Law and Ethics / Analyzing Scenario

1. Analyze the following ethical dilemma from the perspective of rationality and respect.A local nonprofit organization that networks with other service agencies in the area was designed to fill gaps in needed services for families. This agency has been in existence for several years and has gained the respect of the community. The staff of this agency can serve families who have a need that cannot be served in any other way through connecting these families with community volunteers who adopt them. The volunteer director of the agency works on a volunteer basis and contributes numerous hours each week to fulfill responsibilities associated with this position. To reduce her workload, the director of the agency applied to seven different foundations to request money for a part-time administrative assistant. The agency requested $10,000 from each of the foundations, with the hope that they would receive assistance from one of them. To the surprise of the director, three of the foundations accepted their proposal and awarded the agency with $10,000 for the salary of the part-time employee. The agency ended up with $30,000, which was three times as much as was needed for the salary. The granting foundations had different requirements for reporting on the use of the money. However, at least two of the foundations asked that the money be used in the manner for which it was requested.

■ What are the known facts?

■ What facts are missing that need to be obtained?

■ Who are the potential stakeholders? (for example, agency, clients, public/community, or grantors?)

■ What are the potential outcomes, both good and harm, for all stakeholders?

■ Who would you seek out for input, advice, and consultation?

■ What does your conscience say to you about this dilemma?

■ What are the values and perspectives of those who could be affected by your decision?

■ What ethical principles apply? What do they require in this situation?

■ How do the ethical theories?the means or duty versus the ends or greatest good? apply to this situation? How would you link the two?What would be your decision?


2. In order to take action, what political, natural, and social forces need to be considered?


3. What is your civic obligation for the good of the organization and the good of the community?

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