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Articles for category Ethics


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Failure to Address Succession Planning by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

A long-tenured executive director is uncertain about how much longer he intends to stay with his organization and has talked with a few members of the staff about the possibility of leaving. He has not spoken to the board or stated a clear intention, and the board is hesitant to address the issue out of respect. How can this board and executive director act ethically? Read this article from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, a Replication Partner based in Santa Clara, CA, to find out.   […]
By Lydia Alcock | October 26, 2018 Read More>
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Lack of Board Engagement: Did this Board act ethically? By the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Disengaged board members fail to meet their ethical obligations to nonprofit organizations. If the executive director believes their nonprofit could raise more funds and serve more people, but the board's lack of engagement is impacting growth, what options are there? Read this article from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, a Replication Partner based in Santa Clara, CA, to find out. […]
By Lydia Alcock | October 26, 2018 Read More>
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Nonprofit Fraud: Did this Board act ethically? By the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Boards have an ethical duty to understand and fulfill their responsibilities to a nonprofit, including rigorous financial oversight. If a nonprofit loses $900,000 over eight years due to theft by the executive director, was the board acting unethically?  Check out this article from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, a Santa Clara, California-based Replication Partner,  to find out.[…]
By Lydia Alcock | October 26, 2018 Read More>
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Upholding Fundraising Standards and Ethics

The Standards for Excellence Institute has been following a news story in Baton Rouge that raises important questions related to best practices in governance and management of nonprofit charitable resources, and provides a sharp example of the importance of embracing best practices, as articulated in the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | June 27, 2018 Read More>
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Managing Difficult Board Members

You know who they are.They engage in sidebar conversations with other board members or even the members about what they think is wrong with the board or the executive director or the organization in general. They joined the board simply to promote themselves or their business and then come up with schemes to get the organization to buy their services or products. They ask for special favors such as upgraded airfare or free tickets to a fundraising event or free products from vendors. They[…]
By Bunnie Riedel | June 28, 2017 Read More>

Legal Compliance and Ethics

The following post was written by Issela Sono, Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern at the Standards for Excellence Institute®. Issela has volunteered in various nonprofit organizations in the Maryland and Washington, DC area while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Global Business and Public Policy. Issela is certified in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is currently pursuing a M.B.A., with a concentration in Public Management, at Hood College. News coverage about fraud in[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | August 18, 2015 Read More>

Celebrating and Deliberating over Right versus Right Decisions

The ethics field lost a giant last week when Rushworth Kidder, President and Founder of the Institute for Global Ethics in Rockport, Maine passed way in Naples Florida.While I am sorry to say that I never personally met Rush, I was an avid reader of his publications and works and I often cited a quote from his writings.  My favorite Rushworth Kidder quote was:“…because nonprofits have an obligation to do the right things-often wrenching choices among competing priorities, and having to ask what[…]
By Susan Larsen | March 19, 2013 Read More>