Last month in the Opinion section of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, two sector leaders wrote a brilliant piece: Keeping Quiet About Wrongdoing at Nonprofits Only Makes Matters Worse. The authors describe how nonprofit executives shy away from constructive criticism and healthy evaluation of wrongdoing in their organizations, and the reasons this has a negative impact on the sector.
Nonprofit organizations, just like any other organization, need to be consistently evaluating their operations and ensuring things are not only legal, but well-running. Nonprofits are essentially funded by the general public, and therefore have a responsibility to spend money in a fiscally prudent way. The leaders of these organizations have a responsibility to make sure this is happening.
Instead of shying away from wrongdoings, they should face them head on and talk about them publically. Being critical of ourselves in the nonprofit sector can only improve our position and respectability amongst our peers in the other sectors. If we don’t hold ourselves to a high standard, who will?