In the past, George Wythe University has encouraged its faculty, staff, and board members to develop personal companies related to statesmanship education. The reasoning has been two-fold. It allowed employees to supplement their incomes; and it allowed various associates of the school to promote GWU’s mission in their own particular way.
However, this blending of effort also created two challenges. First, George Wythe Foundation is a nonprofit corporation, while most individual businesses are not. The potential for conflicts of interest becomes difficult to avoid under these circumstances and may place a nonprofit’s standing in jeopardy. Secondly, while the purpose of the individual companies has been to support the larger nonprofit mission of the university, it may also appear, from an outsider’s point of view, that the reverse is true instead. Avoiding not only actual conflicts but also the appearance of them is good business practice in the non-profit world. The Board of Trustees, therefore, has recently approved a comprehensive and transparent conflict of interest policy which may be viewed here.