With new headlines daily touting who is sleeping around, who has taken the money and run, or who is covering up their wrongs, it’s hard not to become numb to these bizarre, yet very real events. Even some of our non-profits have issues with misappropriated money. What are some things we should know as we invest money into the social sector?
Were you aware there is a donor bill of rights? Did you know that there are ethical rules of conduct for those in the gift planning business? It is simply called Model Standards of Practice for Gift Planners. I am active with a local group Philanthropic Advisors Council of Central Florida a chapter of national organization Partners in Philanthropic Planning. Locally we discuss ethics in gifts and the need for a gifting policy as advisors and gift officers meet for regular education and relationship building activities.
Did you know that the United Nations has principles for investment? Principles for Responsible Investment. Why should I include this link? Sustainability and fairness are at the root of these principles.
Were you aware of the EPA’s research and publication of sustainability? Here is the link Sustainability US EPA.
The Plan Giving Design Center has several articles addressing specific issues on ethical giving here http://www.pgdc.com/pgdc/management/ethics
Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society has a publication called Stanford Social Innovation Review. Here, Chip Pitts does a review of the book GIVING WELL: The Ethics of Philanthropy. http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/ethical_philanthropy/
Good Stewardship in giving will require some due diligence of the work done and the results or effectiveness. Trusting those at the top of the organization is important but not everything. Financial accountability is only a part of the ethics. This process is good for you, your community, your charities and the world. It does matter and you matter. There are groups that encourage corporate giving and corporate participation into good community practices. These groups sometimes operate more as think tanks and others operate as education on practical ways to engage and do more social and community good. Not only does this affect the local good, but also the global good by cutting down on slave trade activities and exposing such issues to act upon.
Stewardship influence is something we can all do by getting better informed and taking steps of action. BSR is one large organization that seems to be making a difference in the corporate world. BSR is for corporations and individuals in leadership roles at corporations.
Do you think ethics are truly important when giving? Does this sound too formal and stuffy when all that donors want to do is give and know they are meeting their needs including their need to give? Are you of the mindset that corporations should steer clear of doing good? I would love to hear your thoughts below…