Code of Ethics & Accountability


The Goodwill Industries of South Central California (GISCC) Code of Ethics is a demonstration of our commitment to high ethical standards. This code recognizes that an organization is defined by the people who work for it and that those people (board members, executive leaders, staff, and volunteers) must demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the core values of the organization, which include accountability, integrity, dignity, diversity, entrepreneurial spirit, excellence, opportunity, and responsibility.

Our code of ethics is part of a larger, organization-wide commitment to ethical practices. Our values are supported by policies and procedures that staff and board follow, and several of these policies are posted on our website. GISCC also recognizes the importance of an organizational culture that supports high ethical standards, and we encourage such an atmosphere by fostering discussion on ethical issues, promoting transparency about our work, and setting the proper “tone at the top”.

As a recipient of charitable contributions, GISCC recognizes its responsibility to ensure that funds received are used to further its mission and to safeguard the assets of the corporation.

In order to uphold the highest standards and ensure the integrity, honesty and reputation of the entirety of the Goodwill movement, we agree to voluntarily comply with the following Code of Ethics and related Financial Reporting and Management Practices.


We affirm our commitment to the following Code of Ethics based on the values of (GISCC). As officers, board members, employees, vendors and other partners, we pledge to follow both the letter and the spirit of the following code:

A. We agree to maintain a board of directors that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the organization and for oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of GISCC;
B. We agree to retain board members that have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties, that all members understand and fulfill their governance duties by acting for the benefit of GISCC and its public purpose, and that all members have specified terms of office;
C. We have a conflict of interest policy that ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means;
D. We are responsible for the hiring, terminating, and regular review of the performance of the chief executive officer and ensure that the compensation of the chief executive officer is reasonable and appropriate;
E. We ensure that the CEO provides the board with timely and comprehensive information so that the board can effectively carry out its duties;
F. We ensure that GISCC conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
G. We ensure that GISCC promotes working relationships with board members, employees, and other stakeholders that are based on mutual respect, fairness, and openness;
H. We ensure that GISCC is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for board and staff positions;
I. We ensure that policies of GISCC are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted;
J. We ensure that the resources of GISCC are responsibly and prudently managed; and
K. We ensure that GISCC has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively.

Business Practices:
A. We agree to engage in and promote honest and ethical conduct.
B. We will avoid the actual or appearance of conflicts of interest.
C. We will comply with applicable laws, rules, and regulations of federal, state, and local governments.
D. We will responsibly use and control all assets, resources, and information in our possession.
E. We will encourage the prompt reporting of any violations of this Code of Ethics or other governing documents to our Audit and Compliance Committee, or other so designated entity.
F. We will use restricted monies for its requested specific purpose. We will be able to account for its activity and show how the funds were used.

Fiscal Management:
A. Operating in a manner that upholds the integrity of the movement and ensures public trust.
B. Upholding all applicable laws and regulations, and furthering the ability of Goodwill to accomplish our mission.
C. Being a responsible steward of the resources of GISCC.
D. Reviewing consistently ethical decision-making.
E. Recognizing if you are being asked to do something that might be illegal.
F. Consulting others if you are presented with a dilemma on an issue.
G. Deciding on a course of action, determining your responsibility, reviewing all relevant facts and information, and referring to all applicable Goodwill policies or professional standards.
H. Considering whether an action goes against ethical, moral, and professional standards.

Marketing and Communications Activities:
A. We will practice honest, transparent and timely communication to facilitate the free flow of essential information in accord with the public interest.
B. We will ensure that all services and products are promoted in a manner that promotes respect for our employees and the people receiving services, as well as sensitivity to cultural values and beliefs.
C. We will protect confidential information and comply with all legal requirements for disclosure of information affecting the welfare of others.
D. We will protect the privacy of our employees and disclose information about them as permitted or required by law and/or only with their expressed, written permission.
E. We will protect the privacy of people served and use their stories only with their expressed and written permission.
F. We will disseminate accurate information and promptly correct any erroneous communication for which we may be responsible.

Professional Responsibilities:
A. We are committed to continually improving our relationship with our publics, employees and people we serve.
B. We will respect the tools and resources provided to meet the needs of the organization and those that we serve.
C. We will not discriminate because of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, disability or national origin, and we shall endeavor to eliminate or prevent discrimination in rendering services.
D. We will treat one another, persons served, customers and donors with dignity and respect.

