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Vetting Charities for Financial Stability

December 23, 2008

From AdWeek

I’m sure many of you have read something in past few weeks about the Bernard Madoff scandal and its impact on nonprofits across the country.   Although the Madoff fraud has been making headlines, I’ve held off writing about it because there seemed to be little to debate or discuss.

Over the past couple of days, however, a few articles have been popping up about a wariness among philanthropists regarding about the safety of investments made by charities.   The Madoff fraud in conjunction with the economy seems to be dramatically driving downward giving this year.  Last week The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University  released a study showing an unprecedent decrease in consumer confidence for charitable giving.  And yesterday, The Wall Street Journal Online published a story which reiterated the fear among donors that their donations might disappear.  The Journal’s story includes a guide for evaluating whether a nonprofit is investing responsibly.

I bring this to your attention now because I’m curious about how the Madoff incident has impacted South Asian donors or potential South Asian donors.  And, more specifically, for those of you who were considering exercising your philanthropic abilities are you now less likely to give because of the one-two punch, that is Madoff and the economy?  And, finally, nonprofit leaders how do you feel about closer scrutiny of your investments?    Anxious to hear your thoughts!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. asridhar permalink*
    December 24, 2008 11:45 am

    Asian American giving did a good post about this topic as well (http://www.asianamericangiving.com/2008/12/the-ramifications-of-madoffs-scandal-on-one-charity.html), and profiled the JEHT Foundation, which has done a lot to support human rights around the world. JEHT, along with several other private foundations, is going under because of the Madoff scandal. While it is a tragedy that individuals and families have lost everything because of Madoff, I think it’s even sadder that the excellent work of foundations like JEHT will have to come to a halt.

  2. asridhar permalink*
    January 6, 2009 10:45 am

    MoveOn.org did an e-mail to raise funds for charities whose funding was in danger because of the Madoff scandal: http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2008/12/moveon-takes-on-madoff.html. I think it’s great to support charities who relied on grantmakers that were taken down by Madoff. I’m left wondering where the IRS was in all this, though, since there are rules for private foundations to adhere to regarding so-called “jeopardizing investments”…

Trackbacks

  1. “The Perfect Storm” and the South Asian Council for Social Services « The South Asian Philanthropy Project

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