Worth trying to change an organization from within?
August 16, 2009 7:41 PM Subscribe
An organization which I have belonged to for many years has taken a position which I find abhorrent. Should I withdraw my membership outright or, should I first try to get the organization to reconsider its position?
posted by DevilsAdvocate to society & culture (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've been a member of this organization for many years, and it does many good things. However, I have now received a request from the organization (sent to all its members) to take action in support of a position which I find deeply abhorrent. Naturally, I will not act on the request. But the fact that the organization would request it at all deeply bothers me, and I do not wish to support such an organization.
I'll be writing to the organization's leadership to express my opinion. I'm torn, though, as to whether it should be "I am cancelling my membership because..." or "I strongly urge you to reconsider this position; otherwise, I will cancel my membership." Part of me is pissed off enough to just cancel my membership, period, but part of me wants to believe there's a chance of getting them to reconsider and that the organization deserves a chance to correct itself. If a friend of several years did something that deeply offended me, I'd like to think I'd let them know how they offended me and give them a chance to apologize and make it up, but I also question whether it's valid to analogize between a friendship and membership in an organization.
What would you advise in such a situation? Have you ever faced such a situation, what did you do, and how did it work out? What other factors I should consider in such a decision?
I'm being deliberately vague about both the organization and the position which I find offensive, which I realize may make answers more difficult; however, I don't want answers to get sidetracked by what people may think of the particular organization or the position. However, I will add:
- The organization is large enough that I don't have regular contact with its leadership but small enough I believe my letter will be read and at least considered.
- The position is not criminal nor in support of anything criminal.
- The position is one the organization had not expressed an opinion on one or the other before, and one I had no reason to believe it had any interest in one way or the other (so it wasn't as if it was an about-face from a previous position).
Bonus question: Coincidentally, I made a donation, by check, to the organization a few days before, which has not been cashed yet. If I give the organization a chance to change its position, do I stop payment on the check? (If I decide to just cancel my membership outright, I'm definitely stopping payment.)