By adamg on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 10:35am The Jamaica Plain Gazette reports on the indictment of the former executive director of Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street, charged with funnelling $20,000 of the organization's money into personal purchases. Neighborhoods: Jamaica PlainTopics: CrimeFree tagging: Hyde SquareJackson Square Tweet WidgetFacebook Like Comments These non-profit scandals are ridiculously commonplace. And some of these non-profit directors make BIG $. I know one director of a homeless facility that makes over $300,000., has his kids private school tuition paid, and God knows what other perk. Boston Food Bank for one Recently on the news was about non-profit status abuse. The NFL is a non-profit. That's right, $9 Billion in revenues, the National Football League is set up as a non-profit. Many lobbying organizations are non-profit "educational" companies and clearly lie on their IRS 990 filings. MassBike is one, claiming not to influence any legislation or policy. ..sigh... MassBike....NFL. Yes, I can see the equivalency there in regards to non-profit status abuse. As we all know MassBike has the entire State legislature in their deep, deep pockets. "A Stretch Too Far" where Field Marshall Mark K. ensures no bike lane is painted on the bridge at Arnhem. Conspiracy! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! TWO WHEELS GOOD! FOUR WHEELS BAD! Now, for some education ... many groups are both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4! Yes! You can do that! You just have to keep track of what money goes where. Teach people how to bike safely? Talk to schoolkids about street safety? Charitable! Advocate for policy changes with policy makers - perfectly fine, so long as you keep the donations and books separate! Once again, Markk shows his foolishness about life in the real grownup world. clarification 501(c)3 organizations can engage in limited lobbying.Handy reference As the citation states: ...lobbying occurs only when there is an expenditure of money by the 501(c)(3) for the purpose of attempting to influence legislation. Where there is no expenditure by the organization for lobbying (such as lobbying by members or volunteers), there is no lobbying by the organization. The right of citizens to petition their government is basic to our democratic way of life, and associations, including 501(c)(3)s, are one of the most effective vehicles for making use of citizen participation in shaping public policy. Fortunately, the legislation passed by Congress in 1976 makes it possible for 501(c)(3)s to lobby freely for the causes, communities and constituencies they serve. Which is to say if members and/or volunteers of MassBike or any other organization want to advocate for bike legislation, they are free to do so. MassBike does not have a staff of lobbyists prowling the halls of the State House to the best of my knowledge (disclosure: I do not work for them nor am I a member or volunteer). And on top of that the lobbying issues with the feds is, as I understand it, about legislation, not policy set by the executive branch, such as MassDOT. There is nothing stopping the paid staff of any 501(c)3 from talking to MassDOT staff and recommending policy that does not require legislative approval. 501(c)3 organizations have been misused by unscrupulous people from time to time, but the referenced case here is about embezzlement of funds from an organization by an unscrupulous director and it really doesn't matter if it was a 501(c)3, 4 or an LLC - it was theft. Using this story to damn non-profit organizations in general or to specifically cast aspersions on a bike advocacy group because you've got some sick and twisted car fetish and/or are compensating for something horrible that was done to you in your childhood by a bicyclist, a la a cheezey Spiderman villain from the Electric Company, is really unwarranted and reveals your inner troll (which is actually the same as your outer troll). Nonprofits - good/bad HahaHa this has GOT to be THE John W that I know & love... If not thanks for making me laugh out loud The NFL is a 501(c)(6) trade The NFL is a 501(c)(6) trade association. They're not exactly pretending to be a charity. Hmmm I drive by there on my way to work in the morning and was surprised to see someone in there this morning before 7AM. I guess now I know why. Did he spend any of that $20,000 at Whole Foods?