Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.

2005-01-08

Charity at Any Cost?

The Red Cross has decided to decline an offer to receive donations through an agreement with Overstock.com. Such agreements are common: a charitable organization lends its name and logo to a business or an event in order to garner a portion of incoming profits as donations.

In this particular case, The Red Cross feels it cannot monitor the auction items with enough vigilance and thus, the association is not worth the value in potential donations. It's a tough call -- considering the terrific need in the wake of the Tsunami catastrophe -- but the right one. Integrity is built into the brand of every non-profit. The trust needed to ask people for money on faith must be bulletproof.

This brings to mind the ethical line that non-profits must walk. PETA, the animal rights organization, has been accussed of objectifying female sexuality in their promotional materials. We all know that sex sells, but when we sink to the lowest common denominator, we lose credibility.

Similar ethical issues can arise in the course of everyday business. Are there industries or companies that create a conflict of interest when they come knocking on your office door?

Story from Cnet.com

Cheers,
Rick
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