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Sempo -- Again
Posted 21 August 2004 - 12:57 PM
I think SEMPO now need to either throw themselves on the mercy of the members, and come clean with everything, or set a date no more than 10 days away when the doors will be opened, and all will be revealed.
This crisis management is doing no one any good, as it is not allowing the board to focus on the preparation/correction of the organisation. And every day that goes by, the attacks multiply, opening up new fronts. This is doing only harm.
A break from it all of 10 days to put the house in order and deliver everything would be acceptable I would think. Although, I have to say that, this is exactly what many had expected when there was talk of a meeting, and a members newsletter being sent out.
I would say that a circular to all the members requesting specific questions to be returned within 72 hours, then with a 7 day time lapse to allow all the concerns of the members to be addressed, would go a long way to getting SEMPO back on the road of doing what it is set up to do, rather than what it is currently being forced to do in defending itself from all fronts.
My thruppence worth anyhow.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 12:57 PM
You said "ever stated" Jill. I simply knew that was not the case.
If you actually think that after 1 1/2 years and they "now" can finally afford an attorney, and 'now' that's fine and dandy? What did they do with all the 5 grand monies they have accumulated that they could not afford a simple type thing as a lawyer to look at their by-laws? What? Does it cost about $200 or so for that? Come on now.
And yes, they "now" don't have much money. They are paying a PR guy who knows next to zero about public relations and paying this person $4000 per month to advertise a non-profit who does not know what they are doing? Come on now!!
Posted 21 August 2004 - 01:22 PM
None of us know, unless we are privey to the bank statements, what monies are on record, nor where these monies have been dispersed, nor where they have been derived. I have not bothered to search the reqs, but some NFPs do quartelies, obviously SEMpo does not.
Whether it be an LLC, S, NFP, or C corp, it does not take an attorney to set up the charter, write the articles of inc, bylaws, file the papers, etc. For the most part it is quite simple. But, any individual or group that sets up an NP or NFP without the advice of counsel is either naive or foolish.
NFP/NP are trickier than your normal organizational set up, and require strict adherence to the statutes. If compliance is not followed then it can lead to the demise of the corporation. If this were to happen officers and directors can become personnally liable for its acts.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 01:34 PM
Posted 21 August 2004 - 01:59 PM
So please, let's stop discussing whether they lost all their money -- they didn't. It's all safe and sound in the bank.
Yes, they pay the PR guy $4k per month, and yes, they pay the acting chief exec. whatever that amount they are paying her. I think they're also paying for research, and they're paying for their ad campaign.
There may be other things they're paying for, but I don't think they've told anyone if they are.
There are a ton of issues they need to address, but whether their money has disappeared (it hasn't) is not one of them.
If SEMPO is reading this, I am asking you again to either send me an email (on the record) with the answers to my questions above, or to post it here.
And again, I have to ask -- why the silence? We know you need time to do everything you want to do. Nobody is gonna smack you down because you need time, and nobody is gonna smack you down if you come out and say that you made some mistakes.
But you are gonna keep getting called out if you refuse to speak at all. Nobody's gonna stop harping on this until the silence is broken. Why not get it over with?
Posted 21 August 2004 - 02:36 PM
Who is SEMpo? Who do you expect to answer anything? The president should be answering some, likewise the secretary, but is this the place where they should be answering? IMT, it would make sense to issue a complete status report to all members subsequently posting it on public platforms. This would be good business acumen, however, it is not an obligation.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 02:39 PM
Greg (the PR guy) wrote back that SEMPO asked him to answer me, and I told him that it wasn't just ME who wanted answers, nor was it fair for me to get them and nobody else. Greg took it upon himself to post here on behalf of SEMPO.
I'd be happy with any board member (or Greg) from SEMPO to answer me by email so that I could post it, but I'd be happier if they would send another newsletter to their paying members that expanded upon their previous newsletter.
They promised better communication, and that's certainly one of the easiest things on their to-do list, if you ask me.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 02:43 PM
Although perhaps you are correct, as they must know I have made the request, since they haven't offered up the information on their own, maybe there is nothing within the documentation.
