accountability

Research Friday: BIGGER! BETTER! FASTER! CHEAPER!

posted by
Robert F. Ashcraft, Ph.D.

Executive Director
ASU Lodestar Center


Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

A popular television and print marketing promotion in the 1970’s showcased the “Shell Answer Man,” an all-knowing expert on automotive issues. There seemingly was no end to what the “Man” could answer, based upon research and reason, and it was quite beside the point that Shell is an oil company seeking customers.

In guiding our ASU Lodestar Center, I reflect on this type of marketing because of the inquiries we receive each week for research-based answers to every sort of question imaginable. Like the Shell Answer Man, we respond to dozens of inquiries each month on wide-ranging questions.

Abuse and Controversy in the Nonprofit Sector

posted by Jill Watts,
Director of Capacity
Building Initiatives
ASU Lodestar Center

"Abuses found at local charity!" It's not an uncommon headline, unfortunately. And those of us who have toiled for years in the nonprofit sector cringe every time we hear of a new scandal or fraudulent activity because we fear the fallout that inevitably occurs. After all, if one nonprofit has unscrupulous practices, then it follows that we all must.

I recently read an article about the latest nonprofit embroiled in a financial investigation. At this point, I should mention my disclaimer that I have no independent knowledge of this particular case, and the ASU Lodestar Center takes no position on any organization involved in a dispute of this kind. Whether the organization did or didn't do what it said it would do isn't even the point of this blog. The point is this:

When confronted with the funding discrepancies of the organization he had founded, the executive director, who did in fact pay himself a salary, had this to say: "I never said I was a professional at this."

I was utterly astonished and flabbergasted upon reading his statement. In what other field would the head of an organization be allowed to screw up and then claim ignorance? Can you imagine patronizing any other business, restaurant, or store, receiving no product or service in exchange for your money, and listening to the owner say, "Well... I never said I was a professional."