeles, but raised between Los Angeles and
Guadalajara, Mexico, so Latin culture is extremely important to
her. For this reason, she would absolutely love to work within the
Latin entertainment industry once she graduates from
Pepperdine. However, because she studies computer science
and loves working with numbers, she would be extremely happy
with working within the operations management field. Her long
term goal, is to become a real estate proprietor. Monica believes
that her greatest skill is to think rationally, a skill particularly
essential within the computer science world. She is able to
understand a problem, break down the various components, and
realize an appropriate and logical solution.

Allie Berry
Allie Berry is a senior at Pepperdine University studying
Hispanic Studies and Non-Profit Management. Although she is
not a business major, Allie has experience in the non-profit
sector through the non-profit management program at
Pepperdine. She was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma
and has spent a lot of her time volunteering in various nonprofits
focused on enhancing the lives of Latinos both domestic and
abroad, so she hopes to continue this work after graduation.
Her long term goal is to open a coffee shop boutique that
donates profits to nonprofits and work as an event planner. Allie
believes her greatest assets are organization, social skills, and
dedication.

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carroll is a San Francisco Bay Area native who currently is
a Senior at Pepperdine University majoring in Business
Administration. Furthermore, Kevin plans to use his degree to
start a business of his own after graduating. His passions are
classic cars from the 1930’s to 1950’s and hopes to incorporate
this lifestyle into his business. Additionally, Kevin believes his
two greatest assets are his hard working mentality and
perfectionistic sense. Kevin is confident in his abilities to get
things done in a timely manner and to the highest degree of
excellence.

G 3

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golden standard

consultants

Gerald Michael Kleber


Michael Kleber is a senior at Pepperdine University studying
International Business. Though a business major, Michael has
ample experience in the non-profit sector, specifically this past
summer when he worked for an NGO doing economic development
in Beirut, Lebanon. Also, Michael provides expertise in building
interpersonal relationships and language studies from his time
working in the Middle East and studying in Switzerland. Michael
believes two of his most valuable assets are his time management
skills and strong attention to detail. After finishing his
undergraduate studies, Michael plans to earn his MIBA at
Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Jack Miller
Jack Miller is a Senior International Business Major, who was
recently admitted to an accelerated MBA program. Born and
raised in Corona, Ca he has a passion for producing engaging,
purposeful work. He has experience analyzing systems and
diagnosing ineffieincies, designing websites, repairing machines,
running social media campaigns, and maintaining FDA
documentation. Jack believes his biggest strengths are in handling
complex problems from the ground up, and finding creative
solutions.

G 4

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Monica Amezquita
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90263
Roman.Amezquita@pepperdine.edu
(818) 588-1071

EDUCATION
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA 2013 – Present
B.S. in Business Administration, Minor in Computer Science Expected Spring 2017
• Honors: Lean Six Sigma Certified
• Relevant Coursework: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Business Calculus I, Business Calculus II,
Business Statistics, Operations Management, Lean Six Sigma Certification Course, Business Law,
Principles of Marketing, Financial Management, Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting,
Organizational Behavior, Business Computing Applications, Quantitative Analysis, Service Leadership,
Computer Science Math 220, Computer Science Programming 220, Computer Science Math 221,
Computer Science Programming 221, Data Structures
• Social Involvement: Latino Student Association, Catholic Student Association, Happy Feet Inc.,
Neuroscience Club, Pepperdine Microfinance Club, Nutrition Peer Education Program, Native
American Student Association

EXPERIENCE
Hispanic Allied Marketing, Hollywood, CA September 2016 – Present
• Assist entertainment publicity & promotions team
• Cover events, activity days, college activations, screenings, etc.
• Research Hispanic events, word of mouth groups, update databases
• Provide administrative support such as expense reports, data entry, photocopying, and phones
Roman Empire Real Estate Management, Los Angeles, CA March 2014 – Present
• Co-managed several properties within the greater Los Angeles area
• Performed necessary administrative work: excel spreadsheets, collecting rent, writing bills, answering
phone calls, maintaining company accounting
• Worked with wealth managers at Merrill Lynch, trust lawyers, accountants, clients, brokers
• Served as primary contact for inquiries regarding property concerns as well as service requests
Music for the Soul, Glendale, CA April 2012 – September 2012
• Lead a group of musicians and performed various concerts at local retirement homes to provide
entertainment
• Actively collected pieces of music to perform at the retirement homes

SKILLS
Language
• Spanish (fluent), English (fluent), French (conversational)
Computer
• Microsoft Office, C++ Java/JavaScript, JQuery HTML CSS

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Allison ‘Allie’ Berry
6435 Kanan Dume Rd. Malibu, CA 90265
Allison.Berry@pepperdine.edu
(405) 812-9405

EDUCATION
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA 2013 – Present
B.A. in Hispanic Studies, Minor in Non-Profit Management Expected Spring 2017
• Honors: Delta Sigma Pi Spanish Honor Society (2015-Present), Dean’s List (Spring 2016)
• Relevant Coursework: Financial Development of Nonprofits, Management of Nonprofits
• Social Involvement: New Student Orientation Leader, Step Forward Volunteer Day, Pi Beta Phi Sorority,
Pepperdine’s Colleges Against Cancer/Relay For Life
Pepperdine University, Buenos Aires, Argentina September 2014 – May 2015
• Studied language, history, and culture and traveled extensively throughout South America

EXPERIENCE
The Pepperdine Fund, Pepperdine University August 2015 – Present
Student Worker
• Trusted with processing confidential financial gifts to the University in a timely manner
• Ensure that University donors feel appreciated through “thank you” notes and phone calls
• Provide regular front desk coverage and aid in any office tasks assigned
San Miguel School, Washington D.C. May – July 2016
• Trusted with processing confidential financial gifts to the school and generating thank you letters
• Assisted in organizing and carrying out an annual gala raising over $500,000
• Constructed communication materials

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
Student Philanthropy Council January 2014 – Present
President
• Oversee all council campaigns and events and facilitate council meetings
• Collaborate with advisors and vice presidents to ensure council efficiency and organization
• Educate and inspire students to give back to Pepperdine and encouraged 50% of the senior class to give
back to the university
Pi Beta Phi Sorority
Vice President of Fraternity Development December 2015 – Present
• Maintain chapter knowledge of sorority heritage
• Ensure Pepperdine’s chapter of Pi Beta Phi is run according to national standards
The Wells Project, Pepperdine University May 2015 – Present
Advocacy Chair
• Co-produce informational events to promote philanthropy within the student body
• Manage team leaders for the annual 10 Days philanthropic concert
Mi Esperanza, Tegucigalpa, Honduras Summer 2013, 2014, 2015
Intern
• Helped directors in various programs to enhance the lives of Hondurans
• Ran and expanded the organization’s presence on social media accounts

SKILLS
Language
• English (fluent), Spanish (fluent)
Computer
• Knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Mac iMovie

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Kevin Carroll
890 Heather Drive San Carlos, CA 94070
Kevin.Carroll@pepperdine.edu
(650) 240-6230

EDUCATION
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA 2013 – Present
B.A. in Business Administration Expected Spring 2017
• Honors: Christian Leadership Award (2014), George Pepperdine Achievement (2014)
• Relevant Coursework: Financial Management, Statistical Analysis, Organizational Behavior, Public
Speaking and Rhetorical Analysis
Pepperdine University, Florence, Italy September 2014 – May 2015
• Studied language, history and culture and traveled extensively throughout Europe.

EXPERIENCE
Boston Scientific, Menlo Park, CA April 2013 – Present
Engineering
• Member of the R&D and Manufacturing Heart Valve Replacement Division for Boston Scientific
Corporation.
• Managed an entire cell production, which consists of managing processes and performance for
sustainability. Managed a team of eight technicians, and carefully organized, analyzed and prepared data
reports to ensure proper workflow and productivity. Maintained safety by verifying compliance and
assuring proper testing.
• Inspected precision machine parts using micrometers, height gauges and optical comparators.
• Produced and maintained accurate design documentation. Supplied production data to division director,
technicians, engineers and supervisors.
Pepperdine Campus Recreation, Malibu, CA August 2016 – Present
Surf Convocation Staff Member
• In charge of providing equipment to be checked out to students during Surf Convocation.
• Responsibilities include driving and operation of the campus recreation truck and trailer.
Los Olivos Farms, Menlo Park, CA June 2012 – August
2012
Farm Manager
• Responsible for operating and maintaining an organic farm, which provides fresh fruits and vegetables for
people in need.
• Responsible for the day to day operations of managing and maintenance of a sustainable farm.
• Managed the ordering of farm supplies, planting, sowing, watering, labeling and organization of farm
office and tools.

LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Bay Area Cruise Night, S.F. Peninsula, CA 2016-Present
Founder and Organizer
• Organized and executed the first Bay Area Cruise Night for classic car enthusiasts.
• Collaborated with local businesses and two neighboring cities to gain access to streets and parking lots to
accommodate over 400 cars.
• Coordinated with business owner to ensure proper insurance, proper liability signage, restroom facilities and
food services.

