October 11, 2016

The Chronicle of Philanthropy quotes Bob Waldman on how nonprofits can deal with tainted donors

1 min

Venable partner Bob Waldman was quoted in an October 11, 2016 article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on how nonprofits can deal with tainted donors. While organizations are usually happy for large donations, they can face problems when a major donor does something leading to public scorn. The organizations are faced a variety of options to respond including returning the donation, repudiating the donor, or staying quiet.

While nonprofits are advised to perform their due diligence on donors, Waldman said "some donors' crimes or misdeeds are virtually impossible to find." He suggested that a donor's behavior might be more telling. "Are they unresponsive and difficult to work with? Are they asking your organization to hold on to assets for longer than usual, or to do something ethically fraught, like hiring their sibling after the donation is made?" He added, "If they are asking you to do something that makes you a little uncomfortable, that's usually a sign there's an issue here."