Friday, June 14, 2013

Charity Ducks Reporters and Evades the Facts

It seems like nonprofits have even more crises than corporate America. The Boy and Girl Scouts come to mind immediately.

Sometimes nonprofits bring on their own crises because of greed. Stan Curtis, founder of Kentucky/USA Harvest, is waiting trial for allegedly stealing $183,000 from the organization he led. (

CNN ran an in-depth story worth taking a look at about a chain of nonprofits led by a single family . ( "Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids. Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity's operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.... In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms."

I want to examine the fine examples of how not to deal with reporters, which even includes driving away with a finger in the air while cameras are rolling. The CNN piece features Kids Wish Network, a video treasure of horrible media relations. Take a look at the video. It's hard to believe, but it's not the first time or the last.

1.   Don't put up your hand and say, "Don't turn the camera on me."

2.   Don't get in your truck and get caught "escaping" while a reporter and camera are chasing you and knocking on your vehicle.

3.   Don't hide by sending an untrained assistant to the door to say neither she nor the CEO will answer any questions. The Children's Cancer Fund of America instead offered to answer questions by email. The emailed response from CEO Rose Perkins claimed, it "has a clear conscience because we feel we are making a good difference in people's lives." With  3% of donations reaching children?

4.   It's okay to make a camera stay outside sometimes. But don't say so on camera and then go on to say "no comment" anyway. This was the public relations manager who just happens to be married to the founder's son, James Reynolds Jr.

5.   "When our cameras found James Reynolds Jr., he made sure we got the message with a single finger." I Wouldn't recommend this approach.

In the wrap-up, Anderson Cooper observed, "The fact that they're running away like cockroaches from your cameras -- I mean that tells you all you need to know. If you're running a charity and asking for people's money, you have nothing to hide if you're not doing anything wrong."

Keep this story in mind if you are tempted to run like a cockroach when approached by a reporter. See the post above about how Kids Wish Network could have treated the reporters.

1 comment:

ruma parvian said...

This is so interesting blog. You are best listing knowledge provide at this site. I am very excited read this nice article. You can visit my site.
Charity projects