SKILLS
Computer
• Knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, Mac iMovie

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Gerald ‘Michael’ Kleber III
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90263
Gerald.Kleber@pepperdine.edu
(714) 470-7107

EDUCATION
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA 2013 – Present
B.A. in International Business Expected Fall 2016
• Honors: George Pepperdine Academic Achievement Scholarship
• Relevant Coursework: Micro & Macro Economics, Financial & Managerial Accounting, Business
Computing Applications, Domestic & Int’l Marketing, Financial Mgmt., Organizational Behavior
• Social Involvement: Social Media Chair – Delta Tau Delta, Pepperdine Microfinance Club, Vice
President – Veritas, Student Activities Council
Pepperdine University, Lausanne, Switzerland September 2014 – May 2015
• Studied language, history, and culture and traveled extensively throughout Europe
Pepperdine University, London, England May 2014 – July 2014
• Studied language, history, and culture and traveled extensively throughout Europe

EXPERIENCE
InviteManager, Calabasas, CA August 2016 – Present
Sales Intern
• Responsible for cleansing of sales leads while regularly creating and sending sales reports
• Assisted with CRM (Salesforce) and all needs of the sales team
Pepperdine University – School of Law, Malibu, CA August 2016 – Present
Events Assistant
• Assisted in administrative projects in order to maintain a functioning office environment
• Responsible for event preparation and provided day-of support for the Marketing & Events Department
Summit Financial Services, Orange, CA Summer 2012 – Fall 2016
Administrative Assistant
• Organized and processed a high volume of confidential records and assisted in clerical work
• Provided administrative assistance to ensure the efficiency of the office environment
Horizons International, Beirut, Lebanon June – August 2016
Outreach and Finance Intern
• Worked alongside various international organizations to provide humanitarian relief and economic
development assistance to Lebanon’s refugee community
OG Packing Company, Stockton, CA May – June 2014 & May – June 2016
Unitec Operator
• Solely responsible for the quality of over $600,000 of product per shift
• Oversaw and managed ninety employees while operating Unitec software and processing equipment
Pepperdine University – School of Law, Malibu, CA Fall 2015 – Spring 2016
Faculty Support
• Responsible for entering, editing, and organizing data for Pepperdine Law Professors
• Assisted the head of the faculty support office in administrative work and projects

SKILLS
Language
• English (fluent), French (remedial), Arabic (remedial), Spanish (remedial)
Computer
• Proficient knowledge of Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Advisor’s Assistant, and Smart Office

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Jack Miller
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90263
Jack.Miller@pepperdine.edu
(951) 427 8845

EDUCATION
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA 2013 – Present
B.S. in International Business Expected Fall 2016
Accelerated MBA Candidate Expected Spring 2018
• Honors: George Pepperdine Academic Achievement Scholarship
• Relevant Coursework: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Financial Accounting, Managerial
Accounting, Business Computing Applications, Business Calculus, Domestic Marketing, International
Marketing, Financial Management, Organizational Behavior
• Social Involvement: Historian Alpha Tau Omega, Producer/Director Dance in Flight Media (2016), 1st
AD Dance in Flight Film (2015), Personal Finance Club, Club Convocation

EXPERIENCE
Instant Comfort, Corona, CA May 2016 – September 2016
Marketing/Business Development Intern
• Worked in a start up environment to produce an effective multipurpose website: produced all digital
assets, wrote all copy, designed and launched instantcomfort.com
• Shot, edited, and produced assembly videos, stock photos and product shots through extensive use of Final
Cut Pro X, Affinity Pro, and Affinity Designer
Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Malibu, CA August 2015 – April 2016
Historian
• Worked with a tight knit group to coordinate actions, align vision, and produce real results in recruitment,
brotherhood, and philanthropy
• Produced all promotional material including shirts, videos, photos, and social media posts to raise over
$35,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA August 2015 – April 2016
Resident Advisor
• Created unique vision, environment, and experience for 46 residents
• Communicated expectations, coordinated procedures, and enforced policies within a close-knit team
American National MFG, Corona, CA May 2014 – August 2014
Profitability / Cost Tracking Analyst
• Designed and implemented a manufacturing cost tracking system to identify inefficiencies for a factory
producing $100,000 of product per day through extensive use of excel
American National MFG, Corona, CA May 2012 – August 2012
FDA Compliance/Quality Control Assistant
• Generated FDA and ISO 13485 compliant documentation for over 100 RF welding machines, produced a
system of work instruction creation through communication with all departments and levels of staff

SKILLS
Language
• English (fluent), German (Proficient), Spanish (Conversational)
Computer
• Final Cut Pro X, Affinity Photo and Designer, HTML Editors: Weekly, Squarespace, & Wix, iOS and
Windows OS, Microsoft Office Suite

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Appendix L: Contract Between GSC and GCSN

Golden Standard Consulting Contract

Golden Standard Consulting (GSC) is committed to providing quality solutions and exceptional
results through diligence and expertise in a dynamic global environment. We approach the
foundational challenges faced by our clients as our own: searching for solutions to solve the
problems of today, and positioning our client to prevent the problems of the future.

The Gold Coast Science Network (GCSN) was created in 1993 to improve STEM education
through three key objectives:
• Promotion of improvements in K-12 and postsecondary education
• Advocation of scientific thinking and utilization of the methods of science
• Share information regarding STEM education and opportunities for collaboration,
networking, and professional development between and for those interested in promoting
STEM education
GCSN is experiencing increased growth and looking forward with the recent incorporation as a
501(c)3 organization.

This contract establishes and manages a working agreement:

Between: Gold Coast Science Network


PO Box 1981
Camarillo, CA 92011

And: Golden Standard Consulting


24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263

Effective Date: This contract is effective from September 29, 2016 until December 5, 2016.
By entering into this contract, GSC agrees to provide GCSN with consul regarding the following
business challenges, and GCSN agrees to work in coordination with GSC for the duration of this
contract.
Article I: Business Challenges

As per the initial meeting with Gold Coast Science Network (GCSN), Golden Standard
Consulting (GSC) will provide consul regarding how to address the following business
challenges:

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1.1 Need for a Formal Policy Manual for the GCSN Board of Directors
Gold Coast Science Network has operated since 1993 and has recently attained 501c3 status. The
recent growth as a non-profit organization has created a need to establish a formal policy manual
as well as operating procedures to ensure that the organization operates in a consistent as well as
ethical manner.
1.1a) Key Policy Considerations
Policies to be drafted include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Compensation
• Conflict of Interest
• Employment
• Sponsorship
1.1b) Draft a List of Recommended Policies as Demand Arises

Article II: Project Objective

By the time this contract terminates, Golden Standard Consulting will have fulfilled the
following:

• A GCSN Board Policy Manual that includes 4 draft policies which we will
present as our recommendation for the first policies that GCSN should formally
adopt.
o These policies will address ethical and nonprofit management issues such
as conflict of interest, employment, and sponsorship.
o GSC will provide instructions in the form of a style guide and template so
that GCSN can use to further develop additional policies to add to the
policy manual thereon after.
• GSC will also prove a list of further recommended policies or policy areas for
Gold Coast Science Network to consider when drafting further policies.

Article III: Methodology

3.1 Research
To gain a better understanding of the Gold Coast Science Network’s challenges with policy
development, and how to best address this foundational issue, Golden Standard will look at
policies of at least five (5) organizations with similar challenges. These organizations should
have clearly established protocols to address these challenges. While GSC will consider the
policies of five (5) organizations, a minimum of two (2) comparable organizations will be
interviewed for more in depth understanding. The total number of organizations consulted
through research or interview may total five (5), meaning that consulting the policy handbook of
an organization does not disqualify it from being interviewed. In addition to our organization
research, we will use relevant literature and Pepperdine’s academic journal resources to help
create a best practice template. At least three (3) literature resources will be used (see below for
resources). To better understand GCSN internally, GSC will survey board members regarding
current policies and practices.

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Research organizations will include the following but will not be limited to GSC reserves the
right to add or delete from this list based on further research, but the final number of
organizations researched will be at least five):
• TERC
• Donors Choose
• The New Teacher Project (TNTP)
• Minnesota STEM Network
• Green Teacher Network
• California Science Teachers Association

Research literature will include but not be limited to:


• The Chronicle of Philanthropy
• Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice
• Stanford Social Innovation Review

Research survey subjects will include but also not limited to:
• Existing Policies
• Opinions on various topics
• Priorities for address

3.2 Substantiation

• The organizations considered for research will be profiled in brief report with summary
information, key challenges, and substantial focus on policy decisions
• Interviews will provide key insights to development of these policies and unique
challenges faced by the organization that may relate to GCSN, and will be substantiated
with brief information regarding the person who was interviewed as well as the
organization they represent
• GSC will ensure to submit drafts of policies with our progress reports so that GCSN may
make any necessary notes to guarantee communication between both parties.
• This research will be substantiated in a bi-monthly progress report and call, GSC will
provide an informal document highlighting key findings and progress made since last
contact and update.

3.2 Interim Report

GSC will produce a report highlighting the status of the methodology, obstacles, anticipated
outcomes and the overall progress made as well as the steps remaining until completion of the
project.

Article IV: Expectations

4.1 Primary communication will be through email; a response is expected within 24 hours of
receipt from either party, please see Article VI for expanded communication procedure.

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4.2 Email from GSC to GCSN at least every two weeks, which provide all pertinent research
information found by GSC delivered on the following dates: October 13, October 27, November
10, 2016 by 11:59PM.
4.3 Phone call from GSC to GCSN at least every two weeks to discuss the documents received
by GCSN on the following dates at times mutually agreed upon: October 17, October 24,
October 31, November 14, 2016.
4.5 Presentation by all members of GSC to members of GCSN board on December 5th at 4:00
pm at the National Weather Service Offices at 520 N Elevar St, Oxnard, CA 93030.

Article V: Timeline

5.1 Signed Contract by Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 4:00PM


5.2 Survey Sent by Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 4:00PM
5.2 Interim Report Delivered by October 20, 2016 Signed by October 25, 2016
5.3 Final Presentation at Board of Directors Meeting on December 5, 2016

Article VI: Communication

6.1 Client Primary Contact: Sharon King


6.2 Client Secondary Contact: Kristin Majda
6.3 Golden Standard Consulting Primary Contact: Monica Amezquita
6.4 Golden Standard Consulting Secondary Contact: Allie Berry
6.5 Both parties agree to respond to incoming communications within 24 hours
6.6 Both parties agree to address items that require action input within 72 hours unless otherwise
discussed
6.7 Both parties agree to participate in update and feedback discussion a minimum of once every
two weeks

Article VII: Confidentiality Statement

7.1 Confidentiality
All information provided or discovered through the course of this project will be strictly
confidential among GSC, GCSN, and the Faculty administrators at Pepperdine University,
namely Professor Amy Johnson and Reagan Schaffer.

