In recent years, leading international nongovernmental organizations (INGO) such as Oxfam International, Save the Children, and Amnesty International have been implicated in scandals about sexual abuse and other forms of abuse of power and harassment. I suggest focusing on organizational and sectoral culture as an explanatory variable for these crises, which are particularly hard hitting for purportedly value-based organizations. In the case of NGOs, in my observation as a practitioner and ‘pracademic’, these are driven by six factors:(1) particular individual leadership traits that may be prevalent especially in the emergency and humanitarian relief related sector; (2) the effect of power on leaders’ perspectives and behaviors ; (3) a culture of silence that makes it hard for NGO staff to speak up about toxic workplace behaviors ; (4) the presence of deep power structures within NGOs which are not openly acknowledged and therefore addressed; (5) the myth of own innocence that leads NGOs to treat wrong doing as aberrations instead of systemic problems; and finally (6) a culture of limited individual and team-level accountability practices . The extent to which these cultural failures can be addressed through formal policy and (self)regulatory measures is limited, given that culture is primarily about informal, covert belief systems. NGOs will have to do sustained and disciplined culture work themselves if the roots of the scandals are to be taken away.