Ethics: The Ethics of Program Design: Plans and Partners Session 5 of the Ethics Series Creating a high-quality grant proposal can be challenging when organizations may also be designing the program at the same time. Alignment to the mission of the organization and its strategic plan versus...

    Ethics: Ethics for Grant Proposal Need Statements Session 4 of the Ethics Series The way grant professionals describe the needs of their community is an important part of persuading reviewers and grant funders to award a grant. Which need is greatest and most aligned to the funders’...

We’ve all had experiences with nonprofit leadership who would do almost anything for funding. But have you considered the ethical implications that can go along with the ‘money at all costs’ mindset? I’m talking about things like: How far is your agency willing to go? Would they misrepresent revenue to funders? Would they inflate the numbers served so it appeared they were helping more people than they really were? Welp. Luckin Coffee (LC) boldly went there and got caught. But there is much to learn from the error of their ways, so let’s take a look at LC’s actions through the eyes of a grants professional to examine the ethics (or lack thereof) of it all.

The following training courses are available in 2021 as scheduled live webinars, recorded individual trainings, bundled trainings, and custom scheduled trainings.   Grants 301 Training Series These sessions are designed to provide targeted content for individuals who are really passionate about grants and want to take their skills...

The following training courses are available in 2021 as scheduled live webinars, recorded individual trainings, bundled trainings, and custom scheduled trainings.   Grants 201 Training Series The average nonprofit professional needs more than just initial grant training. Anyone working with grants can analyze their strengths and weaknesses and...

The following training courses are available in 2021 as scheduled live webinars, recorded individual trainings, bundled trainings, and custom scheduled trainings. Cost: $50/session or $400 for the full series To register for the complete series or for individual sessions: Register Now     If you would like to arrange a custom...

    Ethics: Grant Ethics for Prospect Research and Funder Relationships Session 2 of the Ethics Series Have you ever been uncomfortable applying to a foundation which didn’t seem to really match your organization’s profile? Many nonprofit professionals are pressured into writing to foundations who don’t match their giving...

The topic of ethics in grants is incredibly broad, as there are often many moving parts and people involved with grant awards. The fund-seeking agency might have a variety of staff members contributing to the process: the executive director, program staff, finance staff, a grant writer, maybe even the board of directors. And then, of course, if the agency receives an award, there are ethical considerations for managing the sometimes very large sums of money. Once again, there might be a host of individuals carrying out the program activities, reporting progress, expending the funds, and so on. In other words, the agency is responsible for ensuring ethical practices across many levels of a grant award. But for the purposes of this discussion, I want to back up a bit. What about some of the ethics that go into researching and writing the proposal?

Do you remember the first time you wrote a report for a funder and had to explain away an undesirable outcome (or more)? I do. Picture it: coffee on drip. Report questions pulled, outcomes and program-related questions sent to program staff. Me, a rookie grant professional at the time, ready to tackle the report…or so I thought. And then I got the email: one of the program’s stated outcomes fell significantly short of the goal. As in, the targeted outcome was 80%, but the actual outcome was 40%. *Insert appropriate amounts of rookie-level panic here, then breathe.*