Nonprofits In Denial

Excerpted from an article on

Nonprofits, like other organizations, often follow a commonly held view about the best way to handle an attack: If you ignore it, the public will forget and move on. The media thrive on controversy, so don’t discuss it and don’t highlight it in any way and journalists will move on.

But many nonprofits also think that because they are doing important work that serves society, the public should focus on the end result and little else. What’s more, many nonprofit leaders believe it’s unnecessary to speak out because bad deeds are so rare at charities. Just like in business or government, wrongdoers exist, but nonprofits don’t see any reason why they should be held to a higher standard than any other institution when it comes to punishing bad players.

The result is a sense of denial and defensiveness throughout the nonprofit world that is damaging our credibility with the public.


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