"Nice piece, but it brings more questions (Dispatch, “Charity or Scam?” June 21-28). A local event to help grass-roots organizations who are doing good work but need guidelines and pointers on funding opportunities would be great. Maybe it is being done and I don’t know of it. Maybe NUVO would help sponsor Mr. Sobel to speak at one.
Community, Faith & Labor received a small grant when we were fairly new and needed a financial agent to accept the money. A church in the Coalition accepted the grant check, deposited it and wrote us a check minus a fee. Lots of organizations must have that issue, but the article suggests if the names don’t match — don’t donate.
Even though volunteer groups could put all donations toward work, they may not be considered unless they are registered non-profits. Mr. Sobel notes that in itself is no criteria for giving. We recently filed because it was suggested by Interfaith Worker Justice when we became one of their 60-plus national affiliates. But there are so many negative stories that there is often reluctance within a group to get involved or remain in that system. Too many fear making mistakes because we are not familiar with reporting requirements. There is no long line of volunteers to do that job and the alternative is to search for funding to pay staff. Many feel they can do great work without it.
Community Faith & Labor Coalition