Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thank you...it has been a great run


After more than 216 editions of Nonprofit Imperative, I have decided to cease publication.

In the past decade, we have faced an unsettling, even frightening, explosion of charity fraud. Charity malfeasance and fraud were an afterthought until we began identifying the enormity of the problem. Studies continue to show a level of corruption, mismanagement and overt pillaging and diversion of tens of billions of dollars---annually---that have been taken from those for which they were intended.

The problem, however, has not gone unnoticed. Nonprofit Imperative has chronicled it every step of the way.
·      Thousands of subscribers of Nonprofit Imperative e-newsletter have received the e-newsletter.
·      There have been hundreds of thousands viewers of our blog.
·      Nonprofit Imperative has been the ‘go-to’ stop for media including the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR. The list goes on approaching one hundred other publications and radio and television sites.
·      We have worked with state and federal lawmakers and regulators including Congress and state Attorneys’ General, to help stem the tide of charity fraud.
·      We have assisted hundreds of individuals who thought their favorite charity was compromised.
·      Two books on the topic of charity fraud---Nonprofits On The Brink and Silence: The Impending Treat To The Charitable Sector---have been written and have been incredibly well received.  (The latter is sometimes referred to as a mosaic of little leadership, little interest by Congress, and ineffective regulators, which has resulted in a sector untamed)
·      We have aided many thesis candidates in their authorship and defense of their graduate dissertations.
·      Presentations have been made throughout the nation, including at universities, on the topic of charity fraud.

As you can see we have worked non-stop to uncover unprecedented amounts of misconduct. Increased public awareness has been greeted with an increase in public distrust. For example, a Pennsylvania survey last week showed that only 10 percent of the respondents believe that public trust in the nonprofit sector is “high,” with 31 percent of the respondents saying that the level of trust had worsened.

Our efforts, however, have been met with denial and avoidance by influencers and decision makers. Sector leaders have shown little interest in the problem, relying on fantasy self-regulation as the answer. Sector overseers are preservationists who want no change because in their view, there is too much to lose. Moreover, leaders have been enablers by their silence, public abstention, and obfuscation---all of which have been the lifeblood of charity fraud.

The IRS and state attorneys’ general are more focused on regulation of tax collection rather than regulation of fiduciary behavior. Needless to say, a lawmaker’s attention in resolving any matter, including charity fraud, is of little import. Regulators, except for a few, have shown little interest unless charity malfeasance shows up in a headline. The probability of reaching a headline is minimal because investigative reporting is so prohibitively expensive only a few in the media can maintain critical staff. Politics and lack of resources have driven judgment. Boards have led with a detached indifference.

I remain somewhat optimistic in the hope that charity fraud will get the attention it deserves. All that is needed is a confluence of internal and external sector stakeholders to put the scourge of fraud, egregious malfeasance and inadequate board governance at the top of the list of resolvable issues.


On a most positive note, I want to thank you for your input, participation, support and loyalty. As with any undertaking, there have been frustrations, but the gratification and fulfillment that I have received have outweighed any setbacks many, many times over.

In this endeavor, I have gained friends and acquaintances that I will cherish forever. I thank you!


Have a wonderful holiday season.









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, Newsweek.com, 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, MichiganNonprofit.com, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit, ncrp.org, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner, msnbc.com, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today, Answers.com, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization), Answers.com, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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