Ethical dilemma discussion: what would you do?

Your club is working on a literacy project with a school in a poor rural community with which the club has a long-standing relationship. The school has identified a need for teacher trainings, along with new books and computers. You and fellow club members have worked hard to develop a project plan and the club has hosted three fundraising events to cover the costs of the project. Though the project was to begin at the start of the calendar year, your club hasn’t been able to raise all the money required. Your club president has connected with an organization specializing in literacy and education that works in the region, and the organization is willing to cover the remaining costs — on the condition that it will take over the project, with little further involvement from your club. Without the remaining funds, your club is unable to start the project, and the school is relying on you.

What do you do?

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Author: rotaryservice

The Rotary Service Connections blog helps Rotarians plan effective and inspired service projects. If you have questions, comments, or story recommendations, contact us at rotary.service@rotary.org

8 thoughts on “Ethical dilemma discussion: what would you do?”

  1. Kindly render to us the services. In literacy and water projects in our rural villages to improve in those communities.

  2. I will prefer our club to complete the project as we have put so much efforts in identification of need, requirement assessment etc.Project completion by club will also improve PR of our club. I would like club to put extra efforts for arranging remaining funds for completion of the project. some of the ways to raise the funds can be as follows.
    1) Try and locate a Rotary Club, within my own country/ area or overseas, willing to do a joint project.
    2) Try for Corporate with CSR funds for Education.
    3) Appeal to club members to sponsor / contribute.

  3. I would meet with the relevant people in the school and present them the problem openly and honestly.
    The discussion should include what can be done with the available funds but in the final analysis, the school must decide. The ultimate goal is to benefit the children and if the school feels that curtailing the project would be extremely detrimental and if the school is willing to stop cooperation with the club for this project, so be it.
    This does not necessarily mean cutting ties with the school and the community.
    On the contrary: If presented correctly by the club, two facts – advantageous to Rotary should emerge:
    1. Openness and candour of the club instead of concealing the facts.
    2. Working with the school to define targets and to reassess the impact of less funds with the school, as representative of the children deciding – the ultimate purpose being working for the children and not giving precedence to the presige of the club.

  4. Preferably one would want the club to be fully involved and complete the project, but under these circumstances it is obviously not possibly.

    I would pic a part f the project that one could finish with the funds available. I would finalise this part of the project and hand the project over to the benefactors in the hope that the “new sponsors” will finalise.

  5. That’s an easy question. It’s service above self. It doesn’t matter who gets credit for the project as long as the public is served.

  6. I agree with some of the other commentators, particularly the one that suggested seeking other clubs to partner with on this work. This is something our club regularly does, and with great result.

    As to the third party organization, I would thank them for their generosity and decline their kind offer.

    Rotary is not here to fund the work of other organizations (except, perhaps, World Vision). As Rotarians we’re here to partner with other Roarians around the world to work collaboratively to support our Rotary service mission. There would, however, be many affirmative ways for the NGO, or third party private organization, to partner with us on some of the work, if they wish.

  7. The goal is to help the school. I will accept the offer of the organization to complete the funding even if the involvement of the club is small. As the club that instigated the project, we will even offer our help to make the project a success. In the long run, if we show our sincerity to help and passion as Rotarian, who knows – – – we might even gain bigger partnership.

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