Nonprofit safeguards can prevent scandals

OlympiaJanuary 31, 2013 

Thanks to John Dodge for his recent piece on embezzlement. Years ago, at the end of a very long fundraising Saturday, I was handed a bank bag containing about $90,000 to get to the bank on Monday. I drove home with a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel and spent a sleepless weekend worrying about that bank bag.

It occurred to me then that our group should have spent a few less minutes on decorating and a few more minutes thinking about money handling. In my many years of nonprofit work since then, I have decided there are two red flags that no volunteer or boss should ignore: 1) a money handler who is territorial or prickly and 2) a money handler who is too nice. Both of these behavior patterns deflect questions.

A few safeguards up front can save a lot of tears.

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