Kermit Washington investigation: Should donors have suspected fraud?

Kermit Washington investigation: Should donors have suspected fraud?

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"It's a few bad apples that paint a bad picture," Rick Cohen, spokesman for the National Council of Nonprofits, an association of charities, tells the Monitor in a phone interview.

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Considering that in 2013 charitable contributions reached more than $335 billion, according to a 2014 report from Giving USA, it’s important for donors to know that their contributions are spent as promised, rather than getting diverted to support the lifestyles of the Kermit Washingtons of the world.

“We recommend giving local or to a group that you have a connection to,” says Mr. Cohen. “If you’re giving to a local group, you can see the results of your donation or be engaged through volunteering,” he says.

But sometimes, a donor’s charitable aspirations are national or international. In those cases, there are myriad ways to investigate the legitimacy of a charity before handing over money. The caveat is that it takes some work.

“There is no magic bullet,” says McLean. 

A good first step toward quickly evaluating a nonprofit is to peruse its website to see if it’s transparent about its work, its staff and board members, and how much money it makes and spends. 

Source Name: 
The Christian Science Monitor
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