Further scandal at The Nature Conservancy

Further scandal at The Nature Conservancy.   Further scandal at The Nature Conservancy: The IRS is starting a large-scale audit of The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest non-profits in the nation. Today's Washington Post presents the gory details, note that the published version is much longer and more detailed than the on-line account. Here is an earlier article . The institution made major loans to employees and board members, bought and then resold land to trustees and supporters at reduced prices, and drills for oil on nature preserve land. The tax records of the institution are considered a complete mess. The institution has over $3 billion in assets, so this is hardly a small matter.
At least one of the lessons is simple: know something about the non-profits you support. This area is just ripe for institutional failure. Too many donors would rather look the other way and pat themselves on the back for their generosity. They do not want to hear bad news, which is one reason why news about bad non-profits often remains hidden for so long. Feeling good about oneself is a worthy endeavor, but it also can interfere with the smooth functioning of voluntary institutions. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

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