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The decision by Susan B. Komen For the Cure to accept a pretty large (by most nonprofit standards) gift from an oil fracking company appears to be creating for other nonprofits a stir akin to drilling teeth. You can read a "bit" about the issues here.

Included among the "issues":

a) tainted money -- when is it tainted and when/if should a nonprofit not accept such resources

b) public perception - when/if should a nonprofit respond to the "noise"

c) board position -- is this not a nonprofit board decision to determine what and when money is tainted

d) the losses or gains to the donor - can they lose from the fall-out

So many questions but interestingly, Komen in particular does not appear to be feeding the frenzy which I am guessing is certainly one answer to b) what to do with public perception. Certainly, no response means that the argument must be carried by those who object which in itself dims the bling of the story.

I'm guessing also that in taking the gift, the Komen board, not a stranger to controversy, has indeed already set in policy when it believes money is acceptable. Afteral, I could imagine the board recognizing another convert to the cause as a victory.

And, for the donor, the chatter is mostly coming from those who don't approve of them anyway and their shareholders, who already approve of the company's work, can be cheerful about the commitment to attacking breast cancer, in this case.

So, in the end, hasn't everyone just succeeded in pursuing their respective missions? Isn't this basically a win:win:win outcome? The fracking company has contributed to what it believes to be an appropriate cause (I mean really, anti-breast cancer and education in a way few other organizations can copy). The tainted money folks have gotten to use the opportunity to discuss the related risks and anti-environment issues. And Komen gets to pursue its work. Oh, and the media has a gossip story.

Kudos to all the players!

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