Service Delivery:
A. We will maintain the confidentiality of information regarding persons served. We will not discuss confidential company, employee or information on persons served unless related to job responsibilities.
B. We will strive to provide quality services at all times.
C. We will strive to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest and will make arrangements for alternative services, as needed.
D. We will prohibit the exchange of gifts, money and gratuities between employees and persons served and discourage same among persons served.
E. We will discourage personal fund raising in the workplace other than campaigns to support the needs of employees or persons served who have been adversely impacted by disasters.
F. We strongly support the setting of professional boundaries between employees and persons served; while honoring a friendly and respectful provider/customer relationship.
G. We limit and vest authority of witnessing documents pursuant to persons served to those designated by the Chief Executive Officer of the organization.

Human Resources:
A. Through on-going professional development and continuing education, we will strive to remain current with our skills and abilities relevant to the services we offer.
B. We are committed to diversity within our workforce to effectively meet the needs of the people we serve.
C. We are committed to providing a safe, drug-free and healthy working environment.


We recognize that financial reporting and an integrated system of internal controls are key responsibilities of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. We believe that periodic review of our financial status by our Board of Directors is essential and an integral part of their duties. We further recognize that an annual independent examination and assessment of our finances under the supervision of our Audit and Compliance Committee is a key element in maintaining our credibility and ensuring the safeguarding of our assets.

Financial Statements: We reaffirm our responsibility to report the financial position and results of operations and cash flow of the organization in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles to our Audit and Compliance Committee and Board of Directors at least quarterly.

Internal Controls: We have or will create an integrated system of internal controls, designed to provide reasonable assurances that we will attain the following:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency of operation, including the safeguarding of assets
  • Reliable financial statements
  • Compliance with applicable laws and regulations

Annual Audit: We will engage an independent accounting firm to conduct an examination of our financial statements. The independent accounting firm will conduct its audit in accordance with generally accepted accounting and auditing standards. The auditors will examine our financial statements and internal control assessment and report on their examination and recommendations for changes in the financial statements, reporting practices, or internal controls. This report will be provided directly to our Audit and Compliance Committee and Board of Directors.

Audit and Compliance Committee: We have or will create an Audit Committee of at least three volunteers minimally one of whom will be a member of our Board of Directors. One of the three must qualify as a “financial expert”. Our Audit and Compliance Committee will be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation and oversight of the independent accounting firm we employ to conduct our annual audit. Our Audit and Compliance Committee will issue a Request for Proposals and adhere to all state laws as regards the selection of an independent accounting firm. Additionally, the Committee shall ensure appropriate auditor rotation as required by state law. Our Audit and Compliance Committee will also establish procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints regarding accounting, internal controls and auditing. Our Audit Committee will report at least annually to the full Board of Directors.

Whistle Blower Protection: In accordance with laws governing both profit and nonprofit corporations including the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, we have or will adopt a whistle blower policy and procedures, which will encourage employees to report any financial improprieties. These procedures will include the appointment of the Audit and Compliance Committee who will receive and investigate any complaints, and the development of a confidential system to report violations. Employee reports of improprieties will be taken seriously and investigated promptly. Employees bringing such reports will not be subject to retaliation or adverse action based on the disclosure of the complaint.

Conflict of Interest: We have a conflict of interest policy governing our officers, board members, and volunteers. We agree that a conflict of interest arises when an officer, volunteer, or employee is influenced by personal considerations, including but not limited to financial considerations, in the course of performing work for GISCC. All officers, board members, and volunteers should disclose any activity or relationship at a specific planned time, which may be perceived as a conflict of interest, and a record of that disclosure should be maintained.

Document Destruction: We have a written, mandatory document retention and destruction policy based on legal requirements. By law including the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and Sarbanes-Oxley, certain documents such as, financial records, contracts, real estate, employee records must be archived according to specific guidelines. The policy also states it is illegal to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document to prevent its use in an official proceeding such as a federal investigation. The policy includes guidelines for electronic mail and voice mail.

Certification of Form 990: We agree that both the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer of GISCC will sign Internal Revenue Service Form 990 to attest to the accuracy and completeness of its contents as well as to the accuracy of financial reports utilized during the year and in preparation of the Form 990. The Financial statements and Form 990 will not contain any untrue material statements or facts and will not be misleading in their presentation.

Training/Education: Each officer, board member, and volunteer will be provided with a copy of the Code of Ethics policy at the time of their initial orientation. A copy of the Code will be maintained in the board manual.

Procedures to Deal with Allegations of Violations of the Code: Board members should report any suspected violation of the Code to the Board Chair who will discuss the matter with the CEO. The Board Chair will discuss the issue with the individual board member and interview other appropriate parties. The issues and recommendations will be brought forth to the Executive Committee.

The community and people we serve trust Goodwill based on its long established reputation and integrity. Any misdeed, illegal activity, or appearance of impropriety will impact negatively upon all of us. In order to maintain that trust, board members, employees, vendors, and business partners agree to voluntarily comply with the guidelines and recommendations set forth in the document.

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