ARTICLE VIII: Final Provisions


8.1 THIS CONTRACT IS NOT LEGALLY BINDING.
8.2 Amendments to the contract must be made by either party until 3:00PM on October 4,
2016.
8.3 This contract will terminate on December 5, 2016

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ARTICLE IX: Signatures
The Golden Standard Contract looks forward to partnering with Gold Coast Science Network to
provide best practices template for policies and potential data management solutions.

Your signature acknowledges agreement to the terms and conditions of this contract between
Golden Standard Consulting and Gold Coast Science Network.

Consultants
___________________________________ ___________________________________
Monica Amezquita (date) Allie Berry (date)
Consultant Consultant
___________________________________ ___________________________________
Kevin Carroll (date) Michael Kleber (date)
Consultant Consultant

___________________________________
Jack Miller (date)
Consultant

Clients

___________________________________ ___________________________________
Kristin Majda (date) or Sharon King (date)
President Member at Large, Communication Liaison

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Appendix M: Research Report 1

Golden Standard Consulting


Research Progress Report #1
October 13, 2016




For this report, we include information regarding the survey responses we have received thus far, as well
as information from our further research of the nonprofits listed in the contract. Beyond the nonprofit
listed in the contract, we conducted preliminary research on two new organizations that we uncovered
and found potentially useful. We focused on the profiles of the non-profits including funding size,
availability of information, and purpose of organization in addition to looking into their policies
regarding compensation, conflict of interest, employment, and sponsorship. The purpose of this research
is to understand the policies these organizations have in place as well as how said policies might work for
Gold Coast Science Network.

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1. Survey Responses
The purpose of our board member survey is to gain more insight into the needs of the organization and
to better understand the group with whom GSC is working. The information provided is protected by
the confidentiality agreement, and will be summarized here.

Answers will be reported per question in summary and in randomized sequences so that no responses
can be linked to a particular respondent. At the time of this report (10/13/16) we have received four
board member responses to our survey.

1.1 To better understand the potential for conflicts of interest, GSC asked:

Do you work in education outside of Gold Coast Science Network? If so, to what capacity?

In no particular order, our respondents reported that one is a Curriculum Specialist for a STEAM[sic],
one is a High School Biology teacher and leader of workshops, one is a retired full time teacher who is
now a substitute teacher, and one is a former teacher who now works as a STEM education consultant.

1.2 In order to address the business challenges identified, GSC asked:

Do you believe that GCSN has sufficient policies in place to continue expanding?

Three of four respondents addressed this question: all three answered no, they do not believe GCSN has
sufficient policies in place to continue expanding. Each of these three respondents added comments
which are in summary:
I do not know enough to comment.
We currently have policies that are unwritten but do in fact exist
We must ensure we have policies in place that ensure lawful operation in regards to taxes and financial
reporting, as well as regarding membership structure.

1.3 In order to gauge policy area concerns, GSC asked:

What are the top three policy areas you believe GCSN needs to address?

Responses in summary:

1st concern area:


Recruitment of New Members
Conflict of Interest
Financial - tracking expenses, paying employees, tax reporting/filing

2nd Concern Area:


Sponsorship / Donations
Membership structure - how to become a member, duration/benefits/qualifications of membership -
especially in regards to CSTA membership & dues

3rd Concern Area:

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Governance Responsibilities - annual filings, elections of officers, approval of budgets, year end
reporting, periodic review of bylaws
Employment - handling payment & reporting

1.5 In order to understand to potential for conflict of interest, GSC asked:

Are you concerned with potential conflict of interest? If so, please explain a situation in which that may
arise.

Responses in summary:
Support is normally sought from familiar resources and people, but how can we be sure we are selecting
speakers, presenters, and partners in an ethical and fair manner, not just associating GCSN with
personal associates?
Concern that GSCN may be an organization that exists to get consulting jobs for board members, and
not remaining focused on the public.

1.6 In order to understand the flow and allotment as well as perception of board meetings, GSC asked:

What most occupies time at board meetings? Please order from most time required to least.

1: 2: 3: 4: 5:
Old Business New Business Member Reports Policy Decisions Financial Decisions
Old Business Member Reports New Business Policy Decisions Financial Decisions
Member Reports Financial Decisions Policy Decisions New Business Old Business
Member Reports Old Business New Business Financial Decisions Policy Decisions

Each bin represents the rating of priority followed by the responses received per rating. The responses to
this question are mixed, and may indicate that the question was poorly designed and resulted in the
number one and five options being switched in some responses. The small sample space results in
unclear data as Golden Standard Consulting only received four responses.

1.7 In order to gain an understanding of the direction that the board would like GSC to research, GSC
asked:

Do you recommend we consult with any specific organizations to develop a policy manual for GCSN? If
so, who and why?

Heal the Bay - they have educational components and need insurance for events
K12 Alliance - They do STEM-centric events and have similar membership of consultants, educators, and
administrators

Non-Profit Help

CSTA - Very similar goals and GCSN is a chapter of the organization

1.8 In order to understand the direction that GCSN is heading, and the challenges that the board
anticipates, GSC asked:

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What new challenges, if any, do you anticipate as GCSN moves into its first tax-season as a 501(c)3
organization?

Responses in Summary:
Lack of tax code expertise, and lack of accountability with money.
GCSN lacks expertise in tax laws, and has been unable to find tax advisor within budget. The
organization needs to be aware of laws and implement effective financial reporting systems. Need to be
very sensitive to the time of board members.

Survey Results in Summary



The initial survey responses indicate that the board is aware of the challenges that GCSN faces, and has
a consistent awareness of these challenges. The strongest consensus is that the policy manual does
need to be developed, written, and formalized. The non-profits pointed to by the board of GCSN as
model are in line with the work plan developed by GSC, and allows GSC to confidently move forward
with our first round of non-profit research.

2. Non-Profit Research
GSC took the recommendations of the GCSN board and conducted preliminary research on the following
organizations: The New Teacher Project, Green Teacher Network, California Science Teacher
Association, Heal The Bay, TERC, Donors Choose, Minnesota STEM Network, and San Diego Science
Alliance.

2.1 The New Teacher Project:


http://tntp.org/

Mission: TNTP’s mission is to end the injustice of educational inequality by providing excellent teachers
to the students who need them most and by advancing policies and practices that ensure effective
teaching in every classroom.

• Work to help to empower teachers with resources and content

Conclusion: Similar to GCSN mission of linking educators with opportunities and resources. TNTP is not
necessarily just focus on science/STEM like Gold Coast. Also, they are a large organization, have many
different programs across the country, and conduct a wide array of services for not only schools, but
school districts. At first, they seemed like a great organization to help us create policy suggestions, but
upon further research may not fit as a good model for us to look into. In addition, they did not have
policies publically available. We will not be further researching or contacting this organization.

2.2 Green Teacher Network:

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http://gtncharlotte.org/

Mission: Green Teacher Network works to advance academics, health and sustainability through school
gardens and outdoor learning. GTN collaborates with over 30 area organizations in support of school
gardens, tastings, composting, and the natural environment. They currently maintain a network of over
2,000 educators in 185 schools in the Charlotte region.

• Emphasis in empowering educators to engage students in gardening, tastings and outdoor


learning. Increased awareness of food and relevant outdoor hands-on learning will lead to
improved health and academic performance.
• Quarterly Professional Development Workshops: Hands-on skill development for teachers and
informal educators supporting school gardens, tastings and much more.

Conclusion: Although a bigger than GCSN, model/mission is similar to GCSN as they provide resources to
teachers and conduct workshops. and could provide great insight as far as policies. We have reached out
to the organization and are planning an interview for the week of October 24th. Through this interview
we will discuss what their policies are regarding compensation, conflict of interest, employment, and
sponsorship in addition to how they created these policies. We hope to be able to integrate these ideas
into our policies suggestions.

2.3 California Science Teachers Association


http://www.cascience.org/csta/csta.asp

Mission: CSTA's mission is to promote high quality science education. CSTA is a non-profit 501(c)(3)
membership organization that:

• Represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level,
Kindergarten through University.
• Demonstrates leadership in science education in the state by organizing and participating in
statewide reform initiatives, and provides leadership opportunities for members who wish to
serve on state advisory committees, including framework, standards, and textbook committees.
• Works to ensure that the interests of science educators are represented at the state level, with
legislators and state education policy-makers. Learn about some successes achieved on your
behalf, and what our current policy priorities are.
• Sponsors the California Science Education Conference, the largest state conference designed
specifically for science educators statewide.
• Recognizes excellence by sponsoring awards programs for both students and teachers.
is supported by local and subject area science educator groups, and promotes their
membership and activities.

Conclusion: California Science Teachers Association may be helpful in that they have a similar mission
to Gold Coast Science Network. They have been incorporated as a 501(c)(3). Golden Standard
Consulting will look at California Science Teachers Association’s policies regarding taxes,
compensation, etc.

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2.4 Heal the Bay
http://www.healthebay.org/

Mission:
• Fight to make Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay,
safe, healthy and clean.
• Worked from a base of science to educate you, the media and government agencies about the
causes and effects of pollution on our Bay.
• Greatest threats to our coastal waters and watersheds, and to all of us - both human and animal
- that rely on the ocean for pleasure, income or sustenance, come from urban and stormwater
runoff, plastic pollution, and the ever-increasing stresses to the marine’s environment from over-
fishing and climate change.
• Heal the Bay continues to partner with you and thousands of your neighbors in southern
California through community action programs such as Nothin' But Sand and Coastal Cleanup
Day and through advocacy efforts to move municipal, state and Federal government and
regulatory agencies to act in our collective interests.
• Couldn't meet our challenges without the help of local businesses, community leaders,
grassroots activists, and our dedicated volunteers and supporters across Los Angeles County
and beyond.

Conclusion: Heal the Bay listed a portion of their financial information and policies on their website.
Heal the Bay also involves themselves in the education sector.

2.5 TERC
https://www.terc.edu/display/HOME/Home

Mission:
• TERC’s mission is to improve mathematics and science education.
• TERC works at the frontiers of theory and practice to contribute to a deeper understanding of
learning and teaching.
• Trying to enhance instruction through teacher professional development; develop applications of
new technologies to education; create curricula and other products; and support reform in both
school and informal settings.
• TERC imagines a future in which learners from diverse communities engage in creative, rigorous,
and reflective inquiry as an integral part of their lives.

