Blood donors have right to know where money goes

Still, even if Forbes spray-painted board members' names along Interstate 4, doing business with them wouldn't be proper.

And you don't need an ethicist to tell you why.

If a bunch of board members all need one another's approval to seal business deals, how likely do you think they are to scrutinize one another?

For that matter, how likely do you think any of them would be to deny a pay raise to the CEO who could single-handedly kill their deals?

The Blood Centers say the deals were all good for the agency, that board members recused themselves from voting when needed and that, overall, the center does a top-notch job fulfilling its mission.

But Central Florida seems large enough that the Blood Centers could attract board members who aren't doing business with the agency -- so that conflicts of interest aren't even an issue. And frankly, th e ends justifies the means is an awfully slippery slope.

Anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I dedicate a good deal of time and space to promoting nonprofits in this community. They need our support and often deal with problems our so-called leaders will not.

The Blood Centers is no exception.

Give a pint. Save a life. We can continue to do our part.

But the Blood Centers better darn well do its part, too -- by spending money wisely. By keeping costs down, so that blood doesn't cost the sick and injured more than it should. By putting a quick end to big-money deals with board members who are supposed to be watchdogs.

And by treating concerned donors with the respect they deserve.

Scott Maxwell can be reached at smaxwell@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-6141.

PHOTO GALLERIES