Wednesday, December 13

Toronto Star reports MADD Canada suspends fundraising

The Toronto Star reported shocking news on Wednesday morning. After a series of scathing articles aimed at the fundraising practices of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in Canada - the newspaper claimed the nonprofit has suspended fundraising operations. The move comes days after CEO Andrew Murie defended the organizations fundraising practices.

A Star investigation published Saturday delved into MADD's internal financial statements and revealed that only about 19 cents of every dollar goes to victim services and the fight against drunk driving. The charity, which has for many years been telling the public that most of its money is spent on charitable programs, has been counting as charity the work of professional telemarketers and other fundraisers. MADD does this, Murie has said, on the theory that their calls for cash are also spreading the message that drinking and driving is a criminal offence with sometimes fatal consequences. The federal charity regulator does not condone this practice.

Shortly after the story was published, the national charity's fundraising campaigns were suspended, Murie announced Monday evening, according to MADD volunteers on the national conference call. "We've been off the phones since Saturday morning," Murie said during the call.

The article goes on to say local chapters are claiming it's not enough and they want to bring in an outside firm to scour the $12 million-a-year charity's books.

UPDATE (8:56pm): A representative of MADD Canada went on Talk Radio 650 AM today to refute the Star's claim. Louise Knox, MADD's Western Chapter Services Manager, says the charity has not suspended fund raising, and does not need to. She says they fall within Canada Revenue guidelines, and keep in close contact with the government.

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