Conclusion: TERC is an important player in our process as it may aid us in how we research our
policies. Having the same type of field as GCSN, TERC can assist us on any specifics we may need for
policies. Another important point to note is the size of TERC. This non-profit is larger in size, which may
be an important tool, as GCSN wants to grow in size. With the knowledge that TREC can provide, GSC
is confident with that TERC can be used to develop a policy manual.

2.6 Donors Choose


https://www.donorschoose.org

Mission:
• Making it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where
students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.
• Have an interactive website designed to allow you choose where your money goes too.
• An important cross country non-profit, Donors Choose has over 600,000 requests for help and
was founded by teachers. This direct line of contact between the organizers and schools is a
great resource to study on.

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Conclusion: Donors Choose is a great starting point because of the similarities between Donors Choose
and GCSN. The reason why this non-profit may be especially helpful is because they work primarily on
receiving and giving donations to schools around the country. Donors Choose does not work directly
with schools, but rather funds the programs or supplies that they need. With this, the policies and
agreements will be a vital source when conducting policies for GCSN. Golden Standard Consulting
recognizes that one of the main concerns is how GCSN receives money in a non constricting way.
Donors Choose appears to be a leader in these activities and can provide us with great knowledge on
policies and practices that GCSN.

2.7 Minnesota STEM Network


http://scimathmn.org/mnstemnet/

Mission:
• Connects business, education, civic, and community leaders so that they can, together,
strengthen the appeal of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
• Communicates its importance to Minnesota's future
• Promotes opportunities for students and their families to engage in high-quality STEM
experiences
• Fosters continuous improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

Conclusion: Minnesota STEM Network is a non-profit organization that is extremely similar to Gold
Coast Science Network. Minnesota STEM Network wants to connect teachers within the science field to
greater resources to be able to provide better teaching skills to students, something that GCSN wants to
do as well. This company would be a great reference point. They have an established policy manual
available on their website, so this policy would be a perfect reference for guidance.

2.8 San Diego Science Alliance


http://sdsa.org/about/

Mission:
• Dedicated to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the San
Diego County region
• Serves all of San Diego county with high-quality STEM programming, country wide events, and
resources and services that support the education-industry workforce pipeline

Conclusion: San Diego Science Alliance has members and are partnered with major renown companies
such as Apple, AT&T, California Department of Education, and many others - the list is provided on their
website. They host events such as BE WiSE - Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering
and Youth Space Institute. In a given year, they host seven programs dedicated to the improvement of
education in STEM. Utilizing a company of this size as part of our research would allow us to understand
how non-profit organizations of this size operate therefore providing us with vital information for the
creation of GCSN’s policy manual.

3.0 Future Plan Summary

Scheduled phone call interview with CEO of Green Teacher Network


Reach out to other nonprofits
Collect Policy Manuals
Begin Analysis of Relevant non-profit Policy Manuals
Discuss findings thus far and future plans

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Appendix N: Interim Report

Golden Standard Consulting

Memorandum
To: Sharon King, Gold Coast Science Network
From: Golden Standard Consulting
CC: Kristin Majda, Gold Coast Science Network & Amy Johnson,
Pepperdine University
Date: October 25, 2016
Re: Interim Report

This memorandum exists for the purpose of updating the client (Gold Coast Science Network)
regarding the progress Golden Standard Consulting has made since the formation of the
relationship that was created and outlined by the contract dated September 28, 2016. This
memorandum also serves to clarify any challenges, questions, or concerns regarding the future
outcome of the project.

Golden Standard Consulting 100


Article I: Business Objective
As stated in the signed contract:
By the time this contract terminates, Golden Standard Consulting will have fulfilled the
following:
• A GCSN Board Policy Manual that includes 4-6 drafted policies which Golden
Standard Consulting will present as our recommendation for policies that GCSN
should formally adopt.
• These policies will address ethical and nonprofit management issues such
as conflict of interest, employment, and sponsorship.
• GSC will provide instructions in the form of a style guide and template so
that GCSN can use to further develop additional policies to add to the
policy manual thereafter.
• GSC will also provide a list of further recommended policies or policy areas for
Gold Coast Science Network to consider when drafting further policies.

Article II: Methodology


Primary Method: Research
GSC has researched a number of organizations in order to develop policy templates, best
practices handbook, and policy recommendations.

GSC will interview industry experts, such as CEO’s of relevant non-profit organizations, in order
to gain insights into challenges regarding policies as well as overall challenges in the space.

To date: GSC has looked extensively at the missions and all available policies from the following
organizations. In the event that policies are not available, GSC has made contact in order to
obtain them. Furthermore, two interviews are scheduled, several interview contacts are
outstanding, and will total at least five industry experts.

Organizations considered and status:


TERC
• Status: Policies Discovered and Downloaded
Donors Choose
• Status: Policies Discovered and Downloaded
The New Teacher Project (TNTP)
• Status: Disregarded, does not align in vision or size
Minnesota STEM Network
• Status: Policies Discovered and Downloaded
Green Teacher Network
• Status: Policies not listed, interview scheduled with CEO on 10/28/16 at 8:00AM PST
California Science Teachers Association
• Status: Policies not listed, contacted and awaiting reply
San Diego Science Alliance

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• Status: Policies not listed, contacted and awaiting reply
Change Scale
• Status: Policies not listed, interview currently being scheduled

Secondary Method: Survey of board members


GSC researched best practices for survey design, distribution, and creation. Having completed
survey research, GSC created a survey and distributed it to the board at GCSN.

As of Tuesday October 25: the survey has had seven respondents.

The responses highlighted the board members’ key concerns and largely supported the insights
gained from our initial meeting with Sharon King and Kristin Majda.

Article III: Anticipated Objective Outcomes


After the completion of this project, Golden Standard Consulting will have drafted several
relevant policies to Gold Coast Science Network. Some of these policies will include:
1. Compensation of completed tasks by GCSN
2. Conflict of Interest between donors and GCSN
3. Employment of new members by GCSN
4. Sponsorship of events from outside vendors for GCSN
However, policies will not be limited to those aforementioned. Furthermore, Golden Standard
Consulting will also include an additional list of policies that would be beneficial for the further
development of Gold Coast Science Network. These policies will be included in the final report
and in a separate (concise) document to be distributed to GCSN board members.

Article 3.1 Deliverable Final Draft Policies


The final deliverable document will be delivered as draft policies that may be approved as is by
the board of GCSN or revised in any way. The delivered policy reflects the best policies
discovered by GSC and will be tailored to GCSN wherever applicable. Following the policy, GSC
will write a brief description including the following information: which model organizations the
policy follows most closely, what changes (if any) were made to adapt the policy to GCSN, any
notes regarding the industry standard for this policy type.

See below for a draft policy example:


Policy 1.x
1.x Example Policy Text: Membership of Gold Coast Science Network board of directors
requires x, y, z. All members are expected to maintain x, y, z. Members may not x, y, z. Etc.

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Consultant’s Comment: This policy is to address x challenge and is based largely on the policies
of organizations x, y, z. GSC amended the model policies in the following ways: x, y z. The
industry standard for this policy type is as follows: …

Article IV: Challenges


4.1 Short Time Frame
• Due to the short time frame provided with this project, Golden Standard Consultings
asks for expedited response rates; however, in real world scenarios, asking people for
feedback in a matter of days is unrealistic due to busy schedules, etc. In order to
overcome the short-time frame challenge, Golden Standard Consulting will ensure to
process documents quickly and remain in constant contact with GCSN so as to confirm
that we are working within the GCSN’s vision for this project.
4.2 Lack of Non-Profit Organization Policies
• While there are several organizations who employ policies quite useful to the needs of
Gold Coast Science Network, not all organizations post their policies online. Golden
Standard Consulting will reach out to these organizations to inquire about existing
policies; however, responses on the other party’s behalf are not guaranteed. GSC
acknowledges that responses may not be guaranteed, and has compiled a greater list of
potential non-profits for more extensive research if needed.

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Article V: Timeline
5.1 First Research Survey:
Thursday, October 6th by 4:00 PM
5.2 First research Update Email:
Thursday, October 13th by 11:59pm
5.3 First research Update Phone Call:
Monday, October 17th
5.4 Interim Report Document Email:
Tuesday, October 25th by 11:59pm
5.5 Interim Report Phone Call:
Monday, October 31st (time TBD)
5.6 Second Research Update Email:
Thursday, November 10 by 11:59pm
5.7 Second Research Update Phone Call:
Monday, November 14 (time TBD)
5.8 Final Report & Details About Presentation Email:
Tuesday, November 22nd by 11:59pm
5.9 Final Report & Details Phone Call:
Monday, November 28 (time TBD)
5.10 Final Presentation:
Monday, December 5 at 4:00 PM

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ARTICLE VI | SIGNATURES

Your signature acknowledges agreement to the terms and conditions of this memorandum
between Golden Standard Consulting and Gold Coast Science Network.


_________________________________ _________________________________
Kristin Majda (date) Sharon King (date)
President Member at Large
Gold Coast Science Network Gold Coast Science Network

_________________________________ _________________________________
Allie Berry (date) Michael Kleber (date)
Consultant Consultant
Golden Standard Consulting Golden Standard Consulting

_________________________________ _________________________________
Kevin Carroll (date) Jack Miller (date)
Consultant Consultant
Golden Standard Consulting Golden Standard Consulting

_________________________________
Monica Amezquita (date)
Consultant
Golden Standard Consulting

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APPENDIX A | Blank Board Survey

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APPENDIX B | Board Survey Responses
The purpose of the board member survey is to gain more insight into the needs of the
organization and to better understand the group with whom GSC is working. The information
provided is protected by the confidentiality agreement, and will be summarized here.

Answers will be reported per question in summary and in randomized sequences so that no
responses can be linked to a particular respondent. At the time of this report (10/25/16), GSC
has received a total of seven board member responses to the survey.

