peer1 Analyze and explain the ethical considerations associated with managing information.

Technology can pose to be a blessing and a curse at the same time. The information provided is quick and efficient but unethical considerations can take place easily.  This past decade, there has been numerous attempts by many different governments, countries, states, people, who have potential of breaking the law and violating the rights of citizens for selfish gain. according to an online article, “Ethics refers to the principles of right and wrong that individuals, acting as free moral agents, use to make choices to guide their behaviors” (Zheng, 2013).   The first concern with managing information is ensuring the information cannot be manipulated.  Ethical issues would be considerations to privacy and inappropriate use of information, global access to these systems and control of these systems.  Managers would have to ensure safety guards are in place to protect the privacy of their clients, financial information and other important information for the organization.  Per an article in Colorado edu, “The broad issues relating to electronic information systems include control of and access to information, privacy and misuse of data, and international considerations. All of these extend to electronic networks, electronic databases, and, more specifically, to geographic information systems. Specific problems within each of the three areas, however, require slightly different kinds of ethical decisions” (Lynch, 1994).  

  • Cause-related marketing has become a controversial issue among potential donors and funders. What are the potential pitfalls associated with cause-related marketing?

Cause-related marketing is a nonprofit organization networking with a well known company and the well known company promoting and supporting the nonprofit organization.  While this seems to be an excellent idea, because this sheds light on the cause of the nonprofit organization, the potential problems this can cause is the one of the organizations could make bad decisions, which will make the other one look bad.  Companies have to protect their reputation and we can see many companies affected, due to bad business practices from the other company.   Another issue is according to an article in Wealth Group, “Cause-related marketing triggers issues under Federal and state laws governing false or misleading advertising, state commercial co-venture laws, and Better Business Bureau Standards” (Mathis, 2015).  Large organizations may advertise they may donate to a cause, without disclosing the specifics of their donation, misleading the population and causing for the company to be investigated.  

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  • Consider yourself as a volunteer hired to develop a template for gathering information about major gift prospects. What information would be the most important? Why?

Knowing who your major supporters are, is key to the survival of a nonprofit organization.  The first important information is, knowing who are potential major donors.  Knowing this information will help you understand how to approach this prospect and win favor with them.  With gathering their information as to who they are, what they’re about, what they value in an organization will help you build a case for them.   The next type of information is, who will work to develop a relationship with major donors.  Having someone who can build a relationship will also gain favor with that prospect.  This person will gain extra knowledge on the person you’re wanting to network with and will build a bridge with the organization and them.   The last piece of information is, are there any donors that can be cultivated into major donors.  An example of that is the organization that’s within my company is nonprofit.  We had a donor who helped us open our doors but through a working relationship and him seeing the progress we’ve made, along with the people we’ve helped, has caused him to become a major donor.  There are always some donors who will support your organization a little at first, to see what your true intentions are but can be turned into major donors if the organization is stands true to who they say they are.   References Zheng, E. (2015). Management Information Systems. Retrieved from: http://ocmis.blogspot.com/2013/03/ethical-and-social-issues-in.html Lynch, M. (1994). Ethical Issues in Electronic Information Systems. Retrieved from: http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/ethics/ethics_f.html Mathis, C. (2015). Cause-Related Marketing: The Opportunities and the Pitfalls. Retrieved from: http://www.marcjlane.com/news/2015/07/01/2015-lane-reports/cause-related-marketing-the-opportunities-and-the-pitfalls/   

peer2

Ethical considerations are those that pertain to moral values and decision making at the individual or societal levels. They can affect a large number of different types of communities ranging from those involved in healthcare, government, business, religion, and even social needs. Ethical considerations can thus involve activities as diverse as information disclosure, research, practices ecological awareness, and better business. Ethical considerations help define standard of care. It is useful to affirm principals to guide a nonprofit organizations decision and activities.

