Ronald McDonald House Charities

¨Home away from Home¨/ ¨Houses that Love built¨

Monday 3 June 2013, by sar.gaspar

6 inspired

Why this company?

The reason we decided to write our project about the Ronald McDonald Child fund is because it is an independent foundation that focuses on the well being of families and hospitalized children. Having a strong mission to improve the lives of these unwell children, the RMHC continually tries to develop their programs by concentrating on the important needs of the children. For 38 years the company has dedicated itself to build new houses and strong relationships with medical communities. They have demonstrated this as a result of operating by means of high accountability and transparency. Obviously they would not be in this formidable position they are today without the help of donors, staff, volunteers and friends. Overall, their strong motivation to accomplish their mission on the ground and their dedication to other charities has inspired us to learn more about this ethical association

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is a non profitable corporation that was established in 1978 in Philadelphia, the United States. The idea was born in the Children hospital of Philadelphia, where Fred Hill, the Philadelphia Eagles tight end spent day and night in the hospital with his daughter Kim Hill who was diagnosed with Leukemia. He and his wife did not leave the hospital´s bed side and spent their days in the hospital sleeping on couches and eating from vending machines. Observing other parents struggling with the same inconveniences gave Fred Hill the idea to build a house that would serve as a temporary home for families of children being treated at the Children Hospital. Nowadays, the Ronald Mc Donald Charity owns Ronald Mc Donald’s houses within 48 countries and recently they opened their 309th Ronald Mc Donald House in Thailand. Besides building Ronald McDonalds houses, the nonprofit organization offers two other main programs, namely; the Ronald Mc Donald family room and the Ronald Mc Donald care mobile. All these programs are financed mostly by corporate donors and individual donors. Mc Donald´s is their largest corporate donor as they fund most of the RMHC´s operational costs. The RMHC donation boxes that are present in all McDonalds´ restaurants were found to be the largest source of income. Another initiative undertaken by McDonalds that raises high amounts of money is the foundation of a yearly Mc Happy Day. This day is organized to collect money for RMHC and other children charities around the world. Since 2002, more than $170 million has been raised through this initiative. This money is mainly used to sponsor the three main activities of the RMHC.
As already explained above, the Ronald McDonald House program aims at providing help to families so they can stay close to their hospitalized child. These houses make sure families can benefit from home cooked meals, private bedrooms and playrooms for children for free or only a small amount of money. Next to these, depending on the house, they propose special services such as special suites for children with suppressed immune systems, accredited education programs, recreation activities, non-clinical support services and sibling support services. The idea is that nothing else should matter when an ill child needs support from his parent. The second program at RMHC is called the Ronald McDonald Room. This is a special room present within Children hospitals. Studies revealed that severely ill children heal faster when their parents are in the neighborhood. This room allows parents to forget about their hospitalized child and to regroup in these rooms to share their feelings and thoughts with people who are in the same situation. The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program is the third program offered by the foundation. It implies vehicles built to offer pediatric health services in susceptible districts around the world. The costs of the vehicle are significant, approximately $500,000 per automobile. The vehicle comprises a laboratory, two patient examination rooms, a reception and medical records areas. Thanks to the close cooperation between the RMHC and local clinical service providers this unique project was made possible.
Next to financing their three core programs, RMHC also honors other nonprofit organizations. In case the mission of the charities aligns with the mission of RMHC, the organization offers them a grant for their effort. Next to that, the foundation also showed their dedication towards education as they provide over thousands of scholarships to U.S. students each year. In fact, since 1985, they have donated more than $48 million in scholarships.

B. The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

With Ronald McDonald House Charities, McDonalds is addressing the needs of families for financial support when their children are in need of medical treatment, be it because of injury, sickness, or general examinations. In addition, Ronald McDonald House Charities is also supporting other non-profit organizations and provides scholarships.
As many seriously ill or injured children need to get treatment far away from their original home, many families face difficulties bringing up the necessary resources to stay close to their child. The Ronald McDonald House charity addresses this challenge by providing the families in need with a “home-away-from-home” for little or no cost, enabling them to stay close to their hospitalized child. Further, families can completely focus on caring for their child or communicating with the medical team as the charity provides them with everything they need. Hence, they offer a thorough solution to the challenge of financing a stay away from home and allow a better healing process for the children as they can rely on the support of their families.
Next, the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms offers an opportunity to the parents of hospitalized children to rest and regroup while still staying close to their children. In the friendly and deflecting atmosphere families can recover from the deep psychological challenges of supporting your ill child and regain the strength that is needed to continue doing so. This again supports the child’s healing process and lets the parents better communicate with the medical team as well as it improves devotion to complex treatment procedures.
Many children are unable to receive the treatment desperately needed for them to survive simply because either the services needed are not close by or their parents do not possess the means to acquire them. This challenge is addressed by the Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles. These care mobiles operate in vulnerable areas of the U.S. and around the globe in order to prevent illness, by providing education, offer treatment, such as immunization, preventive check-ups and treatment for chronic and acute illness, and referrals to help families get to continuous care by primary doctors.
In addition to improving the health of children directly, Ronald McDonald House Charities also supports other non-profit organizations that help children by providing them with grants. By doing so, Ronald McDonald House Charities is tackling the problem of insufficient funding in the areas where it is needed the most at that point in time. This makes it possible for charity organizations to offer children help where before they had to reject them due to insufficient monetary resources.
Last, Ronald McDonald House Charities offers children scholarships who have proved academic achievements, leadership and community involvement but who lack the necessary financial resources to attend college. This enables the students not only to reach their full potential but also to achieve a successful career and later support their families.
Overall, Ronald McDonald House Charities make a world of difference for the families who are in need for financial support, may it be to afford staying together in another city while a child is undergoing treatment, offer the treatment needed for their children or financing the education that would otherwise be detained.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

