Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Leaders of the nation's nonprofits, singed by news reports of self-dealing and extravagant spending, unveiled a sweeping list of reforms yesterday designed to force greater accountability and boost penalties for misuse of funds at 1.3 million private foundations and public charities across the country.
The proposals call on nonprofits to comply with accounting rules much like those imposed on businesses after the Enron scandal: Top officers of nonprofit organizations would be required to sign off on financial filings; conflict-of-interest policies would be established and enforced; and audits of larger nonprofits would be routine.

There is a mindset here that not for profit status is next to godliness. Not so. Though these organizations champion causes that are near and dear to the hearts of any good-doer, the term "not for profit" is but a business classification. A tax status.

My maintenance has generally been that since these outfits are tax/donation funded, they should have one heck of a lot more hoops to jump through than they do now. At least as much as we're seeing in the "Corporate" World, anyway. Hopefully these reforms are a start. Hopefully they'll have some teeth, too.

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