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November 22, 2013

I am posting this in behalf of Robbi Rice Dietrich, President of National Relief Charities (NRC):
NRC meets 19 of 20 of the BBB’s nonprofit standards. The one BBB standard we did not yet meet concerns governance and is specifically related to an oversight issue of one grant – a grant NRC made to Charity One, a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit, to establish an endowment for scholarships for Native American students. When NRC realized there was a problem with the grant to Charity One, we engaged legal counsel to conduct an investigation, alerted the FBI, and filed a civil complaint with the court system in Texas where we have headquarters. The FBI has made its first arrest and indictment in the case, and the court has issued a judgment ordering Charity One to repay the grant to NRC, with interest and legal fees. We continue to work with authorities to recover the funds.

Since the Charity One grant in 2006, NRC has strengthened our internal controls and safeguards. Every Board member that started the Charity One grant has been removed, and none are now affiliated with NRC in any way. Six new members have joined NRC’s Board of Directors since that time. We have established a Finance and Audit Committee to provide independent oversight of NRC’s finances. An independent evaluation of all NRC grants resulted in no performance issues with any grant other than Charity One. Other safeguards include undergoing an independent organizational risk assessment and adopting best practices that include hiring a nationally recognized auditing firm to annually review our finances and a Chief Financial Officer. We are thankful to all who donate for our scholarships and other services and could not provide services on the reservations if not for your help. Fortunately, our regular scholarships and other services on the 65 remote reservations we serve were not disrupted by the Charity One grant.

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