News + Media

Ethos Offers a New Approach to Resolving Ethical Dilemmas for Platforms, Companies, Nonprofits

Washington, DC, April 28, 2021 - GlobalGiving has launched a groundbreaking new framework for resolving ethical dilemmas - Ethos.

Ethos officially launched during a webinar featuring: Alix Guerrier, GlobalGiving CEO; Alison Carlman, GlobalGiving Director of Evidence and Learning; Jacob Harold, Candid Executive Vice President of Candid, Michael Thatcher, Charity Navigator President + CEO; Theresa Filipovic, betterplace.org Head of Customer Care and Fundraising Advice, and Damon Taylor, Senior Advisor of PSYDEH, a Mexican nonprofit featured on GlobalGiving.

Ethos was developed by more than 100 platform leaders and their stakeholders over a two-year period.

"Technology platforms like ours often face intense dilemmas about who's on, who's off, who we partner with, and who gets promoted," said GlobalGiving CEO Alix Guerrier. "We've been calling the problem the Neutrality Paradox; our platforms were created to be open, but we nevertheless have to make decisions when facing ethical challenges. We know from experience that decisions by our staff carry tremendous weight for the nonprofits and communities we seek to serve. And that’s why we needed to build a better way to address dilemmas."

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helped fund this exploration, believing that others in the social sector and beyond could benefit from the shared resources. Leaders from Charity Navigator, Candid, and betterplace.org were among the dozens of platform executives who helped GlobalGiving create and test the Ethos tools. GlobalGiving's nonprofit partners from around the world like PSYDEH also helped generate and test ideas.

Early prototypes of the tools involved processes to help stakeholders prioritize and narrow in on shared values. However, through testing, GlobalGiving discovered that it was a stumbling block rather than a firm foundation. Rather than focusing on peoples' shared values and beliefs, Ethos is centered on a set of grounding principles and shared behaviors for everyone involved: "It's about how we treat one another when we work together to address a problem."

What does a walk through the Ethos process look like? Alison Carlman, Director of Evidence and Learning describes more.

Alison explains that there are two Ethos playbooks. "We created Ethos Lite to be like a triage tool; it helps teams rapidly address urgent crises, and helps them agree upon the next right step, like applying a bandage. The complete Ethos playbook is more like a full diagnostic process that gets beyond symptoms and identifies root causes of a dilemma. It helps teams work with stakeholders — people directly affected by the case — to make more empathetic, creative, confident resolutions." Both playbooks provide tools and templates, Alison said, to help leaders clearly communicate the reasoning behind their decisions.

Ethos is available as a free resource for executives and their teams at platforms, nonprofits, and corporations. For further information about the launch, or to schedule an interview with Alix Guerrier, CEO of GlobalGiving, or Alison Carlman, Director of Evidence and Learning at GlobalGiving, please contact Kristin Wright at media@globalgiving.org. "We're hopeful that this tool can help leaders in many arenas face complex dilemmas with confidence," said Alison. "It's a human-centered, empathetic approach to decision making."

About Ethos

Ethos helps executive leaders reach more confident, empathetic, and creative resolutions to ethical dilemmas. It was developed collaboratively by more than 100 platform leaders and their stakeholders in partnership with GlobalGiving.

About GlobalGiving

GlobalGiving is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that makes it safe and easy to support important causes around the world. As part of its mission to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving provides tools, training, and support to help nonprofits, donors, and companies increase their impact and make the world a better place. Learn more at www.globalgiving.org.

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Media Contact

Kristin Wright
GlobalGiving Public Relations Specialist
media​@​globalgiving​.​org

Ethos Launch

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