Safeguards are essential in all workplaces, including Nonprofits

Safeguards are essential in all workplaces, including Nonprofits

The past year’s groundswell of allegations and verdicts about sexual misconduct reflects behavior not only within high-visibility arenas like entertainment, government, sports and business, but also in the nonprofit domain, for example the animal welfare movement and global charities. An example of the latter has recently been reported in coverage about incidents involving Oxfam Great Britain* employees during the Haiti crisis (largely also covered at the time in 2011). Even in organizations that focus on doing good, men too often abuse their power, including sexual misconduct.

The Life You Can Save expects its recommended nonprofits to have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that anyone who abuses their power will face immediate, transparent and appropriate consequences. Perhaps more importantly, organizations must create a culture where everyone—women in particular— feels safe making complaints without fear of any retribution and confident that accusations will be properly investigated and accordingly acted upon. We also hold that organizations should have a safe and fair system in place, as we do at The Life You Can Save, where every employee has clear primary and backup lines of communication for registering complaints.

*Oxfam consists of affiliates in numerous countries worldwide. These are all independent organizations, although they do coordinate their activities and engage in some joint activities through Oxfam International. The incidents in Haiti and the handling of them involved only Oxfam Great Britain, and not Oxfam America or any of the other country organizations.

Charles Bresler
Charles Bresler
Charlie Bresler is Executive Director of The Life You Can Save. He was formerly President of Men's Wearhouse. Charlie is interested in ways he can help fight the devastating effects of global poverty and is very interested in systemic solutions to social inequity and environmental problems.

Charlie lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington with his wife of forty years. He has two children, a daughter, Kayla, who works in a non-profit that seeks to increase low-cost housing units in the Seattle area and a son, Noah, who is an organic farmer on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Charlie spends his free with his wife hiking and enjoying nature and movies, on his son’s farm, and with his daughter and her husband.
The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.

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