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It’s an interesting subject that cuts across entitlement behaviors, motivation theory, and compensation, among others.

My first reaction was “Should we include public-sector management posts in the category of Non-Profit?” I’ve certainly seen my share of head-scratching behaviors from Government managers. And, in those cases, the lack of a profit (or even revenue!) regulator certainly seems to strongly contribute to behaviors (misbehaviors?) that simply would not be tolerated in the private-sector.

My next reaction was, “Does a toxic seed grow when you don’t perceive that you were paid enough for your efforts?”

I wonder, too, if the issue is one of oversight. Private-sector boards of directors are often accountable to shareholders or investors, Federal regulators, and other entities. Do the non-profit boards of directors have the same expectation of external oversight?

Good article. It casts a light and perspective on why the NPs of late seem far less attractive than for-profit organizations.

Perhaps we can conceive of a "Moral Scorecard" that would be used in conjunction with a "Confidence Scorecard," filled out by the lower echelon of workers at the non-profit, to create an environment of accountability. Both of which could be made public record to help other non-profits avoid the migration of "irregularly behaved" executive volunteers.


a) Expect that most public sector pay results are already parsed into the appropriate non-profit surveys; but note that because some few NPs compete directly with commercial firms in their product or service, it seems right to leave them in the same competitive categories. Also, I've found that aberrant behaviors tend to cluster more at the non-paid volunteer and board levels where pay is minimal or absent.

b) While corporations driven by the profit motive are subject to intense regular scrutiny, non-profits and tax-exempt entities fly "under the radar" with virtually no outside review. Thus madness can incubate.


A "moral scorecard" is a nice idea probably doomed in reality. Since NPs are inherently Good Moral Ventures (?), it is doubtful any outside forces would inflict more onerous reporting standards on those supposedly sanctified enterprises than on crassly commercial organizations.

Besides, where would politicians, professional athletes, media luminaries and TV/movie stars hide their otherwise taxable income, stash their worthless relatives and reward their faithful minions if charities and foundations became more transparently accountable?

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