If you are a Executive Director, CFO, Board Chair, Board Treasurer, volunteer manager, or Fundraiser and you operate under the illusion that anyone who works for a charity as an employee or volunteer is a good person who would never steal, have I got bad news for you.
Yes, sadly, even charity employees steal. in fact, your naivety is a perfect set up for a charity thief.
What can you do? A good few steps are
- Ensure that your Board has a chartered accountant as a Board member.
- Contact the Charter Professional Accountants and double check that your Auditor is an actual member in good standing.
- Give the Executive Director and Board Chair electronic access to the bank accounts and have them do unannounced spot checks periodically of the accounts.
- Always have at least two people handle cash – this is particularly important for things like fundraising events.
You can’t always prevent fraud but you can certainly keep a watchful eye. The first step is recognizing that charity fraud does exist.
This article on theft prevention by Roland Cinco is a nice overview.