Jack Abramoff’s Philanthropy (Jan 06)

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Last week I sent you an article by Pablo Eisenberg exhorting us all to be brave in calling out those nonprofits among us who do not act in good faith.

But in the case of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, we have a miscreant who has poached his way into our sector and used a charitable front to play fast and loose in the political sphere. He's not the first, as we have written about in the pages of previous issues of the Nonprofit Quarterly and the e-Newsletter, and he won't be the last, but he created new standards in the art of using nonprofits and foundations to conceal self-dealing, conflict of interest, and the buying and selling of political influence with tax exempt dollars.

I wonder how many of the rest of us could have used a sports foundation ostensibly created to promote sportsmanship to fund a school for snipers in the Middle East? Or for a school for the religious education of our own kids at a school we established? Or for contracts and trips for lobbyists and lobbying clients along with an occasional member of Congress?

We thank Rick Cohen for the article linked below entitled "The IRS Failure with Jack Abramoff's Philanthropy" and urge you all to look around you.


Don't allow these kinds of things to happen in the name and context of the nonprofit sector which is so dependent upon the public trust! We have to remember, when Jack Abramoff misspends a charitable foundation's money, he's misspending tax exempt money, that's your money and ours, not his. His misbehavior hurts us all.