Survey Results in Summary:


The initial survey responses indicate that the board is aware of the challenges that GCSN faces,
and has a consistent awareness of these challenges. The strongest consensus is that the policy
manual does need to be developed, written, and formalized. The non-profits pointed to by the
board of GCSN as model are in line with the work plan developed by GSC, and allows GSC to
confidently move forward with our first round of non-profit research.

1.1 To better understand the potential for conflicts of interest, GSC asked:

Do you work in education outside of Gold Coast Science Network? If so, to what capacity?

In no particular order, our respondents reported that one is a Curriculum Specialist for a
STEAM[sic], two are High School teachers and leader of workshops, one is a retired full time
teacher who is now a substitute teacher, one is in professional development, and one is a
former teacher who now works as a STEM education consultant.

1.2 In order to address the business challenges identified, GSC asked:

Do you believe that GCSN has sufficient policies in place to continue expanding?

Summary of Responses:
Golden Standard Consulting needed to understand where board members sat on the issue of
the quantity of policies. Many of the board members believe that the creation of formalized
policies would be extremely useful for operational, as well as expanding, purposes.

Comments in summary:
I do not know enough to comment.
We currently have policies that are unwritten but do in fact exist.
We must ensure we have policies in place that ensure lawful operation in regards to taxes and
financial reporting, as well as regarding membership structure.

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1.3 In order to gauge policy area concerns, GSC asked:

What are the top three policy areas you believe GCSN needs to address?

Summary of Responses:
Responses in summary: In this survey, we included a question regarding the policy areas the
board members would like to see addressed. The three top areas of concern are Conflict of
Interest, Membership, and Governance Responsibilities.

1st concern area:


Recruitment of New Members
Conflict of Interest
Financial - tracking expenses, paying employees, tax reporting/filing

2nd Concern Area:


Sponsorship / Donations
Membership structure - how to become a member, duration/benefits/qualifications of
membership - especially in regards to CSTA membership & dues

3rd Concern Area:


Governance Responsibilities - annual filings, elections of officers, approval of budgets, year end
reporting, periodic review of bylaws
Employment - handling payment & reporting

1.4 In order to understand to potential for conflict of interest, GSC asked:

Are you concerned with potential conflict of interest? If so, please explain a situation in which
that may arise.

Summary of Responses:
The board members of Gold Coast Science Network want to ensure that through the
implementation of policies regarding conflicts of interest, issues said conflicts of interest- such
as how to select speakers for ethical reasons- will diminish.

Responses in summary:
Support is normally sought from familiar resources and people, but how can we be sure we are
selecting speakers, presenters, and partners in an ethical and fair manners?

1.5 In order to understand the flow and allotment as well as perception of board meetings,
GSC asked:

What most occupies time at board meetings? Please order from most time required to least.

Summary of Responses:

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Golden Standard Consulting wanted to understand how time is allotted during board meetings.
Most people felt that “old business”, member reports, and financial decisions took up the
majority of the meeting time.

1: 2: 3: 4: 5:
Old Business New Business Member Policy Decisions Financial
Old Business Member Reports Reports Policy Decisions Decisions
Member Financial New Business New Business Financial
Reports Decisions Policy Decisions Financial Decisions
Member Old Business New Business Decisions Old Business
Reports Financial Member Policy Decisions
Policy Decisions Decisions Reports

Each bin represents the rating of priority followed by the responses received per rating. The
responses to this question are mixed, and may indicate that the question was poorly designed
and resulted in the number one and five options being switched in some responses. The small
sample space results in unclear data as Golden Standard Consulting only received four
responses.

1.6 In order to gain an understanding of the direction that the board would like GSC to
research, GSC asked:

Do you recommend we consult with any specific organizations to develop a policy manual for
GCSN? If so, who and why?

Summary of Responses:
Golden Standard Consulting asked the board of GCSN for recommendations regarding non-
profit organizations that would be helpful to our research. The most popular organizations
recommended to GSC were Heal the Bay, K12 Alliance, and CSTA.
Heal the Bay - they have educational components and need insurance for events
K12 Alliance - They do STEM-centric events and have similar membership of consultants,
educators, and administrators
CSTA - Very similar goals and GCSN is a chapter of the organization (supported several times)

1.7 In order to understand the direction that GCSN is heading, and the challenges that the
board anticipates, GSC asked:

What new challenges, if any, do you anticipate as GCSN moves into its first tax-season as a
501(c)3 organization?

Summary of Responses:
Golden Standard Consulting asked the board of GCSN what their concerns were moving into tax
season given GCSN’s recent non-profit status. Many of the board members feel that GCSN
would benefit from further tax expertise as well as money accountability.

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Responses in Summary:
Lack of tax code expertise, and lack of accountability with money.
GCSN lacks expertise in tax laws, and has been unable to find tax advisor within budget. The
organization needs to be aware of laws and implement effective financial reporting systems.
Need to be very sensitive to the time of board members.

APPENDIX C | Similar Nonprofits & Policies Research


In order to proceed with the creation of policies for Gold Coast Science Network, Golden
Standard consulting must first ensure that research regarding non-profits similar to GCSN be
completed. GSC then took GCSN board’s recommendations and conducted preliminary research
on the following organizations: The New Teacher Project, Green Teacher Network, California
Science Teacher Association, Heal The Bay, TERC, Donors Choose, Minnesota STEM Network,
and San Diego Science Alliance.

The New Teacher Project:


http://tntp.org/

Mission: TNTP aims to end the injustice of educational inequality by providing excellent
teachers to the students who need them most and by advancing policies and practices that
ensure effective teaching in every classroom. TNTP works to help to empower teachers with
resources and content

Conclusion: Similar to GCSN mission of linking educators with opportunities and resources.
TNTP is not necessarily just focus on science/STEM like Gold Coast. Also, they are a large
organization, have many different programs across the country, and conduct a wide array of
services for not only schools, but school districts. At first, they seemed like a great organization
to help GSC create policy suggestions, but upon further research it may not fit as a good model
for GSC to look into. In addition, they did not have policies publically available. GSC will not be
further researching or contacting this organization.

Green Teacher Network:


http://gtncharlotte.org/

Mission: Green Teacher Network works to advance academics, health and sustainability
through school gardens and outdoor learning. GTN collaborates with over 30 area
organizations in support of school gardens, tastings, composting, and the natural environment.
They currently maintain a network of over 2,000 educators in 185 schools in the Charlotte
region.

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• Emphasis in empowering educators to engage students in gardening, tastings and
outdoor learning. Increased awareness of food and relevant outdoor hands-on learning
will lead to improved health and academic performance.
• Quarterly Professional Development Workshops: Hands-on skill development for
teachers and informal educators supporting school gardens, tastings and much more.

Conclusion: Although a bigger than GCSN, model/mission is similar to GCSN as they provide
resources to teachers and conduct workshops, and could provide great insight as far as policies.
GSC have reached out to the organization and are planning an interview for the week of
October 24th. Through this interview GSC will discuss what their policies are regarding
compensation, conflict of interest, employment, and sponsorship in addition to how they
created these policies. GSC hopes to be able to integrate these ideas into our policies
suggestions.

California Science Teachers Association:


http://www.cascience.org/csta/csta.asp

Mission: The California Teachers Association exists to protect and promote the wellbeing of its
members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning; to advance the cause of free,
universal, and quality public education; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all
children and youth are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.
• Represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade
level, Kindergarten through University.
• Demonstrates leadership in science education in the state by organizing and
participating in statewide reform initiatives, and provides leadership opportunities for
• members who wish to serve on state advisory committees, including framework,
standards, and textbook committees.
• Works to ensure that the interests of science educators are represented at the state
level, with legislators and state education policy-makers. Learn about some successes
achieved on your behalf, and what our current policy priorities are.
• Sponsors the California Science Education Conference, the largest state conference
designed specifically for science educators statewide.
• Recognizes excellence by sponsoring awards programs for both students and teachers.
is supported by local and subject area science educator groups, and promotes their
membership and activities.

Conclusion: California Science Teachers Association may be helpful in that they have a similar
mission to Gold Coast Science Network. They have been incorporated as a 501(c)(3). Golden
Standard Consulting will look at California Science Teachers Association’s policies regarding
taxes, compensation, etc.

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Heal the Bay
http://www.healthebay.org/

Mission: Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters
and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and clean.
• Worked from a base of science to educate you, the media and government agencies
about the causes and effects of pollution on our Bay.
• Greatest threats to our coastal waters and watersheds, and to all of us - both human
and animal - that rely on the ocean for pleasure, income or sustenance, come from
urban and stormwater runoff, plastic pollution, and the ever-increasing stresses to the
marine environment from overfishing and climate change.
• Heal the Bay continues to partner with you and thousands of your neighbors in southern
California through community action programs such as Nothin' But Sand and Coastal
Cleanup Day and through advocacy efforts to move municipal, state and Federal
government and regulatory agencies to act in our collective interests.

Conclusion: Heal the Bay has listed a portion of their financial information and policies on their
website. With this information, and hopefully more through other research on this non-profit,
GSC feels that their policies can better help guide us towards policies for GCSN. Furthermore,
Heal the Bay also involves themselves in the education sector, which allows GSC to find specific
policies concerning this field.

TERC
https://www.terc.edu/display/HOME/Home

Mission: TERC’s is dedicated to improve mathematics and science education. TERC works at the
frontiers of theory and practice to contribute to a deeper understanding of learning and
teaching; enhance instruction through teacher professional development; develop applications
of new technologies to education; create curricula and other products; and support reform in
both school and informal settings.
• Introduces millions of students throughout the United States to the worlds of math and
science learning.
• Led by a group of experienced, forward-thinking math and science professionals.
• TERC’s has a staff of 104—including nationally recognized leaders in educational
research and curriculum development—are actively engaged in over 70 projects and
• 62% of staff have advanced degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, education,
psychology, and technology.

