What is the cost of fraud & theft to animal charities?
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2008:
NEW YORK, N.Y.– Data gathered by the Association of
Certified Fraud Examiners and evaluated by four professors of
nonprofit accounting indicates that U.S. charities are losing about
13% of their annual income to fraud and theft– more than twice the
6% rate of loss for all organizations, including government agencies
and for-profit businesses.
The sum stolen, estimated at about $40 billion in 2006, is
roughly equal to the sum of all giving by corporations and private
foundations, Independent Sector president Diana Aviv told Stephanie
Strom of The New York Times.
The amount stolen from animal charities, if proportionate to
total charitable giving, would be about $400 million: three times
the total income of the Humane Society of the U.S., with about half
the amount stolen from animal care organizations and the rest from
organizations chiefly involved in advocating for wildlife and habitat.
Among 58 cases reported to the fraud examiners in a random
survey of charities, the typical thief was a female employee paid
less than $50,000 a year, who had worked for the organization at
least three years. The average amount she stole was less than
The largest thefts were committed by male executives who were
paid between $100,000 and $149,000 per year, and were usually the
senior person in the organization.
Fraud cases involving animal charities appear to fit the
pattern, the ANIMAL PEOPLE archives indicate. The amount stolen,
according to the fraud examiners’ projection, is similar to earlier
ANIMAL PEOPLE estimates.
Researchers Janet S. Greenlee, Mary Fischer, Teresa P.
Gordon, and Elizabeth K. Keating published their findings in the
December 2007 edition of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly.