Lunch & Learn
Tainted money, tainted donors
Lunch & Learn 49 🔹 Tuesday, December 12, 2023
🇬🇧 English-speaking edition
Tainted money, tainted donors: How to address ethical dilemmas in fundraising
In May 2019, an article published in the New York Times was headlined: “The MET will turn down Sackler money amid fury over the opioid crisis”. After the MET, the Louvre Museum, the V&A Museum, the National Gallery, and many others decided to take the Sackler family off their building naming schemes. The Sacklers and their company Purdue Pharma are only one example among many philanthropic funders whose donations are being refused or returned because their actions have “tainted” their gifts. Pressure on nonprofit organizations to refuse those gifts mounts as public outrage spreads rapidly in our hyper-connected world. In France, similar cases have happened in recent years, from the Cluny Museum returning a gift from Lafarge, at a time when the company was suspected of funding ISIS in Syria, to students and educators protesting against the funding of a Bachelor in Sustainable Development by BNP Paribas at PSL University. Accepting money from donors and companies that made fortunes in contested or harmful industries (e.g.,tobacco, weapons, child labor, fossil fuels) becomes riskier for nonprofit organizations, as global scandals can erupt in a few hours over social media. Trust and reputation are their main assets, but resources are needed to achieve their mission. Ethical dilemmas abound for fundraising professionals. What exactly are tainted money and tainted donors? How can fundraisers anticipate and respond to them? Should individual or collective action prevail? What are the main practical tools and how to manage them? Leveraging academic research and practical considerations, this Lunch & Learn seminar aims to answer these burning questions.
🔹 Michael Moody, Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University.
🔹 Raphaëlle Genoud, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Surfrider Foundation Europe.
With the contribution of Association Française de Fundraisers
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