Each year, billions of dollars are stolen from charities by people working for them. One simple way to keep that from happening, a former state regulator told attendees of the Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting in Vancouver, is for chief executives of nonprofits to sit down with staff members and ask bluntly: How would you steal from me?
Michael DeLucia, former director of charitable trusts in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, said that direct approach was not his idea, but he learned it from an ex-FBI agent.
The first time chief executives pose the question, no one may speak up, he said, but the second time, workers will be talking about the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the charity’s systems and suggesting improvements.
“Leaders need to send a clear message from the top,” Mr. DeLucia said.
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