They are steaming mad. MADD published a statement from the National Board and also sent out an open letter to the editor of the Toronto Star. The main criticism of the fundraising program centers on joint allocation of expenses based on a "word count" system. MADD claims that they were specifically told how to allocate costs by a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). They even point to a conversation with Mr. G. Garcia from an audit more than four years ago.
In a face-to-face meeting held in MADD Canada’s National Office on July 16, 2002, Mr. Garcia recommended that a word-allocation approach be adopted in assigning expenditures between the purely fundraising activities of MADD Canada and its victim services, public education and awareness, and chapter services. Mr. Garcia then demonstrated how this word-allocation system would apply. MADD Canada took immediate steps to follow-up on the recommendation made by Mr. Garcia.The organization also defends the CEO's decision not to meet with the Star reporter by saying, "the reporter had made his biases clear from the outset, and it was his aggressive and threatening attitude that led Mr. Murie to decide that it would be prudent to have a written copy of the reporter’s questions and a written copy of his responses."
I know for a fact that lots (and lots and lots) of other charities use joint allocation of costs in both Canada AND the United States. Some use a word count method and some take direct mail letters and count the amount of square inches used by fundraising text in order to allocate costs. Yeah, it's crazy. But, if we are going to talk reasonably about it, we should know all the facts and we should also talk about the huge problems involved with using these measures to evaluate effectiveness in the first place.
Who remembers when the Sacramento Bee went after Defenders of Wildlife and other environmental groups in 2001 over joint allocation of fundraising costs?
Regular readers will see I added an UPDATE to an article from earlier today and reading the a spokeswoman denies the Star's report that MADD has suspended it's fundraising program.