NONPROFIT & PHILANTHROPY LAW eJOURNAL

"'Social Responsibility - Doing Good While Also Making Money and Protecting Owner Interests' -- Introduction and Questions (Without Answers)" Free Download

HERRICK K. LIDSTONE, Burns, Figa & Will, P.C., University of Denver Sturm College of Law
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There are a huge number of issues surrounding corporate/entity social responsibility. Even understanding what “social responsibility� is in this context has a divergent path. For the purposes of this discussion, it can be described as “Doing Good While Also Making Money And Protecting Owner Interests.� This demonstrates the potential conflict – should an investor in a business entity (the owner) look to the entity to “do good� or merely to comply with legal requirements (do not pollute; do not violate the law) while making money for the owners (profit maximization). Should the owner have a say in the business entity’s choices?

Should an entity selling t-shirts worry about the workers in Bangladesh? Should an entity selling coffee worry about how it is grown and harvested? Should an entity selling beef burritos worry about how the cattle are slaughtered?

The legal landscape in which these questions must be considered has changed dramatically in the last five years. Consumer attitudes toward many of these issues have also changed. Some businesses are now extolling their social responsibility, while others apparently continue to consider that to be a secondary consideration, at best. Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n interprets the Constitution to give business entities the right of free speech in political campaigns a manner that is not necessarily answerable to the owners. Has Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. done similarly for social responsibility and business philanthropy?

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About this eJournal

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts in the fields of nonprofit law and policy, philanthropy law and policy and related areas of scholarship. Thus, drafts and articles that concern nonprofit corporations, charities, charitable corporations, charitable organizations, charitable donations, charitable foundations, charitable fundraising, charitable solicitation, charitable trusts, philanthropy, private foundations, nongovernmental organizations, tax-exempt organizations, tax-exempt corporations, private clubs, membership clubs and similar topics are appropriate for this journal.

Editor: David A. Brennen, University of Kentucky

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Directors

LSN SUBJECT MATTER EJOURNALS

BERNARD S. BLACK
Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: bblack@northwestern.edu

RONALD J. GILSON
Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: rgilson@leland.stanford.edu

Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for LSN-Sub.

Advisory Board

Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law eJournal

ELLEN P. APRILL
John E. Anderson Professor of Tax Law, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Loyola Law School Los Angeles

EVELYN BRODY
Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law

JOHN DAVID COLOMBO
Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

HARVEY P. DALE
University Professor of Philanthropy and the Law, Director - National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University School of Law

DARRYLL K. JONES
Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law

BEVERLY I. MORAN
Professor of Law and Sociology, Vanderbilt University - Law School

STEPHEN SCHWARZ
Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

STEVEN J. WILLIS
Professor of Law, University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law