Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Note From Gary Snyder (Nonprofit Imperative)

Each year we give an update on the status of charity fraud.

Fraud in 2011 has unfortunately been consistent with previous reports. It continues to flourish… unabated. The New York Times had a story, in 2008, about a startling academic study that indicated that over $40 billion was stolen from charities. In mid-2011, the Inspector General in Texas said that amount had risen to $51 billion…a 27% increase, in just three years. That same trajectory continues based on the data collected for Nonprofit Imperative. Nonprofit Imperative has documented upwards of 5200 incidences of charity fraud.
In 2009, we saw a significant jump in such occurrences as well as a 50% rise in the amount of money stolen. In 2010, Nonprofit Imperative data showed that path had not subsided with a 25% increase and about $2 billion stolen from those to whom the money was intended to go. In 2011, almost $2.7 billion had been embezzled. This is 30% increase in malfeasance from the previous year. Because the documentation of these frauds are taken solely from public documents, members of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has suggested that this represents only 5-10% of the total amount of charity malfeasance.
Postscript:  Practically every statement that I have shared in the past decade has been explicitly or implicitly been directed toward the betterment of philanthropy…and there have been many.

I have written or worked on well over a hundred articles; assisted in documentaries, television and radio shows as well as movies; published a twice-monthly e-newsletter for half-a-decade (the equivalent of 2-3 books or 1050 pages); authored two books; lectured; consulted; assisted in numerous thesis on fraud; and served on over 25 boards (many in a leadership capacity).

I have proffered practices to force the acknowledgement and discussion of some the charitable sector’s most pressing problems, while seeking at least minimal change. I readily acknowledge the results could have been better.

Needless to say, I have received considerable pushback. In truth, some was appropriate. But more often than not, I have found incredible support from people, mostly unknown to me, who coaxed me to carry on or just do better.

We thank you for your support.                                                   

I wish you a Happy Holiday

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, , Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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