The main reason we believe this company is ethical starts with its challenges. As explained in the previous sections, the charity organization creates, finds and supports programs to improve and make a positive impact on the health, well-being and children’s lives. They help and provide solutions that strengthen families during their most challenging times. The objective of the organization is not only to help needy families to stay close to their hospitalized child directly but also collaborate with other non-profit organizations that align with the same mission, as well as committed to education with scholarships. In fact, the RMCH’s success relies on a special partnership between medical community, members of the business community, and individuals who donate time and money to the organization.
Thanks to all the grants, children can rely on the support of their families, and families can focus on caring them, apart from other support programs of psychological challenges that facilitates a better relationship between the parents and the medical team. On the other hand, McDonald Care Mobiles that operates in vulnerable areas of the U.S and around the globe to prevent illness and providing education, really caught us, as it helps children that desperately need treatment but cannot access to it. Last, the organization also has scholarships that facilitate students to reach a successful career. All these are inspirational for us and we highly value the work performed by the charity and the way it is done, as it makes every day a great change for the needy children and, hence, for their families.
As a matter of a fact, Ronald McDonald Charity House is characterized by transparency and working in public on the record in accountability and performances. All the aids and support programs are contrasted by evidences of the families the organization has helped published on the website, as well as the audited financials, donor privacy policies and the board members, which are also easily accessible on the charity’s website.
Next, we greatly value other aspects of the organization, as it has independent voting board members, the CEO listed with salary and it shares their conflict of interest policies with the public. This is certainly a transparent and reliable charity we trust and believe in, from the very beginning of its objective, through the way it operates, to the cleaning system it works with.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

Currently there is and in the (near) future there could be another economic crisis, especially charity funds suffer in times of economic crisis. People are less willing to give to charities and prefer to spend as less as possible. The only organization Ronald McDonald’s Charity House is linked to at the moment is McDonald’s corporation itself. We think that the charity fund could expand their fundraising network by connecting themselves to other companies like supermarkets.

Ronald McDonald’s Charity House has to improve their scholarship program to all the countries they operate in, instead of just the US. Creating more awareness for the scholarship program will improve the connection the charity fund has to students and their parents. The link between the charity house and the fast-food chain is something that still bothers people. Informing the public about the vision and mission of the charity fund is essential to make them understand the difference between the fast-food chain and the charity fund.

There are currently 322 Ronald McDonald’s Houses in 52 countries and regions, 161 Ronald McDonald’s Family Rooms in 19 countries and regions and 43 Ronald McDonald’s Care Mobiles in 6 countries. It is clear that the charity fund is doing a really good job. What bothers us is that McDonald’s restaurants are found in 119 countries. We think that since the charity fund is linked to the McDonald’s Corporation, the charity fund should operate in all the countries the restaurants are located in.

E. Evolution of the company’s evaluation

In the first part about the general information of the study, the information as well as the financial key figures have been organized and updated. Further, additional figures such as those from comparable charities have been added. This allows a better overview and gives more ground on which to evaluate the charity.
As the information on the main activities of the company provided in the existing report was rather scarce, the new report expands on this in order to gain a deeper understanding of the processes and activities. This is done by providing a general overview of the activities and then adding further information as well as a historical context.
Next, the ethical challenges that Ronald McDonald House Charities is addressing have so far been kept rather general. The new report offers a deeper insight into how the activities of the previous part affect the parents and their children. Thereby, an understanding of the direct consequences of the charity’s activities and the following improvement of ethical challenges can be obtained.
In addition, the part of why we believe the company is really ethical and why we trust it has been expanded by adding an objective evaluation to the already present subjective appraisal. In this part, the assessment of the company’s structure and governance add valuable insights and arguments for the question at hand. Also, the explanation of the personal judgment has been extended by the valuation of the different activities.
Last, the possible future challenges and recommendations have been adjusted to the economic changes and expanded by suggesting further possibilities. Moreover, current inefficiencies have been criticized and suggestions for future improvements are made.
Overall, the report has been enhanced by adding more detailed information, updating the existing information and analyzing the two former to an extent that provides a thorough understanding of the company’s operations and its ethical behavior.

Bibliography

• Gibison A. , “McDonald’s: a good image with bad ethics”, retrieved from the World Wide Web the 1st of June, 2013: http://www.neumann.edu/academics/divisions/business/journal/review_08/Gibison.pdf

• McDonald’s corporation “Mc Donald’s values”, retrieved from the World Wide web the 1st of June, 2013: http://mcdonalds.com.au/careers/about-us/our-values

• Philadelphi Ronald McDonald’s House, “History”, retrieved from the World Wide Web the 29th of May, 2013:http://www.rmhcphilly.org/who-are-we/history-of-rmhc/

• Ronald McDonald’s House Charities, Inc., “Who we are”, retrieved from the World Wide Web the 30th May, 2013: http://www.rmhc.com/

• Salisbury P. (16th June,2011) “New series Behind the Brand: McDonald’s”, The Ecologist

Location: Chicago (U.S)

Sector: Human health and social work activities, Accommodation and food service activities

Official website: http://www.rmhc.com/

Key figures:

Financial Highlights from the year ended December 31, 2011

Assets ,101
Liabilities $ 9,771
Net Assets $ 112,330

Contributions ,133
Investment Revenue ,100
Other revenues 6
Total Expenses (,635)
Excess Revenue over expenses ,314

Charities Performing Similar Types of Work:

http://w,ww.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4409

Nbr. visits: 3508

Nbr. inspires: 6