How’s A Poor Charity To Know?
Isn’t it ironic?
The last 2-3 years have seen a surge in heavy reflection on the part of donors on the matter of evaluating the credibility and performance of would-be nonprofit recipients of their largesse. Are the donations really getting through to the ultimate beneficiaries who need them? Which charities are spending "too much" on overhead? Of the competing charities working in the same field, whose performance is best? Etc.
Oh! … the strain of being a responsible donor! Probably a similar stress to movie stars abhoring publicity.
But now it turns out that it’s the donors who should be under the microscope, lest they be outright criminals like Bernard Madoff! Now we have worthy charities screwed by greedy SOBs like Madoff. How is your typical charity supposed to protect itself from the likes of him?
And as Stephanie Strom reports in the NY Times, the impact of a slimeball like Madoff isn’t limited to his own personal charities. Indeed the far greater impact is on all the other perfectly respectable wealthy donors who, defrauded by Madoff, now find that they have significantly less money to give away … leaving their charities in the lurch.
Who’s supposed to be protecting the charities from the unscrupulous donors?!
Today the press reports that the SEC chief admits that his watchdog agency never investigated Madoff’s activities despite years of complaints. But let one nonprofit emit an errant fart and grandstanding Members of Congress and the IRS would be all over it (the nonprofit, that is) like ticks on a hound.
So far we’ve seen very little by way of punishment meted out to the financial thugs who have eviscerated the global financial world, triggering in turn economy-wide hardship. Where are public stocks in the town square when we need them?!