United Way: A Nonprofit Tries to Cope with Image Destruction
1. How do you feel, as a potential or actual giver to United Way campaigns, about Aramony’s “high living”? Would these allegations affect your gift giving? Why or Why not?
William Aramony was CEO of United Way for more than twenty years and built United Way of America into one of the nation’s biggest charities. The United Way has been an umbrella charity that was created as a fundraising organization to support many smaller charities.
But William Aramony retired in 1992 amid allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement, for which he was subsequently convicted and sentenced to prison.
When an internal investigation and news reports disclosed his lavish life style, as a potential or actual giver to United Way campaigns, I felt terrible knowing all these fact where my contribution had been misused for his lavish lifestyle. At one time, I thought I will never donate anything to the non-profit organization, simply because I know that money is going into the pockets of people who do not need it.
Now, I’d rather give to any number of local community groups where I can verify that most of the money is going to help those who are in need. Charitable organizations depend on contributions that people give freely out of a desire to help society, with no tangible personal benefits. An image of high integrity and honest dealings without any semblance of corruption or privilege would seem essential for such organization. The giver must have trust in the particular organization; trust that the contributions will be well spent, that the beneficiaries will receive maximum benefit, and that administration costs will be low. Therefore as the United Way’s top manager, William Aramony should not live in luxury that based on other people’s donation for the homeless and poor people.
2. What prescriptions do you have for thwarting arrogance in nonprofit and/or governmental organizations? Be as specific as...