Ethical dilemma: what would you do?

Your club president is on the board of a local organization. The organization wants to partner with your club on service projects, but they don’t have many resources that will help enhance your club’s projects. As the service chair for your club, you don’t think that it would be an equal partnership. In fact, you believe your club would be helping provide the organization with resources and a network to grow their efforts without reciprocal benefits to your club. Your club president is persistent on the partnership, and wants you to find a way to make it work.

What would you do?

12 thoughts on “Ethical dilemma: what would you do?

  1. I don’t see it as a dilemma. If the project is worthwhile and it fits it with our initiatives we should help the club become more self-sufficient.

  2. Since they are reaching out to the club to partner on projects, they must be bringing something to the table whether it is time, talent or treasures. Hands on participation can be just as valuable as financial resources in some cases, and I would find a way to make it work. It will also build Good will and friendships down the line, and help promote an inclusive atmosphere which might lead to enahanced membership through word of mouth.

  3. Speak with your club president as to what he/she is expecting from the project and just what is expected from the partnering club. If responses are realistic and satisfactory, then they need to be confirmed with the partnering club.

  4. I would think that the concerns would be brought, not only the
    President, but also the board of directors for discussion. Both parties would state their concerns, with input from the board. Then the board would vote on it. Everyone should respect the boards decision.

  5. What dilemma? Not all partnerships are equal. This is an opportunity to work with another organisation and build new relationships.

  6. Does the request align with the values, vision, and mission of the club? Since the 4-way test is how we think, say, and do, determine what each party brings to the table and consider the 4-Way Test, particularly the 3rd and 4th one. “WIll it Build Goodwill and Better Friendship” and “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” If the situation is not beneficial to all concerned and doesn’t build goodwill and better friendships – then an opportunity might come another time. In the spirit of inclusiveness, ask your Rotary Club’s board to consider or not consider it also based on all this.

  7. It usually happens to our club when a member who is a member of another organization requests the club for a project partnership. There is no dilemma here. If the project benefits the community in partnership with Rotary, and we have the funds, it is good enough for us – as public image and community project.

  8. So I see this as the start of a discussion, I could not make a decision yet.
    I would seek a memorandum of understanding to document expectations and responsibilities of each party with a view to making it clear to the club and the organisation each of their expectations.
    Once those negotiations are complete, have the board vote on the matter with a full expectation to hand.
    I would also ask the President to not involve himself on Rotary’s side to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.
    I would then contrast the need with the club’s goals and direction and probably moving forward if they were satisfied. If their is a concern about the becoming a resource then put a time line on it and work towards making it sustainable during that period, rather than being an ongoing drain on club resources.
    Finally use the 4 way test along with the sniff test as guiding principles.

  9. Conduct an independent needs assessment as a club and if you are convinced its a sustainable project, by all means persue it if you think your club has the ‘resources’ to implement the project.

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