Affirming values formally grant guidelines for making ethical choices to ensure accountability. Ethical considerations associated with managing information are tainted money, compensation, privacy, stewardship, and conflict of interest. Tainted money offers money that may have a conflict of interest. The organization should considered where the money is coming from and whether it would be a conflict because of their mission. Conflict of interest is when an individual’s personal interest or concerns are inconsistent with the best for the organization. Then there is privacy, which bring transparency and trust to the organization. Privacy grant the organization the opportunity to plan ahead. Compensation enduring ethic principals that represent standards, and the standards are situational that depend on the context of the situation. Lastly there is stewardship, which the board members are responsible for the overall wellbeing of the organization. The board members work exclusively for the benefit of the organization and its mission. It is required that ethical issues are considered during the formulation.

Cause related marketing ties an organization’s brand to something bigger that it’s firm that will resonate with customers and gain recognition. Cause related marketing can plunge to the ground. The company can make a wrong decision when forming a partnership. Its potential pitfalls would include false or misleading advertising. Advertising should clearly disclose information. An organization’s information should be clear, complete, and truthful.

Over commercialization of activities designed to benefit society may harm the activities that are trying to help. Some other issues of concern are shifting in giving, tarnishing the causes image, and reduced overall giving. Shifting in giving is difficult to prevent. Causes may demonstrate the value from specific activity. Cause’s image is of prime importance. Inconsistence identified and generate extensive negative publicity. It is difficult to identify how causes affect firm’s overall giving style. The overall impact of any or all of the problems is that causes may face financial shortfalls.

Conducting solicitation is like guiding a vessel through water. A crew of informed, committed, prepared professionals are need. As a leader you need to know all fundraising programs and campaigns are based upon key elements. These key elements are relationship, charity, and an organization. The relationship is for support and teamwork, because it will cultivate relationships with donors. Also the organization can successfully build its giving by communicating the needs and offering creative ways for donors to support the mission. Lastly organizations with a dedicated solicitation team can effectively develop.

Building an effective solicitation team and matching the right solicitor to a prospect is another indication of a successful solicitation. The team should model stewardship giving. The staff professional are the educator, communicator, planner, and motivator. Their confidence is determined by their stewardship and monetary support and must be the first to give leadership gifts if they expect to receive. Qualified, educated prospects, the right team of well-prepared professional and a compelling reason to give are key necessary components for a successful solicitation.

References

Weinstein, S. (04/2009). The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management, 3rd Edition, 3rd    

             Edition. [South University]. Retrieved frohttps://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/#/

             books/9780470647479/

peer3

Donor information management in the non-profit world can be both hectic and ridiculously easy at the same time. Understandably, this depends on the information system chosen for your organization.  “In reality, the system should help development professionals identify, cultivate, and solicit current and prospective donors.” (Weinstein, pg73). A plethora of options at available to choose from when it comes to information databases for non-profits. The databases I have worked with in the past have been Civi, Salesforce, Blackbaud, and Abila. Each system has its ups and downs accordingly. I should mention though, that they also had a few user difficulties in its capability department. Both Civi and Abila were basically vaults of information with little to no user-friendly functions. They lean more towards a development centered program. If other departments wanted to utilize it, the cross functioning is very limited. For instance, the use of tracking volunteer hours coinciding with a donor group was nearly impossible to keep accurate. The rivals Blackbaud and Salesforce were both amazing to work with and but they had so many functions that after a while, it became too much to remember each function available. The feeling was eerily similar to going to a restaurant and having to look at a 20-page menu. While the options are nice, and it is more than I anticipated, the amount of options undoubtedly takes me forever to find what you want. 

