Charity of the week – A pathway to ethics

   In my ethics classes, each student is assigned to research and present a charity worthy of consideration and potential participation in such a charitable cause, using the following guidelines:

This charity has earned  a four-star overall rating from “Charity Navigator” which rates not-for-profit organizations:

  1. on the strength of their finances
  2. their governance practices
  3. the transparency of their operations
  4. the potential positive impact on individuals and communities
  5. four stars is the group’s highest rating

Here are a couple of examples of charities highlighted by students:

Cultural Survival ( founded in 1972 as the opening of the Amazon put the survival of the peoples and cultures of the Amazon basin at great risk.  The charity awards grants of up to $10,000 to indigenous communities for development of projects that are locally conceived and fitted to the communities’ own needs. Since 2007, the Cultural Survival has awarded nearly $3 million to more than 450 projects in 65 countries.  This charity has earned  a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator which rates not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their governance practices, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest rating.

Childhood Cancer( About 11,000 children under 15 are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States, and more than 1,000 die. Founded in 1975, it funds effective cancer cures and provides support to families(individual and family counseling sessions at a low cost, emergency financial assistance, lunches and dinners for inpatient families and caregivers, and instrumental in promoting legislation that requires insurers to cover experimental treatments for children’s cancers. In the past 10 years, the charity has funded $32 million of research and provided more than $1.6 million in financial aid.

Such an exercise is in line with the ethics course competencies by:

  1. Challenging students to explore their personal values as foundational to ethical decision-making, and  learning to defend their ethical principles via charitable organizations.
  2. Introducing students to the theory and application of ethical principles as operative in these charities by addressing and problem solving at local, state, national, and global levels.
  3. Learning to discern the inherent integrity of various and sundry charitable organizations.

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