The Nonprofit Challenge: Integrating Ethics into the Purpose and Promise of Our Nation's Charities

Hardcover | October 15, 2010

byDoug White

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Nonprofit organizations hold a special place in society as the nation’s ethical sector. They promote service, goodwill and kindness and serve to better humanity. Like any business, however, they can also experience ethical indiscretions. The group of organizations whose sole purpose in this world is to be good and to spread that good has yet to fully form an operational code of ethics—a code that promotes humanity as only the nonprofit sector can.  Describing the challenges facing today’s charities, Doug White explains how nonprofits must reassess their commitment to their role in society. This corrective journey can serve as a role model for all the for-profit businesses as well as the government sector. By reexamining the business of philanthropy with a new and ethics-based mindset, nonprofits can push themselves to be their very best and continue to make the world a better place.

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Nonprofit organizations hold a special place in society as the nation’s ethical sector. They promote service, goodwill and kindness and serve to better humanity. Like any business, however, they can also experience ethical indiscretions. The group of organizations whose sole purpose in this world is to be good and to spread that good h...

Doug White is Academic Director of the George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University.  He also speaks and consults around the world on philanthropy, ethics, and nonprofit governance.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.61 × 6.27 × 0.94 inPublished:October 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230623921

ISBN - 13:9780230623927

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Table of Contents

Ethics Start Here * THE SHIFTING PERCEPTIONS OF ALLIES AND REGULATORS * The Public’s View * Regulating and Scrutinizing Charities * HOW THE QUEST FOR MONEY AFFECTS NONPROFITS * Philanthropy is Big – But Does It Have a Purpose? * The Perils of a Profit-Making Ethos in the Nonprofit World * PERCEPTIONS AND MONEY: THEIR FRAGILE COMPACT WITH GOOD DEEDS * Do Some Charities Want Too Much? * How Long Does the Dead Hand Live? * When Should Heads Roll? * THE ETHICAL SECTOR * Four Concepts: The Backbone of Ethics at Nonprofits * Inside a Good Charity * The Voluntary Sector as the Ethical Sector

Editorial Reviews

"This book is nothing less than a nuanced tour of the nonprofit sector. It is rich in the history and stories needed to make the journey lively. By using the prism of ethics it clears the underbrush used to duck questions about ethical behavior. In doing so it powerfully makes the case for ethical behavior among organizations and individuals in the nonprofit sector and the importance of this case as an example for the other two sectors of society." —Barry D. Gaberman, Senior Vice President, The Ford Foundation (Retired)"This is a remarkable book. Unlike those that discuss the mechanics of fundraising or governance, The Nonprofit Challenge is the only one that discusses the obligations of the nonprofit community to society through the prism of ethics.  Ethical behavior is fundamentally important in the running of any organization, but – as Doug White describes—charities have a duty to behave ethically.  Because there is much work to be done before charities fulfill their special promise, Doug White’s message ought to resonate in boardrooms and executive offices at every charity in the world."  —Dame Stephanie Shirley, The British Government's Founding Ambassador for Philanthropy"This is an unsettling portrait of the world of charities in the United States in which virtually every problem of significance derives from ethical failure.  Doug White also provides an authoritative, how-to guide to informed giving."  —Albert C. Lasher, member of the Advisory Council, Bronfman Center on Jewish Life at New York University"Inspiring, motivating, and a great book for any nonprofit leader or board member who truly cares about doing the right thing the right way."  —Wyndy Wilder Sloan, Director of Marketing & Communications, Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, graduate of the Masters program NYU's Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising"Doug White provides a thorough context of data, philanthropic insights and trends, and even varying opinions to judge his premise that ethics must be the core and focus of charities if they are to regain the high ground of being perceived as what they truly are, purveyors of public good.  In The Nonprofit Challenge Doug effectively demonstrates why clarity of communications, quantification of results and activities where possible, transparency of resource allocations and genuine and frequent donor contacts all inure back to organizational self evaluation and ethical guide posts that can be broadly recognized by the public that charities serve."  —Gary Dicovitsky, Executive Vice President of Development at The Prostate Cancer Foundation“For years, Doug White has been a thought leader in non-profit ethics. The Nonprofit Challenge is a thoughtful analysis of the role of ethics in nonprofit organizations today.“  —Phil Radford, Executive Director, Greenpeace