Fraud is a word that conjures up many images in your mind. Maybe your definition of fraud is someone lying to you, stealing from you or conspiring against you while pretending to help you. All of these are true…and it can happen to your nonprofit if you don’t know how to protect it.
Those who seek to harm or defraud you can come from both inside and outside your nonprofit. Either can be devastating to the health of your organization, both financially and psychologically. Let’s take a look at both scenarios and I’ll give you some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
Outsiders. For anyone who hasn’t been victimized by an outsider, it can seem like a remote concern. “Surely we can spot a scam”, you tell yourself. Ask any victim of Bernie Madoff how easy it is to be taken. Just among our clientele at The Foundation Group, we have a Florida nonprofit that invested its entire endowment in a sure-thing Madoff fund. It’s all gone…every penny. Granted, this one was hard to spot. Madoff made-off for many years right under the noses of regulators! But it doesn’t take a Bernie Madoff to cause severe damage to your organization.