Be Wary When Giving: There Are Some Rotten Indian Charities
As the director of a national nonprofit organization serving Indian people, I know how hard it is to meet expectations of the people who evaluate us. We are not perfect, but many of the “Indian” charities are simply rotten.
One of our large donors asked me 20 years ago to research the charities she was giving money to. There were over 100 of them, with some 25 being Indian charities. Out of the 25, about 20 were rotten. It was way beyond my expectations. She curtailed her giving to most of them.
Indian charities serve education, health, economic development, domestic abuse, and many other causes. Most of them are run by non-Indians, which is admirable, but the rotten ones need to be held accountable.
My best friend told me about one of them 40 years ago. His mother-in-law worked there, opening checks and preparing bank deposits most of the day. They had a well-oiled machine. But they abused their privileges; they had their own airplane to fly the money into the bank every day. They are still doing that.
The latest bad news is that the former director of the National Relief Charities (NRC), Brian Brown, has been indicted for stealing $4 million from that organization. He was charged with wire fraud and money laundering. Allegedly for years he had a new Cadillac leased and paid for by the organization.
(I also hate to admit this, but one of our supposedly honest Indian nonprofits also paid for a leased Cadillac for its former executive director. To their credit, when the board found out, they let him go.)
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