Stop! Thief! Don’t Trust Your Finance Person Tooooo Much

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.

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