I simply would like the advertising scheme corrected. That is where there is clear violation related to membership.
82 degrees in LT, CA.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 04:05 PM
Edited by Steve Sardell, 21 August 2004 - 06:39 PM.
Posted 21 August 2004 - 05:23 PM
Public Interest Watch Group (PIW)
I guess they can help ...
They are calling for an IRS Investigation of Top Environmental Charities
The pr says
"About Public Interest Watch
PIW was established to shine a spotlight on the activities and finances of nonprofit organizations, exposing specific instances of misconduct. PIW also plans to advocate for legislative reforms that would require improved financial disclosure by such groups. PIW is a 501© 4 non-profit organization. Donations to PIW are not tax-deductible."
[Edited active links per Forum Guidelines. -Randy]
Edited by Randy, 21 August 2004 - 07:28 PM.
Posted 22 August 2004 - 01:34 AM
If one of the directors want to come over here and try their hand with me in an Australian court of law, then go hard. The judge would laugh at them and tell them to wake up to themselves and stop wasting their time. You can still speak openly and call a spade a spade in Australia.
Posted 22 August 2004 - 04:32 AM
Having glanced quickly it seems like indeed a not for profit is the equivalent of a charity in the uk. Mismanagement need not be illegal though, incompetance or to be more polite ignorance to detail need not imply dishonesty. OK so the chief exec has been paid a stipend, so long as this was done by the book, and the amount is not above that which you would pay to an exec in a similar business role elsewhere, then nothing will have been done wrong. Same for the PR guy (or whatever).
Fraud is a powerful word, having almost sufferred this many years ago, I think that people should understand that there does NOT have to be intent to defraud, for a person to commit, and be charged with fraud. I am sure Ian will have the book there, but I seem remember it was worded something like this.
'A person can commit the act of fraud knowingly by conspiring to defraud a party, or unknowingly as a result of negligence.' When I read this I peed my underwear. It seems that because I knew something was wrong with the company, I should have acted sooner, to deal with the problem in another office. Thankfuly nothing came of it, as it was decided that I had taken adequate precautions, and the manager of the office 200 miles away was acting fraudulently and without my knowledge. (he opened another bank account in the same name as my company, and then banked all the cheques into that) As no-one lost out, & I made good any losses (people had prepaid for advertising, he had banked the cheques, & marked them as paying post production) we offered a healthy discount to customers who pre paid!
A company, be it LLC, LTD, PLC etc is a thrid party in law, and you can't simply run it the way you run your private finances. Especially a if you are running a charity, as ALL money collected is meant to be used for the purpose it was collected. I personally would never have set up a charity (I am assuming it is a 501 © 6 ), as it would always be difficult to run without falling foul of the conflict of interests thing. I don't know if you have the equivalent of a charities commission in the US, but the UK charity commission is a dog with big teeth!
I have broken the second link as I don't know who they are, so better safe than sorry. The second site has a mountain of good links on it hidden amongst the affilliate links for books.
Posted 22 August 2004 - 06:59 AM
No one @ SEMPO is a friend of mine, although I certainly don't consider them enemies. I hope this premise puts my comments in perspective.
My personal issue with your post was that it contained damaging factual errors, most especially the "dissappeared money" statement, which was 100% wrong.
SEMPO has a bazillion issues, some problems, and a few downright scary legal considerations, to be sure. But these are very specific issues, with very specific evidence. Mistating and misquoting facts just muddies the water, and gets none of us anywhere.
Even when you are wrong
The issue, IMHO, is being man enough to admit your mistakes. A man and a leader puts his hand up and admits he is wrong, and corrects the error, even if the error was just in the communication or interpretation.
By all means stand behind what you write and take repsonsibility, just be sure to correct any miscommunications or errors that occur.
As for jail, hmmmmm. I really hope not. Jail is a bit harsh, and IMHO they certainly don't deserve to go to jail, as deserve implies, at least to me, some sort of character flaw that needs punishing. I just don't see that in this case. Lets keep jail for the murderers and rapists and as a last resort, not the first thing we explore.
Posted 22 August 2004 - 07:30 AM
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