Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Breast Charity Goes Under

by Gary Snyder


They had more than 20,000 people who helped raise more than $2 million by participating in the Y-Me’s May 13 race and walk. Weeks later the Chicago-based nonprofit, which operated a nationwide hot line offering counseling to breast cancer patients, fired its staff and shut its doors.


Now Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office said it intended to open a “review” of the charity’s finances but stopped short of saying it had any evidence of impropriety or wrongdoing.


IRS forms filed by the charity show contributions plummeted from $16.7 million in 2007 to $5.2 million in 2010. An audit released by Attorney General Madigan’s office showed Y-Me’s investments carried a value of $803,204 as of June 30, 2011, down from $1.5 million a year earlier. This indicates either investment losses, money was used to pay expenses or something more sinister.


Management is under assault. A Y-Me volunteer and founder of the group’s signature fund-raising race, said “incompetence and mismanagement,” especially under previous leadership, led to Y-Me’s downfall. Y-Me had over expanded and leased office space it could not afford here and in other cities. Some acknowledged that the organization had “liabilities from many, many years ago.” Others added that the weak economy, lower than expected race receipts and short-term debt were other contributing factors to the closure.


This is another breast cancer charity that has had problems. The credibility of the Susan G. Komen Foundation has tanked as has donations. Its founder, board leader and executive has been under attack and not been seen in a professional manner in months. Many others such as  Coalition Against Breast Cancer has become the norm in the breast cancer charity world. Many other scams are discussed here.


As these frequent uncoverings of malfeasance by media and regulators are ripping out the heart and soul of breast cancer charities that are legitimate. 







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 (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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