The Nonprofit Ethicist | Winter 2006

A former board member absconds with art­work donated to the organization’s auction. What’s an ethical board to do? Impoverished volunteers avail themselves of donations while sorting them. How to handle?

Welcome to Winter 2006

Welcome to the Winter 2007 issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly, “Transcending the Organization.” In this edition you will find articles proposing that sustainable nonprofit organizations as we now understand them are not the goal of our work, nor are they always even the most effective vehicles for achieving our missions. Sometimes, in fact, organizations—and our assumptions about their centrality and structural requirements—distract us from the work we must do to keep our democracy and our communities healthy and vibrant. This may be particularly true in the last ten to fifteen years when so much of the conversation we have with our funders focuses on organizational rather than transformational capacities. Of course these two characteristics should be linked—but sometimes they do not seem to be. Sometimes, not following a strategic plan frees us to recognize what’s in front of us.

Reframing Governance

The most substantive decisions on your organization’s governance is likely happening far from the board room. How should your governance systems respond?