Tag Archives: transparency

Fidelity Charitable Reveals Its Arrogance, But Not Its Salaries

[Note: This post was published in the December 1, 2015 on-line edition of  The Chronicle of Philanthropy.]

It’s common knowledge that transparency rules the day for disclosure of the salaries paid to nonprofit executives.

Tax-exempt organizations can’t hide their top compensation numbers: Salary and benefit information for the most-highly-compensated executives is only a few mouse clicks away, displayed for all to see in the 990 informational tax returns available from Guidestar and other sources. This disclosure reflects the Congressional requirement that in return for tax-exempt status, nonprofits must make their informational returns — including top salaries — available for public inspection.

But one salary you won’t find listed is that of Amy Danforth, chief executive of Fidelity Charitable. Continue reading

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No Transparency, No Clue

I live in New Hampshire, where presidential candidates more or less take up residence for the year before our primary. They’re all around us now. Trust me. Come December I will half expect to find N.J. Gov. Chris Christie shoveling snow from our front steps. (He’s very good with storms, they say.)

So yes, my neighbors and I are a bit jaded about seeing presidential candidates – but we also take our role as early voters seriously. I try to meet every candidate in my party, not to mention a few from the other side. And part of my research includes looking at each candidate’s charitable giving, a natural interest of mine. How much does each candidate donate, and to whom? I think it’s important to know. Charitable giving is a reflection of the candidate’s values. Continue reading

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Missing the Obvious in Nonprofit Ratings

[Note: This post is simultaneously being published as an opinion piece in the October 6, 2013 edition of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.]

Americans love ratings and rankings. We like to think that all large, complicated questions can be answered by simple numbers.

That’s given rise to the notion that nonprofits can be fairly and simply rated. And it’s not surprising that, once you scratch the surface, nonprofit rating systems prove to be nonsensical and even harmful. Continue reading

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