Upwelling philanthropy logo for mobile devices

This section is difficult for us to write but we think it is important. Not for profit groups spend a lot of time telling you good news about their work. Much less effort is made to tell you about things when they go poorly. We include a sample of publically reported NFP
problems so you can begin to see some of the risks involved in philanthropy. The vast majority of NFPs are reputable, but some, like the ones below have problems that you need to know about before you contribute. Keep in mind:

    •      We have not independently researched the issues that are reported in these articles.

 

    •      These articles represent a very small percentage of the NFP organizations in the US. While the list looks long it does not mean that assumptions should be made about all of the other NFPs.

 

    •      Even if one person in an organization is guilty of malfeasance it does not mean that the organization is bad or that the other employees are bad.

 

    •      It is possible that an organization could be stronger after an article like this than they were before. Modern NFPs can be extremely complex and problems do happen. Reputable organizations accept criticism when it is true, correct the problem, and move on in a stronger state than they were in before.

 

    •       The larger issue in the NFP world has to do with results. Even if an organization is well managed it does not necessarily mean they are making a difference and accomplishing their mission. This part of the story is rarely reported.

 

However, these articles are useful in demonstrating the kinds of problems that can happen and they are a starting point for defining the leading indicators that should be evaluated during a due diligence review.