The Center for Association Resources


The Center for Association Resources is an association management firm focused on helping Non-Profit associations succeed in their mission.

Ethics in non-profit associations

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

When examining the field of nonprofit work, which focuses on providing a wholesome contribution to the community, it becomes clear that the ethics of such associations must be pure and unquestionable. This is essential for several reasons: most importantly, the integrity of a nonprofit organization must be intact for it to have any stature in society. Furthermore, the efficiency of such organizations is compromised by any foul play or mismanagement, and in organizations where every penny is supposed to be used to further a particular cause, efficiency is key.

A not for profit organization is meant to be, in most cases, an association dedicated to a certain charitable cause. The very nature of these organizations is typically thought to be pure and selfless. It is in this way that such groups appeal to the public and people’s desire to join in or donate to something that is helping others. However, if the ethics of an association are besmirched, the moral basis of the group is compromised. Since this moral basis is the foundation of the organization and the factor that makes donating to the organization attractive to the public, the entire legitimacy of the group will be destroyed. The public is not willing to donate their hard-earned money to line the pockets of a greedy middle man rather than to feed starving children. And so, when any question of a breach of ethics arises, the public will easily divert their donations to another organization that has maintained such codes of conduct. This will ultimately cause such an organization to not only lose stature and legitimacy, but also to be drained of funding, without which no organization can long survive.

Well-preserved ethics and codes of conduct amongst nonprofit organizations are essential for another reason: an organization cannot run efficiently unless all of its transactions are transparent and above board. Should a breach of ethics occur such as the siphoning of an organization’s funds into an administrator’s personal account, the money lost would be a much greater blow to a not for profit than to a multimillion dollar commercial corporation. Indeed, the majority of nonprofit organizations operate at the bottom line, as they typically rely on charitable donations, not the most opulent of sources, to garner funds. Furthermore, when helping the thousands or millions in suffering, a dollar must be stretched as far as possible, and even then it will fall short. If ethics are breach regarding the handling of an association’s funds, it will drastically decrease the necessary efficiency of the organization.

There are a multitude of reasons as to why ethics in nonprofit associations are essential. Any lack of ethics destroys an organization’s reputation and good standing, and cuts into its efficiency. For these reasons, it is clear that to run a nonprofit organization well, upholding ethics must be a key component of the organization’s mission statement.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Non-Profit, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , ,

May 2017
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