July 9, 2012
Profit and Non-Profit
When we read the mission statements of most companies there is a underlying theme to many of their statements and it is to conduct themselves in an ethical manner, and while many believe to behave ethically is a human moral factor and cannot be attributed to a corporation there are organizations who try to do just that. In this paper we will explore the ethical values of two such organizations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation an non-profit philanthropic organization and Amazon a profit based international internet retailer.
The Bill and Melinda Foundation was formed in December of 1994, its goal is to improve the world and its population though philanthropy and innovation. The organization operates as two tax exempt entities: The Foundation The foundations headquarters are in Seattle Washington, and employs nine hundred and eighty people, with offices in China, London, Delhi, India and Washington DC. “The foundation works to reduce inequities around the world. In the developing world, it focuses on improving health and alleviating extreme poverty. In the United States, the foundation supports programs related to education.” “The Trust holds the donated investment assets from Bill and Melinda Gates, and receives contributions from Warren Buffett. The primary role of the trust is to manage the investment assets and transfer proceeds to the foundation as necessary to achieve the foundation’s charitable goals.” The organization focuses its activities in three programs; The Global Development Program, which seeks to develop agriculture, provides financial development for the poor (savings accounts) and to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene for the poor. Global Heath Program focus is to fight and prevent infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, pneumonia and other neglected infectious diseases, but also works in conjunction with the global development program. The United States Program is to support education, libraries, the Pacific Northwest, and special initiatives. The foundation invokes the values of optimist seeing the glass as half full and ready to take on the problems others deem too difficult or impossible thought collaboration where they recognize their own resources can only go so far but in working with others the impact will be greater. Intense rigor to pursue the max results with focus and discipline and through innovation where the most difficult problems may only be solved with creativity and innovative ideas. Nonprofit philanthropic organizations can face many criticisms one being the constant questioning of the altruistic motives of its benefactors, in the case of Bill and Melinda Gates it is to ignore the critics and move on to changing the world. Other obstacles include the possible misappropriations of funds and resources given to help some countries. Then foundation works very hard to make sure this does not happen by implementing strict policies. Regardless of the good intentions of the Gates Foundation, the organization is not immune to criticism. There are those who believe the foundation is not listening. They believe the foundation is too heavy handed in saying how their donations are to be used that they rely too much on the testimony of experts than that of the people living the experience. Or that unlike drug companies who seek only to manage diseases such as malaria and polio, the Gates foundation seeks a more aggressive approach by pushing risky innovations to eradicate these diseases. To many this is too lofty a goal and they feel the organization should maintain the status quo. These ventures do not only extend to foreign nations, but also the United States. The goal here is to double the number of low income student finishing college or graduating high school to better equip them for the job market. The foundation has received criticism for being hard lined in