The Progressive Policy Institute is a Democratic think tank located in Washington, DC and is under fire for actions it used when it found out one of its managers was embezzling funds. 3 years ago PPI realized that a senior manager had quietly used unauthorized checks, credit card charges and cash withdrawals to take $100,000 from the think tank’s accounts. These actions almost caused the organization to reach insolvency.
The biggest problem is with how the think tank handled the information they were given. Instead of reporting the employee’s actions to the police, the nonprofit organization decided to forgo legal action and settle on restitution. They did not alert their donors to this breach of trust. Unfortunately many DC organizations faced with this same issue have found the same approach to be best.
By not reporting the incident to the police, the group has managed to avoid much of the bad publicity they may have had they chosen to prosecute the alleged embezzler. But doesn’t this seem a bit like a lie to their donors? Additionally, the person who did this has not been named. That allows this person to just go and find a new job, potentially at another similar organization without any blemishes on their reputation.
With other groups falling into this same category, it is smart to be aware of who you are donating to. The crooked behavior of these nonprofits and think tanks is concerning for many donors who may not be aware.