Ethics in Fundraising

“There is no easy solution to the cost of running for office, but not running for office is worse.” Dr. Catherine Horiuchi

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Dr. Johnson, III: What we do know now is that special interest groups, so many of them are giving these huge amounts of money to have policies inactive that are not necessarily for the public good. And that’s an issue.

Dr. Horiuchi: There’s no easy solution to the cost, of running for office. But not running for office is worse.

Richard Callahan: There’s clearly a large concern in people’s minds about the undue influence of a few people with a lot of wealth. And so one of the great challenges in public administration is, and it stems from the core values, that Chet Newland talks about, a long standing leader in public administration. The core values in the field of human dignity and rule of law. And so under rule of law we all have an equal say. And the core value of human dignity speaks to making sure that even if someone’s not wealthy; they are heard in the process and accounted for. And that’s the work of public administration. So the ethical piece and the core value driven management and leadership in public administration is a huge piece in this work. And it’s what drives the people that I know that study it, that write about it and both practice it and practice it successfully. So linking the ethics and linking core values to what we do in the public sector is enormously important.

Dr. Johnson, III: This is a great day for non-profit organizations to get money because of technology. People are able to donate online for non-profit organizations and so forth. That was never the case before. I see it as something that’s continuous and hopefully more and more non-profits will take advantage of that.

Richard Callahan: Social media, crowd sourcing, cutting edge techniques in fundraising for non-profits, are enormously important. Again my colleague Richard Waters at University of San Francisco is at the cutting edge of that research and brings that into the classroom, in strategic communication course work.

Dr. Horiuchi: Potentially, the use of things like pay by phone allows fundraising to diffuse. So instead of having a few thousand donors donating very large sums of money you can have many millions of people donating small amounts of money. The idea here might be that you can reduce the influence of the fun sources that way. However, if you actually look at how people collect money for their campaigns, there’s been a new role created, that of an aggregator. And the aggregator becomes the person that talks to all the small donators to come in together and then presents it as a package as a big donation. So we see that the human nature to say that they are a big contributor to a campaign is really not reduced in an era of micro-payments.

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