An investigative report highly critical of the former Goodwill Omaha management team has lessons for other nonprofits in Nebraska.
Attorney General Doug Peterson said the Goodwill Omaha investigation found too many board members willing to rely too heavily on the former nonprofit CEO Frank McGree.
“Our message today is to those who sit on boards or are considering sitting on boards that it’s important that you understand you have a fiduciary duty to make sure that the money provided to the organization is for the appropriate follow through on the mission of that organization,” Peterson said during a news conference.
The year-long investigation began after the Omaha World-Herald published a series of articles questioning Goodwill’s operations. The Attorney General’s report stated Goodwill Omaha lost sight of its mission, paid its executives excessively, misled consumers about how it would handle donations, and conducted business with companies that employed members of its Board of Trusties.
The report also criticized the Goodwill Omaha Board of Trustees for failing to provide effective oversight and did not fulfill its fiduciary duties to the organization.
Peterson said the board failed to notice red flags about the nonprofit’s activities and didn’t pay sufficient attention to persistent employee complaints.
Peterson said the report provides an important learning lesson for those who sit on nonprofit boards.
“We want to encourage it. The nonprofit community is critical in our community, but we have to make sure that those who sit on these boards take those responsibilities and duties very seriously,” Peterson said.
Goodwill Omaha is under new management and Peterson says the AG office is pleased with the steps taken to address the issues raised in the report.
The AG office has release a resource publication for directors and officers of nonprofits. Best Practices for a Nonprofit Organization may be found by going to the Attorney General website. Click here for the website.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]