Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Middle East Childrens Alliance does not meet Better Business Bureau standards for charity accountability

The venerable Better Business Bureau evaluates not only commercial enterprises, but non-profits as well. Their mission:

Creating a community of trustworthy businesses
* Setting standards for marketplace trust
*Encouraging and supporting best practices
*Celebrating marketplace role models, and;
*Denouncing substandard marketplace behavior

MECA- the Middle east Children's Alliance is, of course the organization that sought to punish the Oakland Museum of children's Art for not capitulating to their demands. Barbara Lubins group hijacked the facebook page of MOCHA, and coordinated two days of protests in front of the museum.

According to the Better Business Bureau, MECA fails to meet the BBB standards for charity accountability.

From the BBB website:

Evaluation Conclusions

Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) does not meet the following 4 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

MECA does not meet this Standard because:

The board of directors does not have a written policy stating that, at least every two years, an appraisal be done assessing the organization’s performance and effectiveness and determining future actions required to achieve its mission.
Standard 7: Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness - Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

MECA does not meet this Standard because:

It has never completed an effectiveness assessment, and does not have one planned in the near future.
Standard 11: Financial Statements - Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $250,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $100,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

MECA does not meet this Standard because:

Although the organization's income exceeded $250,000 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, it states it does not have audited financial statements for the past fiscal year.
Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

MECA does not meet this Standard because the organization's website, www.mecaforpeace.org, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

Electronic access to the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990.

In addition, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight and finances and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability: 3 and 13.

According to the BBB, Barbara Lubin, Executive Director of MECA has a salary of $103,700 and has 6 paid staff members. Fund raising costs amounted to 22% of related contributions.

With charities, as in all endeavors: Let the Buyer beware

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is rather dated, and I'm not sure if its still relevant but see

The Middle East Children's Alliance is the "fiscal sponsor" of the International Solidarity Movement

Note that the International Solidarity Movement promotes criminal activities in other countries, and this suggests that 501(c)(3) tax exempt money from MECA is being diverted for that purpose.

Donations may also be sent to:
PO BOX 5073
BERKELEY CA 94705-0073

Please make checks out to: “MECA (ISM-USA Fund)”.
The Middle East Children’s Alliance is the fiscal sponsor for ISM-USA. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Their tax exemption number is: 94-3074600.