Monday, May 20, 2013

This Puzzling Accounting Will Raise Your Hair

By Gary Snyder 

 Nonprofit Investor did an analysis indicating that approximately $6 million worth of hair donations are unaccounted for each year by the West Palm Beach, Fla., charity Locks of Love. Children, celebrities, relatives of those in need, and countless others have been selflessly donating their hair to Locks of Love for over 15 years. Nonprofit Investor’s analysis raises significant questions about how the hair donations are used.

Based on Locks of Love number estimates, it should produce a minimum of 2,080 hairpieces per year. Nonprofit Investor confirmed with the charity’s staff that the organization produced only 317 natural hairpieces in 2011. (Its IRS Form 990 figure of “430 wigs” includes synthetic wigs). 

NPI relied upon the statements of Locks’ executive director as cited in USA Today to estimate the amount of hair donated each year only after reasonable and diligent efforts to obtain updated data. 


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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