Thursday, June 16, 2011

Too Few Charity Regulators

by Gary Snyder

Despite collecting proclamations,keys to the city and letters of support from Governor Charlie Crist and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the Defeat Diabetes Foundation received a failing grade from the national charity watchdog group American Institute of Philanthropy or AIP.

“In 2008, the Defeat Diabetes Foundation spent only 17 percent of its cash budget on it's programs, with the remainder being spent on fundraising and other overhead, so it received an 'F' rating for financial efficiency from AIP,” said Laurie Styron, an AIP analyst. In 2008, $728,000 went to professional fundraisers and $164,000 went to Defeat Diabetes.

At least one state attorney general is watching. The Florida-based charity has been banned from fundraising in Iowa for at least 10 years. The AG, Tom Miller, says the foundation failed to ensure donations were being raised honestly and that the foundation even approved misleading telemarketing scripts. The Consumer Protection Division’s undercover phone line recorded several Defeat Diabetes solicitation calls, and Miller’s lawsuit alleged that they were uniformly deceptive.

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, ,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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