Depending on the nonprofit and the data that needs to be kept, each system listed above could be the right one for you. “A well-designed software package will permit users to record and retrieve…names, addresses…prospective donors…a history of…pledge payments…and a great deal more information concerning the prospect’s interests and relationship to the organization” (Weinsten, pg74). Civi, Salesforce, Blackbaud, and Abila each had those capabilities, but it is vital to remember that the work you put into the system, is work that will pay off later. What I mean by this is, the most important part to any database is to input and save any and all data. I would recommend keeping all of the data collected strictly confidential unless specific people request otherwise. While it may seem ridiculous to say, it is important to be aware of the fact that personal information is indeed personal. It would be ethically sound to do so. Any nonprofit would make it a point to collect any data concerning friends, volunteers, donors and prospective donors. It would serve any non-profit well to properly delete all duplicate data made in error, as wells as understand whether or not any of the aforementioned people have indicated that would like to not be contacted. Annoying those who have opted out, potential donors, or current donors with any or double solicitation emails, phone calls and/or mailings would be disastrous. To me, this is equivalent to shoving something in other person’s face, without prompt. It looks bad for your organization and can portray an image of not being a well-constructed organization. This error can happen often when a database is shared among multiple people. Pulling reports from the data collected can assist an organization with setting goals. This is why every non-profit organization should have their development department go through some type of FERPA (Family Emergency Rights and Privacy Act) training, have an IT person on hand to help with information containment, as well as obtain an information database to safely contain donor information.

References:

Weinstein, S. (2009). The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management, 3rd Edition (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

peer4

On the word of Weinstein (2009) fundraising reports can be grouped in three main categories: attention directing, problem solving, and scorekeeping. Managing this such information properly is very important. The integrity of data can be counteracted by making some fields in the software system must-enter fields. “One approach might be to make the type, gift date, appeal code, and use of funds must-enter fields,” (Weinstein, 2009). The ethical considerations that are associated with managing information such as the information concerning fundraising data bases it that it may include some sensitive information. Such fields as:

Names, addresses, and phone numbers of current, past, and prospective donors; a history of every donation, indicating the amount of the contribution, the solicitation method, and any gift restrictions; the form of the contribution (cash, stock, in-kind, or other); a history of pledges and pledge payments; comments and memos containing vital information concerning the prospective donor; volunteer solicitor assignments; deadlines and contact dates; memorial and honorary giving; and a great deal more information concerning the prospect’s interests and relationship to the organization. (Weinstein, 2009, p. 88)

There can be quite a bit of controversy among potential donors and funders. Liston-Heyes and Liu (2013) discussed three major concerns relating to issues of: alliance risks, organizational identity, and the prioritization of NPO stakeholders. These can all be pitfalls of cause-related marketing.

            On the word of Liston-Heyes (2013) an organization’s identity is created through iterative negotiations between an organization’s stakeholder. This makes it hard to alter the organizations cognitive image with support of its stakeholders. According to Liston-Heyes and Liu (2013) partnerships amid a NPO and a firm allows employees to realign their social with their commercial and moral identities which strengthens the organization’s validity. However, this study showed that this may not be the case for NPOs. “More concretely, NPO concerns regarding how CRM will impact on organizational values and the management style of the NPO substantially restricts engagement in CRM” (Liston-Heyes and Liu, 2013).  

Other concerns that are associated with safeguarding strategies that use contracts and which are supported in most cases by expert negotiators. According to Liston-Heyes and Liu (2013) there are emphasis on publicizing governance mechanisms to foster levels of trust between stakeholder groups while deterring the corporate partner from NPO brand misuse and other goal displacement attempts. Moreover, the issues of trade-offs between social and corporate priorities can be a pitfall of CRM. “In most of the organizations surveyed, these trade-offs are carried out by making explicit references to the ethical guidelines endorsed by the NPO,” (Liston-Heyes and Liu, 2013)

As a volunteer hired to develop a template for gathering information about major gift prospects information such as prospect names, dates, giving status and next moves would be among information considered important to collect. This will allow there to be some predictability about reaching out to the same donor again. It also allows you to get a feel for how generous they are and what they plan on doing next as far as donating.

References

Weinstein, S. (2009). The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management, 3rd Edition, 3rd Edition. South University

Liston-Heyes, C., & Liu, G. (2013). A study of non-profit organizations in cause-related marketing. European Journal of Marketing

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