Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Non-profit dirty laundry airing in courtrooms

Updates today on two previously-mentioned pieces of non-profit sector ugliness, plus a new one. (Much of this comes courtesy of The Charity Governance Blog which despite its annoying logrolling for the proprietor and his book, is worthwhile for the relevant news provided with legally-experienced comments.)

In Wisconsin the sad case of the prosecution of the former chief financial officer of a major museum is slogging its way through the courts with still no sign of anybody else being held accountable for what was clearly a mess with multiple authors. Charity Governance sees the defendant as clearly a fall guy: "We hope he decides to force the DA's hand and fight to preserve his reputation. Although the press and others have noted that there is plenty of shared blame in the financial collapse of the Milwaukee Public Museum, to this point, others who had oversight authority over the museum simply haven’t been held accountable in any meaningful way."

Over in the Ivy League, Princeton University appears to have become at least dimly aware that whether or not they win the Robertson donor-intent lawsuit in court they have been getting their butts kicked in the media. I dunno that letters to the editor are really going to change that fact any, even if having read a couple of the pieces that the letters respond to I'd agree that the university isn't being treated entirely fairly by editorial writers. The case itself is inching along with no end in sight. Still looks from here like the university is guilty of being at least cavalier with the donor's funds over the years, and ought to settle the thing before its good name gets tarnished further.

Now this month comes the Salvation Army trying to use what is obviously a technicality to ace Greenpeace out of $33 million left in a will. The sordid details with some comments can be found here, and here, and here. Yecchh -- I'm guessing that Salvation Army staffers, volunteers and donors are not feeling all warm and fuzzy about the organization at the moment.

1 comment:

sdrone said...

Well, his point is pretty valid in a lawyerly, stupid way.

I was worried when I clicked the link, but this isn't bad enough to make me put Salvation Army lower on my list of charities I donate to.