Friday, August 14, 2009
Big Charity Scandal May Lead to Big Reform
In the wake of a major charity scandal involving the Sephardic Jewish community, many community leaders and charitable givers are demanding reforms and transparency. A major donor to these organizations, the Jewish Funders Network, is asking organizations to "exceed the standards that the government is imposing specifically in the areas of transparency and governance.” Late last month, Federal agents arrested 44 people on corruption charges, including three leaders of the Sephardic community. Millions of dollars were laundered through religious charities. Also being considered as part of the reforms is the end to grants given to organizations who take a religious exemption allowing them to not have to file financial forms with the IRS. This issue is a reason why many religious organization, including the Salvation Army can not currently be evaluated by Charity Navigator.