According to writers Deborah Rhode and Amanda Packel, there are six areas that can raise ethical concerns for a nonprofit organization, including compensation, conflicts of interest, publication and solicitations, financial integrity, investment policies, as well as accountability and strategic management (2009). For example, Katha Pollitt, an American feminist, poet, essayist, critic, and philanthropist, cites ethical concerns associated with nonprofit salaries as a reason for withdrawing her support in the following excerpt:
…she “stopped donating to the New York Public Library when it gave its president and CEO Paul LeClerc a several hundred thousand-dollar raise so his salary would be $800,000 a year.” That, she pointed out, was “twenty times the median household income.” Asking him to give back half a million “would buy an awful lot of books—or help pay for raises for the severely underpaid librarians who actually keep the system going” (Rhode & Packel, 2009, p. 28).
This example highlights how compensation for the CEO created a possible conflict with a major donor. Stakeholders demand that all facets of the organization’s operations demonstrate a commitment to fulfilling social service goals.
Although NPOs and NGOs face ethical issues similar to those faced by any organization, the public tends to hold these organizations to a higher ethical standard. People identify closely with the organization’s commitment to certain core values and believe a high level of transparency and accountability is owed to clients, donors, volunteers, and the community. In this context, NPOs and NGOs can utilize specific strategies to prevent or address ethical issues or dilemmas.
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources and focus on how ethical conduct can be addressed in NPOs/NGOs. Select an NPO/NGO that has encountered an ethical issue or dilemma. It may be an issue currently affecting the organization or one from the past that has not yet been resolved. Find a current media link that discusses the issue or dilemma. Consider individuals in the organization who would be responsible for addressing the issue or dilemma. Think about how the issue or dilemma could be resolved or could have been prevented.
Post a brief summary of an ethical dilemma involving a nonprofit or non-governmental organization and a current media link regarding the dilemma. Explain specific ethical concerns that created the dilemma. Propose strategies that might prevent or resolve the issue or dilemma
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