Ethics is not just about what an organization does, it’s who an organization is. Encompassing an organization on societal, organizational and personally accepted practices focused on the needs and desires of society creates the greatest opportunity for sustainable profitable organizations.
With NPO’s, Resource Abuse is commonly an issue, but not in the obvious sense. Not that NPO’s commonly steal, lie or cheat. No, not at all….. but.
Commonly at risk of every accounting season for many NPO’s is the financial survival of maintaining operating expenses. This makes saying no to any donation challenging. Donating funds for capital projects is much more attractive for donors than contributing to operating expenses or bottom-lines. This makes it difficult to turn away funds specifically earmarked for projects the organization may not be able to maintain. Like most NPO’s, being established in an ethical climate that helps the local community, properly distributing resources to that community is the easy part, but in accepting capital assets for projects that cannot be responsibly carried out or maintained, decisions get hard and ethical issues arise.
Honest communication is at the heart of aligning values between organizations and community. Maintaining relationships is key. In relation to resource responsibility, this requires that organizations use utmost integrity when procuring. Integrity starts at the top and includes honestly communicating your track record and capabilities. NPO’s should feel more inclined to communicate their weaknesses with donors and possible shortfalls in carrying out a project, because characteristically donors subscribe to your vision and are willing to help carry it out on more than financial terms.
Commonly, organizations are unaware of internal ethical conflicts, because of the impulse to only move vertically in gaining wisdom about the organization. To improve internal ethical conditions, organizations need a wider variety of employees evaluating upper levels of management, providing feedback, while consistently re-evaluating the organization.