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Governmental investigations of nonprofits are increasingly common and can take many forms and come from many places: Congressional, federal and state agencies (both civil and criminal), and IRS audits of tax-exempt status, to name a few. And, as many nonprofits can attest, it is far from just the bad actors that get investigated.
Often, there may be more than one investigation going on at a time, and they frequently spawn follow-on private litigation. They can lead to large fines and penalties, publication of embarrassing and sensitive information, expensive legal fees, great distractions of staff time and significant administrative burdens, and, perhaps most importantly, the crippling of a nonprofit’s reputation, credibility and ability to carry out its mission. Bankruptcy or a loss of relevance sometimes can follow.
That doesn’t have to be the case. Strong internal controls, good document and information management, appropriate board oversight, and effective governmental outreach can mitigate the risks of an investigation. Knowing your vulnerabilities and strengths, being prepared and trained to respond, and having an understanding of how digital and social media channels can help during a crisis can increase the chances of a successful outcome and mitigate the short- and long-term effects on your nonprofit's reputation. When an investigation commences, there are many ways to respond and things you can do – and things you should not do – to reduce your risks.
Hear from a panel that has guided many nonprofits (and for-profits) successfully through crises and understands how to help navigate everything from very public and intrusive governmental investigations to the most vitriolic social media activity. They will discuss effective, proven strategies for interacting with investigators, preparing and packaging documents and information to be produced, prepping witnesses, conducting internal investigations, communicating with the media, reaching out to stakeholders, shoring up outside support, special considerations when federal or state funds are involved, what disclosure may be required on IRS information returns, and protecting the organization’s reputation. This is a program you will want to attend before your nonprofit becomes the target of an investigation, not after.
Ronald M. Jacobs, Esq., Partner, Venable LLP
Jamie Moeller, Global Managing Director, Public Affairs, Ogilvy Public Relations
Kathy Baird Westfall, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Ogilvy Public Relations
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET – Networking Luncheon and Program
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET – Webinar