Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Evidence Is In...But Nothing Is Happening

by Gary Snyder

“The Harvard University's Houser Center for Nonprofit Organizations suggests that fraud losses among U.S. nonprofits are approximately $40 billion a year. "According to a Washington Post analysis of the filings from 2008-2012 ... of more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations, ... "there was a 'significant diversion' of nonprofit assets. Just the top 20 organizations in the Post's analysis had a combined potential total loss of more than a half-billion dollars.” (source)  Need we say more…?

More (source) in 2012:

  • ·       Nonprofit leaders need to issue a “clarion call,” says Cindy Lott, a lawyer who developed and runs Columbia Law School’s Charities Regulation and Oversight Project and previously served in the Indiana attorney general’s office. “We need good regulation. We need it at the federal level. We need it at the state level. the nonprofit world has become such a big economic engine—employing millions of people and handling billions of dollars—that it needs a strong regulatory regime to “protect the charities that are doing it right,” she says.”
  • ·       “Why can’t we have the equivalent of an SEC for nonprofits?” says Janet Greenlee, an associate professor of accounting at the University of Dayton who specializes in nonprofits.
  • ·       Since Congress concluded its hearings, problems with veterans charities that are spending little on programs, or even allegedly committing outright fraud, have continued unabated. So have reports of other alleged improprieties, but nothing happened.
  • ·       Some critics say the nonprofit world needs to do much more to call out bad actors, including expelling them from trade groups. “The charitable community seems loathe to speak ill of anybody anytime, anywhere,” says Dean Zerbe, a former top aide to Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee.
  • ·       A committee of the House of Representatives held hearings to explore accusations that some veterans charities were spending just a trickle of the money they raised for programs to help veterans or their families…nothing happened
  • ·       Nonprofit and policy experts have, over the years, proposed many ideas to improve the way that charities are regulated, a task that now generally falls to the Internal Revenue Service, which monitors tax-exempt organizations, and the states, many of which require charities and professional fundraisers to register and provide financial information.

  • And now this: One year later, nothing has happened: 

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: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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