January is a time to plan on how toincorporate positive changes into thecoming year. Charity leaders shoulduse the fresh start to make certain thatthey are complying with their legalduties as board members.Questions board members should ask include:
Are the by-laws and governingdocuments being followed?
Are there appropriate records andreports being developed and reviewed by the board?
Are there financial policies and practices in place that protect funds?
Have those processes beenreviewed by the board?
Is there an appropriate separationof duties for handling incoming and
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Attend a free, three-hour class on how toconduct bingo by the book. Bingooperators, organization volunteers andanyone considering charitable gamingactivities are encouraged to attend.Separate trainings are offered for representatives of veteran, fraternal andsporting organizations, and representativesof 501(c)(3)s.Call (800) 282-0515. Participants mustregister in advance for this free training.Upcoming bingo school dates areavailable atwww.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BingoSchool People are eager to help in the wake of theHaitian earthquake. Ohio AttorneyGeneral Richard Cordray encouragesOhioans to help, but cautions them toexercise care as they make decisions aboutdonating to rescue efforts. Widespreadcharitable scams have followed other large-scale disasters such as the Asiantsunami and Hurricane Katrina.Online social networks are front andcenter as consumers Twitter informationor text donations in support of relief efforts. Potential donors should ask questions and make sure they understandhow they will be billed for donations madevia cell phone before they give.Typically, users are asked to donate bytexting a word, such as “Haiti” to a five-or six-digit code on a cell phone.Completing the transaction may require asmany as four separate texts. The amountof the donation and any additional textingfees that apply will be added to the user's
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The Association of Certified FraudExaminers just released a study on theimpact of the recession on occupationalfraud. Based on a survey of fraud experts,the association reports that there has beenan increase in the frequency of theft andthe dollar amount lost to fraud during a12-month period from early 2008 throughearly 2009.The report notes that increased fiscal pressure at home is a prime contributor tothe increase in fraud. This comes at thesame time that organizations are cuttingtheir work force, and perhaps takingshortcuts on internal controls. Nonprofits,like their counterparts in the traditional business sector, face the same threats fromfraud. At a time when resources arescarce, charities can’t afford to lose assetsto embezzlement and theft.One of the most important duties of charity board members is to review andrefine policies aimed at reducing theft.The Guide for Reducing the Risk of Theft lists specific policies andsuggestions for reducing the risk of theftwithin charitable organizations. For example, the board should analyze howcash is handled, how donations are processed and how bills and invoices are processed. Adopting appropriate internalcontrols and processes can preventembezzlement and, if theft does occur, canlead to a speedier discovery.Download the Avoiding Theft in your Nonprofit:www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/AvoidNonprofitTheft