Conclusion: TERC is an important player in our process as it may aid our research in policies as it
can assist GSC on any specific policies. Another important point to note is the size of TERC. This

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non-profit is larger in size, which may be an important tool, as GCSN does want to grow in size.
With the knowledge that TREC can provide, GSC is confident with that TERC can be used to
develop a policy manual.

Donors Choose
https://www.donorschoose.org

Mission: Donors Choose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us
closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they
need for a great education.

• Includes a team of 80 has fulfilled over 600,000 classroom project requests.


• Encopases many former teachers, so operations feels like a cross between a startup a
schoolhouse.
• Willing shows how donations are being used. Elaborates these numbers through easy to
read charts and graphs.

Conclusion: Donors Choose is a great starting point because of the similarities between Donors
Choose and GCSN have. The reason why this non-profit may be especially helpful is because
they work primarily on receiving and giving donations to schools around the country. Donors
Choose does not work directly with schools, but rather funds the programs or supplies that they
need. With this, the policies and agreements will be a vital source when conducting policies for
GCSN. Golden Standard Consulting recognizes that one of the main concerns is how GCSN
receives money in a non constricting way. Donors Choose appears to be a leader in these
activities and can provide us with great knowledge on policies and practices that GCSN can use.

Minnesota STEM Network
http://scimathmn.org/mnstemnet/

Mission: Minnesota STEM Network connects business, education, civic, and community leaders
so that they can, together, strengthen the appeal of science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics.

• Communicates its importance to Minnesota's future.


• Promotes opportunities for students and their families to engage in high-quality STEM
experiences.
• Fosters continuous improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

Conclusion: Minnesota STEM Network is a non-profit organization that is extremely similar to


GCSN. Minnesota STEM Network wants to connect teachers within the science field to greater
resources to be able to provide better teaching skills to students, something that GCSN wants
to do as well. This company would be a great reference point. They have an established policy
manual available on their website, so this policy would be a perfect reference for guidance.

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San Diego Science Alliance
http://sdsa.org/about/

Mission: San Diego Science Alliance dedicates itself to advancing science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the San Diego County region.

• SDSA serves all of San Diego county with high-quality STEM programming, country wide
events, and resources and services that support the education-industry workforce
pipeline.
• 3,500 teachers, and 30,000 k-12 students are reached through SDSA.
• Reach encompases the country’s educational, non-profit, and business sectors.

Conclusion: San Diego Science Alliance has members and are partnered with major renown
companies such as Apple, AT&T, California Department of Education, and many others - the list
is provided on their website. They host events such as BE WISE - Better Education for Women in
Science and Engineering and Youth Space Institute, which can give GSC insight into how to
conduct policies for major events. Understanding SDSA can help us conduct our research to
better help GCSN.

ChangeScale
http://changescale.org/

Mission: ChangeScale ensures that every generation is inspired with the environmental know-
how to create healthy communities and a healthy planet.

• Partner with organizations in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area working
together to ensure that environmental education is a cornerstone of lifelong learning.
• Foster meaningful connections to the natural world, build individual and collective
leadership, and create a more environmentally literate and engaged citizenry.
Conclusion: Understanding the similarities that ChangeScale has to GCSN, we feel that policies
that they have developed can be directly implemented into what GCSN does. When conducting
further research, GSC understands that ChangeScale is small in size, has the same type of
outreach as GCSN and therefore can provide GSC much needed information.

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APPENDIX D | General Nonprofit Sector Policy Research
The Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical
Practice
The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable
organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial
oversight, and responsible fundraising. GSC chose to highlight the principles that relate to compensation, conflict
of interest, employment, and sponsorship although there are many more areas that this document covers. GSC
believes it to be a valuable resource and recommend utilizing when creating other policies, structuring GCSN’s
board, and many other aspects. You can obtain a copy by creating a free account here:
https://www.independentsector.org/principles

A charitable organization should adopt and implement policies and procedures to ensure that
all conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof, within the organization and the board are
appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal, or other means.

• A conflict of interest arises when a board member or staff person’s duty of loyalty to the
charitable organization comes into conflict with a competing financial or personal
interest that he or she (or a relative) may have in a proposed transaction
• Establishing and enforcing a conflict-of-interest policy is an important part of protecting
charitable organizations from unethical or illegal practices.
o The policy need not be complex, but it should be consistent with the laws of the
state.
• Board members and staff should be encouraged to disclose any interest they have in a
transaction or matter--even if the interest is not the result of the staff or board member
having a formal affiliation with some other party.
• Policies should distinguish between situations that give the appearance of a conflict and
those that involve a material conflict where a board or staff member has a direct or
indirect financial interest in transactions with the organization
• It is important that there be in place a transparent process, in which board members
engage, to understand the nature of the conflict and whether it can be appropriately
managed
o For example, some foundations and grant making public charities prohibit grants
to organizations for which one of the funder’s board or staff members serves as
an uncompensated director or trustee
• Once a policy is developed, all board and senior staff members should be required to
sign it and to disclose any material conflicts of interest, both at the time they join the
organization and at the beginning of each new board year.
• Many organizations use an annual questionnaire or disclosure statement for this
purpose and commonly provide information about board members’ conflicts to auditors
or others reviewing the organization’s financial transactions

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• When senior employees, board members or their family members have a material
conflict of interest in a matter being considered by the board or the staff, they should
refrain from attempting to influence other decision-makers regarding the matter.
• Board members with a material conflict of interest are required by law to recuse
themselves from board discussions and votes regarding those matters, other than to
respond to information requests.
• No federal requirement to create policy, but board members and organization managers
are subject to penalties if they are found to have approved transactions that result in an
excessive financial benefit to anyone in a position to exercise substantial influence over
the organization’s affairs.
• The Internal Revenue Service requires public charities to disclose on their annual
information returns (Forms 990) if any officers, directors, trustees, key employees,
highest compensated employees, or highest compensated profession or other
independent contractors are related through family or business relationships and
whether the organization has a conflict of interest policy.

A substantial majority of the board of a public charity, usually meaning at least two-thirds of
the members, should be independent. Independent members should not: (1) be
compensated by the organization as employees or independent contractors; (2) have their
compensation determined by individuals who are compensated by the organization; (3)
receive, directly or indirectly, material financial benefits from the organization except as a
member of the charitable class served by the organization; or (4) be related to (as a spouse,
sibling, parent or child), or reside with any individual described above.
• All directors of nonprofit corporations have a “duty of loyalty” that requires them to put
the interests of the organization above their personal interests and to make decisions
they believe are in the best interest of the nonprofit
• Individuals who have a personal financial interest in the affairs of a charitable
organization may not be as likely to question the decisions of those who determine their
compensation or fees or to give unbiased consideration to changes in management or
program activities.
• It is therefore important to the long-term success and accountability of the organization
that a sizeable majority of the individuals on the board be free of financial conflicts of
interest.
Board members are generally expected to serve without compensation, other than
reimbursement for expenses incurred to fulfill their board duties. A charitable organization
that provides compensation to its board members should use appropriate comparability data
to determine the amount to be paid, document the decision and provide full disclosure to
anyone, upon request, of the amount and rationale for the compensation.

• Although some charitable organizations reimburse expenses related to board work, the
vast majority of board members serve without compensation.
• When organizations find it appropriate to compensate board members due to the
nature, time or professional competencies involved in the work, they must be prepared
to provide detailed documentation of the amount of and reasons for such

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compensation, including the responsibilities of board members and the services they
provide.
• Any compensation provided to board members must be reasonable and necessary to
support the performance of the organization.
• Compensation paid to board members for services in the capacity of staff of the
organization should be clearly differentiated from any compensation paid for board
service.
• Board members of charitable organizations are responsible for ascertaining that any
compensation they receive does not exceed to a significant degree the compensation
provided for positions in comparable organizations with similar responsibilities and
qualifications.
• Charities and foundations are permitted under current law to pay reasonable
compensation for services provided by board members. Reasonable compensation is
defined as the amount that would ordinarily be paid for like services by like enterprises.
• Charitable organizations, with some exceptions, are required to report on their Form
990 or 990-PF the name, title, and average hours of service per week of every board
member, officer, and key employee. In addition, the organizations must report the
compensation, contributions to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation,
expense account, and other allowances paid to any board member by the organization
and its affiliated entities.

National Council of Nonprofits: Conflict of Interest


https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/conflict-of-interest

What should a conflict of interest policy include?
• A conflict of interest policy should (a) require those with a conflict to disclose the
conflict/potential conflict, and (b) prohibit interested board members from voting on
any matter in which there is a conflict.

Beyond including those two basic directives, each nonprofit needs to determine how the
board will manage the conflict.
• Keep in mind that the IRS Form 990 asks not only about whether the nonprofit has a
written conflict of interest policy, but also about the process that the nonprofit uses to
manage conflicts, as well as how the nonprofit determines whether board members
have a conflict of interest.
• Some state laws governing nonprofit corporations include provisions describing what
must be included in a nonprofit's conflict of interest policy, or how conflicts are to be
managed.
• Conflicts that are not managed can result in significant penalties, called "intermediate
sanctions," assessed against the person who benefits as well as against the organization.
(See IRS information on inurement/private benefit, also referred to as “excess benefit
transactions.”)

