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The (Syracuse, N.Y.)Post-Standard's reporter Michelle Breidenbach details CAR techniques, employing Microsoft Excel, that she used to investigate the New York Power Authority which is owned by NY state taxpayers, but run like a private utility.
Reporters Jeff Kosseff, Bryan Denson and Les Zaitz used the federal FOIA and IRS 990 forms to investigate nonprofits that employ, or claim to employ, severely disabled workers to fulfill federal contracts on military goods and services. The biggest contractor, El Paso's National Center for the Employment of the Disabled, not only failed to document it was using enough disabled labor, it also paid the management firm run by its president $8.7 million over a two year period. At least a dozen executives at the 50 biggest charities received $350,000 a year in pay and benefits while many workers were paid less than minimum wages.
Tags: federal contracting; Iraq war; D-U-N-S; Afghanistan war; Pentagon; Guidestar; Javits-Wagner-O'Day; National Center for the Employment of the Disabled; FOIA; Form 990; Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled
Campbell documents connections among more than 12 seemingly independent charities that spent only $5.6 million on charity of the $82 million they raised in 4 years. All of them were connected to a fundraiser currently in jail. Unable to get sources to talk, Campbell used IRS Form 990\'s, California corporate filings, and commercial fundraiser reports and court records for financial and social information.Reports commercial fundraisers are required to file in some states disclosed dozens of relationships not in the charities\' 990s.Campbell used UCINET, a social networking software to clarify connections shown in an interactive graphic accompanying the story.
Lipman discusses how reporters should be cautious of information provided from nonprofit agencies, especially that reported on IRS form 990. As the Chronicle of Philanthropy found out, many nonprofits were skewing their accounting by reporting no expense fund-raising.