Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Conditions Can A Strapped Non-profit Put on Donations?

The inexplicable S. Wilson (a valued co-blogger) sends this link.

The story, in a nutshell: The unpardonable (and a Dukie!) Tucker Max comes up with a plan to give Planned Parenthood $500,000. To be clear, this is NOT a stunt; Tucker thinks about it, and decides he genuinely supports Planned Parenthood's mission and activities.

Planned Parenthood first is excited, and then decides to turn the money down. Their reason is that they do not approve of what Mr. Max writes.

The result, in Texas at least, where PP is strapped for cash because the medieval Rick Perry has declared sharia law, is that PP will have to close a clinic and / or cut back on services.

So...the euvoluntarism question: what are the obligations of a non-profit that honestly believes in the value of its own mission to vet sources of donations? Drilling down, is the very fact that PP really, really needs the donation, and that therefore their BATNA is pretty bad, an indication that Mr. Max is actually exploiting the situation, EVEN IF his intentions are good?

Notice that a big part of Mr. Max's argument that PP is being stupid is precisely that PP is desperate. Is this the non-profit version of "keep sweatshops open, because those workers are desperate?"

And, of course, there are interesting question unique to the donation problem. Presumably, PP would turn down a donation from a crack dealer. But what about a porn star? A FEMALE porn star, one who used birth control and was advocating for condom use? I expect PP would take the cash from the female porn star, in a heartbeat. But not from a male humorist. Is PP acting badly? After all, they are harming their female clients so that the front office can feel self-righteous. Right?

1 comment:

  1. The thing I found striking is that PP didn't bother to think the game tree down. A reasonable political strategy would be to take the money then point to this donation and say, "look at what your government has forced us to do, my fellow Texans." Martyrdom has been proven effective in clinical trials to sway the median voter. Recommended by 4 out of 5 dentists. Drink responsibly.


Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?