University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Ethical Charitable Donations
As part of the board, it is the responsibility of a board member to examine, evaluate and recommend measures that are necessary to uphold the reputation of the whole institution. Among the considerations that a board member must include is the welfare of the entire stakeholders. Stakeholders are all the possible entities that can be affected by the institutions’ operations and activities (Crane & Matten, 2007).
Considering the well-being of the stakeholders is noteworthy in running and maintaining the existence of the company, organization or particular institution for it has to satisfy certain legal requirements to be able to continue its operations. Charity institutions or charitable projects or endeavors imply severe ethical evaluation. It is for the fact that the purpose of such philanthropic activity is to promote the employment of virtues such as charity, generosity and nobility. These virtues are necessary to maintain the idea that money should not be used as a guiding principle in every man’s endeavor.
Instead, the mission of everyone is to spread goodness and righteousness to other people and to realize that money is not really the one which makes the world go round (Nelson & Trevino, 2006). Institutions, companies, and organizations are all aware of this principle since they have to conduct a number of activities which main purpose is to serve other people other than their customers, clients and their own interests. One way of doing a charitable activity is by giving donations.
Donation, as the word expresses, pertains to any means by which a person is able to share his generosity to the needy willingly (Cuneo, 2007). Furthermore, any form or sort of help is considered as a donation as long as it is done for the benefit of the targeted recipient. However, the truest sense of the word charity is still anchored by the concept of justice and beneficence. Justice means doing what is ought to be done while beneficence refers to the act of doing good to others (Cuneo, 2006). These two moral concepts are necessary attributes of the term charity.
In a way, charity suggests doing good to others while maintaining the most fundamental virtue among other virtues. As a board member, he must be aware of these principles for they are important in the providing charitable gifts or benefits. He must recommend to the board that they should refuse the help or donation that is being offered by Tony Soprano. The board is perfectly aware of the illegal and criminal activities that the potential donor is engaged with. By accepting the donation of Tony Soprano, the board seems to tolerate and promote the activities of the former.
This would obviously defeat the purpose of charity – that is doing good to others. It is not enough that the board and the institution would be able to complete or accomplish their program or project for particular beneficiaries. The issue here is not really if they could really become successful in establishing a cancer center for children and adolescents. This seems to be the original objective of the institution. But if they would accept the donation, they would be able to put up the center and help cancer patients.
But the problem is, how about the people or groups who are victimized by Tony Soprano? Does the institution would allow him to continue his illegal and criminal activities? Thence, their charitable program would be self-defeating. It is noteworthy to emphasize at this point the definition used earlier for the term stakeholders. Again, it pertains to “all” entities, individuals, groups, or whosoever who would either be directly or indirectly affected by the institution’s operations or activities (Crane & Matten, 2007).
As a recommendation to the board, the board member must point out this issue to other board members for their considerations. If they would grab such tempting offer, then it is their credibility and reputation as charitable institution would be tainted. They would be labeled as opportunist and pseudo-charities. They would be able to help some people but at the same time they would let others be victimized. If they would accept the offer, it is as if they do not make any charitable effort for their acceptance of the offer would cancel out all their charitable efforts.
As mentioned earlier, there are legal measures that are imposed to every company, organization, and institution. If the government would learn about their cooperation with Tony Soprano, the government might take the institution as a partner or associate of Tony Soprano in his illegal and criminal activities and might also file charges against the institution. Instead of accepting Soprano’s offer, the board may do more promotional activities that would make them obtain more donations that would complete the funds that they need to put up a cancer center.
It is better to wait than to end up with nothing. In addition, it should be obvious to them that charitable projects or programs needs to be done with compliance to moral standards (Nelson & Trevino, 2006). This means that charitable works or efforts should be performed without any inclusion of unethical conduct or transactions. And this is very self-explanatory by appealing to the mere concert of charity. It means sharing good to others and not sharing good to chosen groups while inflicting evils to others.
To summarize and conclude, the recommendation includes the refusal to accept the offer of Tony Soprano mainly because of his tainted background (illegal activities and criminal records). Moreover, the recommendation incorporates new strategies on how the institution could consolidate the remaining balance needed to establish the cancer center such as additional promotional activities, they may also asked for government assistance, they may ask for a loan from reputable banks, or may merge with other organizations for the accomplishment of their charitable program.