My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Depart Smart Dba Clearcause Foundation, St Louis Park, MN, USA
While the work of the organization is needed and has merit, how the executive director handles the business end of things has a lot to be desired. It's unfortunate that she feels that the how she runs the business doesn't matter as long as she is able to do the service, because doing business that way really doesn't honor the kids the organization is supposed to be serving.
She paid me in cash and never required a contract. Then she tried to pay me in clothes, so she could hide what she was doing from her husband and the board of directors. Then she finally gave me a check for $100 from the organization for work she never intended on letting me do. When I tried to call her on these and other questionable things she was doing, rather than take it as an opportunity to do the right thing, she retaliated and severed the relationship. She not only lied to her husband, but she wasn't honest with the board, either.
While the work needs to be done, it is wrong to use the organization as an excuse to do whatever you want. If she wants control and absolute say to do whatever she wants, then do it under a for-profit set up. Otherwise, she needs to learn that the resources and assets belong to the organization and are not her personal toy.
It's not an either/or thing. It has to be a both/and thing, and it's not that she can't do better, but rather she doesn't find it necessary to do better. It's unfortunate because how you run your business is what the IRS uses to determine whether or not you should have an exempt status or not, not on the services you provide.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Try to get the executive director to understand that when you have a business structure of an exempt organization, the assets belong to the organization, and it's your job to be a steward of the organization. You can't pick and choose what legal rules you will follow and when you will follow them based on how convenient it is to do it. You don't own a nonprofit organization. You work for one, even if you were the one to start it. If you want to own the work, then do the work as a for-profit.
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