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Pointers
• Often people are unaware that their activities or personal interests are in conflict with
the best interests of the nonprofit so a goal for many organizations is to simply raise
awareness and encourage disclosure and discussion of anything that MAY be a conflict.
Conflicts can be nuanced and have more to do with a “duality of interests” than a
financial conflict.
• Many charitable nonprofits make it a regular practice to take time at a board meeting at
least once a year to discuss the types of hypothetical situations that could result in a
conflict of interest, and then discuss how the board would manage that potential
conflict, role-playing, so that when a real conflict arises the board will be ready to
handle it with more ease. Minutes of board meetings should reflect when a board
member discloses that s/he has a conflict of interests and how the conflict was
managed, such as that there was a discussion on the matter without the board member
in the room, and that a vote was taken but that the “interested” board member
abstained.
• Many nonprofits circulate a questionnaire each year to find out whether any board or
staff member has a conflict of interest. Typically the questionnaire asks board and staff
members to disclose existing conflicts and reminds them to disclose any that may crop
up in the future.

https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/conflict-of-interest

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The National Council of Nonprofits’ Gift Acceptance Policies
The National Council of Nonprofits delineates various issues arising with gift acceptance policies. In this article, The
National Council of Nonprofits discusses issues such as donor expectations as well as general action on behalf of
staff and board. Because Gold Coast Science Network is an organization with current 501c status, Gold Coast
Science Network will most likely be placed in a position where an enacted gift acceptance policy would be
extremely useful. Below, we have included highlights of the article’s points that Golden Standard Consulting found
of use to Gold Coast Science Network.

https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/gift-acceptance-policies

Importance of a Gift Acceptance Policy


• Throughout the existence of a non-profit organization, gifts are made and it may be
difficult to know exactly when to accept a gift or simply say know. This is a situation in
which a company should know whether to say yes or no. Often times, gifts can create
more hassle than benefit to an organization, in which case the organization should
reject the offer. The issue, however, lies in knowing whether or not the acceptance of a
gift will create such hassle. It is for that reason that gift acceptance policies are often
helpful.
• Accepting some types of gifts may run counter to the nonprofit's values - so a gift
acceptance policy can be useful to underscore why the nonprofit cannot accept the gift.
• The non-profit simply may not be equipped to manage the necessary maintenance
requirements or have the means to dispose of certain types of gifts.
• Having gift acceptance policies is typically viewed as “a best practice” by the IRS; while
completing schedule M under IRS tax codes, there is a checkbox asking if gift acceptance
policies are in place.
Pointers
• When writing the gift acceptance policy, the organization must make note of who the
policy is being directed at: board members, staff and employees, both?
• For maximum financial transparency, it is typically a great idea to place the policy on the
non-profit’s website which will facilitate donor’s expectations before agreeing to make a
gift.
• It is important to include either in the actual policy or the guidelines following said
policy an explanation that the nonprofit will conduct a review or seek legal counsel
regarding certain types of gifts, such as real estate; however, no such action is required
of gifts such as cash.
• If there are specific types of contributions that are or are not acceptable to the
nonprofit, it is best to be transparent and name them in the policy.
• As with all policies – who is accountable? Will the policy be evaluated from time to time,
and who should conduct the review

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APPENDIX E | Complete Policy Examples From Relevant Organizations
TERC
Status: Policies Discovered and Downloaded

Donors Choose
Status: Policies Discovered and Downloaded

Minnesota STEM Network


Status: Policies Discovered and Downloaded

Green Teacher Network


Status: Policies not listed, interview scheduled with CEO on 10/28/16 at 8:00AM PST

California Science Teachers Association


Status: Policies not listed, contacted and awaiting reply

San Diego Science Alliance


Status: Policies not listed, contacted and awaiting reply

ChangeScale
Status: Policies not listed, contacted and awaiting reply

Montana Nonprofit Association


http://www.mtnonprofit.org/uploadedFiles/Files/About/Conflict_of_Interest_Policy_and_State
ment.pdf

Public Counsel Law Center


http://www.publiccounsel.org/tools/assets/files/CoIMemo.pdf
http://www.publiccounsel.org/tools/assets/files/CIPolicy.doc

Hurwit & Associates


http://www.hurwitassociates.com/l_conflict.php

California Attorney General


https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/charities/publications/guide_for_charities.pdf

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Appendix O: Research Report 2

Golden Standard Consulting


Research & Analysis Report #2
November 10, 2016

The purpose of this report is to summarize new research and analysis conducted by Golden
Standard Consulting since the interim report. The focus of the research is to examine more
policies so as to provide GSC with a stronger base of information to draft relevant policies for
GCSN. Two interviews with nonprofit organizations similar to GCSN have been conducted, and
key takeaways are listed below. The final section of this report provides the client with Golden
Standard’s first sample draft policy for conflict of interest.

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1. Interview Notes
1.1 Notes from phone interview of Jeanne McCarty, CEO of REAL School
Gardens on October 28, 2016
Develop Core Values:
• Entire Board along with the organization must be on the same page as far as the
nonprofit's vision goes.
• A clear mission encourages can convince those outside your organization to do work
work for the nonprofit pro-bono.

Board Makeup:
• High functioning nonprofits almost always have a diverse board (i.e. gender,
occupation, age, expertise, contacts).
• Though difficult to first impose, board term limits ensure members do not become
complacent and unproductive cogs in an organization.
• Each board member should have a list of contacts, influences, and experts outside of
the organization that could potentially help the nonprofit.

Board Responsibilities:
• As a 501(C)3, board members are responsible for the fiscal and legal behavior off the
nonprofit - could behoove members to take out officer or director insurance to protect
themselves.
• Growth can only occur within structure. Board operations are much more sophisticated
than setting budgets.
• May be beneficial for Gold Coast to hire an accounting and legal team to formalize
financial policies (Board Source Online could be a helpful resource).
• Also of note, policies differ regionally, even in the state of California.

1.2 Notes from email interview with, Andie Safon, Operations Associate of
Donors Choose on November 3rd, 2016
• Made a strong focus on the responsibilities Donors Choose has on the classroom. They
enable citizen donors to give to specific projects on their site.
• Unfortunately unable to give any sort of manuals as references as they are not for
public use.
• Encouraged that during tax season, to see a professional tax attorney to handle taxes.
This is to ensure that there is no mistakes to made, especially if completing taxes for
the first time, such as GCSN.

1.3 Notes from phone interview with, Jessica L. Sawko, Executive Director
of California Science Teachers Association
• Policies are created by a committee that is selected by the board.
• This policy committee is comprised of 17 members and of those members there are
always a few board members present.
• This committee meets once a year and every three years they go through all policies for
an overhaul of their manual. With this they hope to change any line items that may not

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relate to their organization at the time. Also noted, is that they may also never policies
as they feel as if they still relate years later.
• Encouraged that in any decision with outside parties, that a few board members are
present in the decisions.
• Concerning taxes, Jessica mentioned that it is best to consult professionals. CSTA is a
larger organization, and therefore takes no risks completing taxes in house.

2. Further Research on Nonprofit Policies


2.1 National Council of Nonprofits- Gift Acceptance Policies
*Potentially can be used for creation of Sponsorship policy draft*
https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/gift-acceptance-policies
• Why have a gift acceptance policy?
o Manage expectations of donors
o Serve as guidance for board and staff members who deal with asking or
receiving donations
o Considered a “best practice” by the IRS
• Consider who the audience will be for your nonprofit’s gift acceptance policy:
Will the policy help guide prospective donors who are considering a gift? Or is
the policy only intended to provide guidance for staff and board members? Or
both?
• Consider posting the policy on your nonprofit’s website which helps manage
donors’ expectations
• Consider including in the policy or in guidelines for staff that prior to accepting
certain types of gifts, such as real estate, the nonprofit will conduct a review
and/or consult with legal counsel – and for other types of gifts, such as cash, no
review is required.
• If there are specific types of contributions that are or are not acceptable to the
nonprofit, it is best to be transparent and name them in the policy.

2.2 Corporation for National and Community Service - Policies and


Procedures Handbook
https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/resource/Policies_and_Procedures_Handboo
k_rev.5.16.11.pdf
This document encompasses various important aspects of policy-making. The Policies and
Procedures Handbook created by the Corporation for National and Community service
provides the reader with a multitude of important policies and steps of action that this
corporation suggests other organizations to implement. This handbook provides a section
which encompasses all aspects of governing policies and procedures, with subsections such
as “Board/Commission Duties and Responsibilities” and “Conflict of Interest” as well as
procedures regarding “Performance Evaluation”. The handbook also provides information
regarding financial policies and procedures that delineates various examples of policies within
this field. For purposes of this project to maintain within scop, Golden Standard Consulting will
only provide information regarding that GSC deems relevant, which can be found below.

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Governing Policies and Procedures
• Under this section of the document, the Corporation for National and
Community Service prefaces the examples of governing policies by describing
important statements that organizations should implement to ensure that the
board takes actions that align with these following statements:
o Mission Statement
o Bylaws
o Articles of Incorporation
o Organizational Chart outlining the chain of command
• Board Members and Board Meetings:
o The following points are described in this section of the manual:
o Board/Commission Duties and Responsibilities including general and
fiduciary responsibilities
o Board Meetings
o Board Orientation and Evaluation
• Employment Manual: (Page 11)
o This particular section of the document is an extremely valuable portion
as it describes how to decide which employment policies an organization
should consider.
o The manual suggests that employment policies should describe how
managers of an organization, in this case Board Members, should
introduce new employees to the organization and then continues to
explicitly state the types of employee manuals that should be established.
The section terminates by describing the importance of these types of
policies and suggests organizations to invest in legal counsel regarding
these policies.

• Conflict of Interest (Page 15):


o The “Policies and Procedures Handbook” claims that conflict of interest
policies are important to to ensure “proper care of funds and helping
ensure public confidence” (pg 15).
o The manual defines conflict of interest as follows: “a conflict of interest is
considered an activity or interest, which may cause bias for or against a
particular transaction being reviewed by the staff and Board of Directors”
(pg 15)
o The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) currently requires nonprofit
organizations to implement conflict of interest policies.
o The document suggests that organization discuss the different types of
conflicts of interest which could arise within an organization as well as
abstaining from voting on issues which are related to established
conflicts of interest.
o All actual and potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed, even if
members believe them to be irrelevant.
o Conflict of Interest policies should be updated and re-signed annually.

