Online ethics course might help

To the editor,

I sympathize, in principle, with the thrust of your article in the latest electronic Philanthropy Journal [“Nonprofit dodge ethics check-up”, 07.05.06].

I was a United Way volunteer in 1992 when our national organization was rocked with its major scandal. I had to deal with the fallout on a daily basis and, 14 years hence, it still resonates with some donors.

I agree that we should all be on the same ethical and legal page.

As an alternative, would it make sense to have an online electronic course, as a legal requirement, if appropriate, but available to all nonprofits for distribution to their networks or for individual use?

Enrollees would have a “drop-dead” date for successful completion of the course, with online testing and follow-up.

For most of us, cost is a very real issue. We constantly have to justify our cost of doing business to current and prospective donors.

Also, such courses are not offered everywhere, so travel costs to the nearest offered course would add to the overall burden, especially for smaller agencies.

Tom Jackson, associate director, major giving, United Way of  San Diego County

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