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Ethical issues faced by for-profit and nonprofit businesses in 2018

Hussainatu T. Blake (hussablake@gmail.com) is Vice President of Focal Point Global, an international 501(c)(3) education nonprofit, based in Pikesville, MD. She is also Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Baltimore Community College in Baltimore, MD

Last month, I talked to a business executive from one of the largest education technology companies in the world. We discussed the challenges that large businesses face while conducting business on an international scale. While the business executive listed the many hurdles she confronted in educational technology, I realized that everything she listed were also challenges I faced as a nonprofit leader in educational technology. For-profit and nonprofit businesses are oftentimes separated when speaking about successes and challenges that these two types of businesses face. However, there are many similarities that the two types of businesses share, especially when solving ethical dilemmas. The basic ethical principles that provide guidance in business, like “Do No Harm” and “Respect Others,” are true for both nonprofits and for-profits.[1] Unfortunately, these and other principles are also issues that consumers, donors, and beneficiaries think nonprofits and for-profits have a problem upholding.

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