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o Golden Standard Consulting strongly suggests the recipients of this
report to read through the conflict of interest section commencing
on page 15 and share this information with the entire board so as to
discuss all potential conflicts of interests that may arise on behalf of
all interested parties.
• Although the following sections fall out of scope for this current project, GSC
includes them regardless as interesting and important documents for the client,
GCSN, to consider and discuss with board members if not yet drafted:
o Performance Evaluations
o Annual Work Plan
o Disaster Planning and Recovery Plan

Financial Policies and Procedures


• According to this document, organizations should have a separate manual
dedicated to policies and procedures of this type in order to delineate clear
instructions regarding submitting financial documents in a consistent, clear, and
accurate manner and to maintain an accounting of funds which follow the
guidelines established by the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
• Payroll and Documenting Time (page 45):
§ As previously discussed with Gold Coast Science Network and as
agreed upon within the contract drafted at the commencement of
this project, GCSN has asked GSC to focus on compensation
policies; therefore, this section of the manual is of extreme
importance.
§ As discussed in the handbook, employee compensation is always
one of the highest administrative costs which are necessary to
capacity building for nonprofit organizations.
§ Payroll policies should take into consideration the governing
state’s (in this particular case, California) payroll laws.
§ “Part of payroll is payroll taxes, there are federal and state
regulations associated with payroll taxes that can result in
penalties and interest if not submitted timely” (pg 46)
§ The person in charge of payroll and issuing compensation must
also ensure that s/he collects sufficient information from
employees to be able to file the following tax forms:
§ Form W-2s
§ Form W-3
§ Form 941s
§ Form 1099s

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• Contributions (page 51)
The final point point of focus for this project delineated in the contract signed
between Gold Coast Science Network and Golden Standard Consulting is
sponsorship. This portion of the guidebook describes information an organization
should take into consideration when drafting gift acceptance, i.e. sponsorships.
The manual claims that there are three variations of contributions:

3. Sample Draft Policy (Conflict of Interest)


3.1 Conflict of Interest Policy DRAFT REV 1
Gold Coast Science Network assumes that all members of the board will work together, and
conduct themselves responsibly and ethically. Even with responsible and ethical conduct,
there is the potential that real or perceived conflicts of interests can arise. Given this potential,
effective governance is essential. It requires deliberate, thoughtful, and unbiased decision-
making by directors and staff members.
GCSN Defines conflict of inteeres as . . . .
Directors and staff members have the duty of complete allegiance to Gold Coast Science
Network’s (GCSN) mission when acting on behalf of GCSN. This duty requires that directors
and staff members recognize and respond appropriately to any real or perceived conflict of
interest. A conflict may exist when a director or staff member participates in the deliberation
and resolution of an issue on behalf of GCSN while the individual has or previously had other
professional, business or volunteer responsibilities outside of GCSN that could cause such
individuals to address the issue with less than complete, undivided allegiance to GCSN.
Circumstances that may result in an actual or perceived conflict of interest include, but are not
limited to:

• Granting funds to a charitable nonprofit organization on which a director or staff


member or their families are serving as staff, board members or volunteers.
• Participating on fundraising committees or in fundraising efforts for an
organization seeking a grant from the GCSN.
• Investing GCSN funds.
• Hiring vendors or consultants for GCSN.
• Employing a director or a relative of a director or staff as staff or as a consultant
for a project.
• Divestiture of prohibited financial interests.
• Disclosure of financial interests.
• Outside activities.
• Awards.
• Engaging in networking activities that may benefit some entity besides GCSN.
• Compensating or reimbursing GCSN members.

It is the GCSN’s policy to deal with such conflicts in an open and direct manner. In
accord with this policy, all directors and staff members are required to disclose an
actual or perceived conflict (to be recorded in minutes) and to remove themselves from
participation in any related discussions or decision-making by GCSN. However, a director or
staff member may, if requested by the Board or a committee of the Board, provide factual
information that may assist the Board or committee in its deliberations. A director or staff

Golden Standard Consulting 129


member may seek guidance from the Board or a committee of the Board as to whether a
particular activity or relationship constitutes an actual or perceived conflict of interest. A copy of
this policy shall be provided to all prospective directors and staff members. By accepting
appointment as a director or employment as a staff member, an individual agrees to strictly
adhere to this policy.

3.1 A) Consultant’s Comments on Policy Draft Rev. 1


Golden Standard Consulting developed this policy first through research into what challenges
it is to address, developing an understanding of why this is a crucial policy to develop and
maintain, and looking at models set forth by reputable organizations has led to this first
revision.
GSC has gathered a host of policies, and developed this rev 1 draft policy by referencing the
conflict of interest policy followed by TERC, and expanding on that with the help of policies set
out at the 501(c)3 commons at nationalservice.gov. This draft is a first revision having
references to only these two organizations and will be revised and reinforced as other models
are able to be more completely analyzed and applied.
A large portion of this draft policy is directly lifted from the NationalService.Gov policy manual.
One key fact is that this policy requires the development of a Perceived or Factual conflict of
interest disclosure document which is modeled in the manual, but still under consideration for
inclusion within this draft policy.

3.2 Conflict of Interest Background: reasons to develop the policy


From the Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance & Ethical Practice:

1. A charitable organization should adopt and implement policies and


procedures to ensure that all conflicts of interest, or the appearance
thereof, within the organization and the board are appropriately managed
through disclosure, recusal, or other means.
2. A conflict of interest arises when a board member or staff person’s duty
of loyalty to the charitable organization comes into conflict with a
competing financial or personal interest that he or she (or a relative) may
have in a proposed transaction

From the MBI Consulting Policies and Procedures handbook:


By definition, a conflict of interest is considered an activity or interest, which
may cause bias for or against a particular transaction being reviewed by the
staff and Board of Directors.
1. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now requiring conflict
of interest policies for organizations applying for nonprofit
status.
Purpose: All Board Members and staff should reveal any conflicts of interest for
themselves or through a family relationship. It is essential that all conflicts be
disclosed and each person agrees that they will abstain from voting on any
matters that are viewed as an actual or potential conflict of interest.

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3.2 Sample Policies:
Note: All blue text is copied policy we have added here for reference. We have added
numerical notations in a black font so that it is clear where each key component break
down addresses.

TERC Conflict of Interest Policy


1) TERC assumes that all of its employees act responsibly and with integrity at all times
so that public confidence in TERC is ensured. Nonetheless, situations can arise that
create conflicts of interest that TERC needs to address and resolve. 2) Accordingly, this
policy requires all TERC Investigators to disclose to a Conflicts Committee, described
below, any significant financial interest that would reasonably appear to affect actual or
potential TERC activities. 3) In addition, TERC expects that any employee who has a
situation that might constitute a conflict of interest will discuss that situation with
his/her principal investigator or with any member of the Conflicts Committee. If the
principal investigator believes a conflict of interest exists, or is not certain, s/he is
required to bring the situation to the attention of a member of the Conflicts Committee.

Consultant’s Notes:
Key Component Breakdown:
2. Language that engages and provides a positive context for those governed by
the policy
. Important because it demonstrates trust of members, but necessity of
policy
3. Clearly states the decided protocol, but does not define “significant financial
interest”
1. Significant financial interest varies by scale of organization
1. Given that GCSN’s budget is below $5,000, and the majority of the
board cites conflict of interest as a key policy area, “significant
financial interest” may need to be defined
2. Treats all members of the board like adults, expecting that they will discuss any
potential conflict of interest with the rest of the board members

Complete Sample Policy of Fictitious Organization


Source: Nationalservice.gov

ABCD Tutoring Corporation, Inc.


Conflict of Interest Policy

Adopted by Board of Directors, ____________

Effective governance requires deliberate, thoughtful and unbiased decision-making by


directors and staff members. At the same time, the ability to make wise decisions for
the ABCD Tutoring Corporation, Inc. (Corporation) is strengthened by each individual's

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personal and professional interests. Directors and staff members have the duty of
complete, undivided allegiance to the corporation's mission when acting on behalf of
the Corporation. This duty requires that directors and staff members recognize and
respond appropriately to any real or perceived conflict of interest. A conflict may exist
when a director or staff member
participates in the deliberation and resolution of an issue on behalf of the Corporation
while the individual has or previously had other professional, business or volunteer
responsibilities outside the Corporation that could cause such individuals to address
the issue with less than complete, undivided allegiance to the Corporation.
Circumstances that may result in an actual or perceived conflict of interest include, but
are not limited to:

• Granting funds to a charitable nonprofit organization on which a director or


staff member or their families are serving as staff, board members or volunteers.
• Participating on fundraising committees or in fundraising efforts for an
organization seeking a grant from the Corporation.
• Investing Corporation funds.
• Hiring vendors or consultants for the Corporation.
• Employing a director or a relative of a director or staff as staff or as a
consultant for a project.
• Divestiture of prohibited financial interests.
• Disclosure of financial interests.
• Outside activities.
• Awards.

It is the Corporation's policy to deal with such conflicts in an open and direct manner.
In
accord with this policy, all directors and staff members are required to disclose an
actual or perceived conflict (to be recorded in minutes) and to remove themselves from
participation in any related discussions or decision-making by the Corporation.
However, a director or staff member may, if requested by the Board or a committee of
the Board, provide factual information that may assist the Board or committee in its
deliberations. A director or staff member may seek guidance from the Board or a
committee of the Board as to whether a particular activity or relationship constitutes an
actual or perceived conflict of interest. A copy of this policy shall be provided to all
prospective directors and staff members. By accepting appointment as a director or
employment as a staff member, an individual agrees to strictly adhere to this policy.

Golden Standard Consulting 132


Consultant’s Notes:
Key Component Breakdown:
1. Policy needs to be direct and open
• There should be no room for ambiguity or uncertainty
• It is necessary for all directors, board members, and staff members to disclose
conflict of interest (real, potential, or perceived)
• All directors, board members, and staff members have duty to act in line with
the nonprofit’s and have undivided allegiance to the mission when acting on
behalf of the organization.

Golden Standard Consulting developed this policy through research into what
challenges it is to address, developing an understanding of why this is a crucial policy
to develop and maintain, and looking at models set forth by reputable organizations.

GSC has gathered a host of policies, and developed this draft conflict of interest policy
by referencing the conflict of interest policy followed by TERC (appendix location), and
expanding on that with the help of policies set out at the 501(c)3 commons at
nationalservice.gov. The reasons to develop the policy and context were gathered
from the Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice,
as well as the Policies and Procedures handbook provided by National Service.Gov

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