CharityWatch Articles & Donor Alerts

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Update on Central Asia Institute: The Concerns Continue to Support a "?" Rating

It has been over two years since Greg Mortenson, founder and former long-time executive director of Central Asia Institute (CAI) and controversial Three Cups of Tea author, agreed to pay CAI over $1 million in connection with an April 2012 Settlement Agreement and Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (the Settlement) with the Montana Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Also a party to the Settlement, CAI agreed to make changes to its governance and operational procedures to implement stricter organizational and financial controls and strengthen its independence.

CharityWatch Hall of Shame

The most important lesson to be learned from the following colorful stories of charity scoundrels is that regardless of how distinguished, well-connected and honored a charity leader is, he is only human and may be tempted to use the power and influence of his position to abuse the public's trust and thusly become the next member of the CharityWatch Hall of Shame.

CharityWatch Calls for Resignation of Central Asia Institute's Founder Greg Mortenson

The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) was ahead of the curve in warning donors that the finances of Central Asia Institute (CAI), a charity known for building schools and funding girls' education in Afghanistan and Pakistan, did not match the heroic image of its founder and CEO, Greg Mortenson. A New York Times bestselling author for his books Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, Mortenson was exposed by AIP in early 2010 for intertwining his personal business interests with those of CAI by using charity funds to pay for book promotion and lecture tour expenses.

Nobel Prize Nominee's Charity Wins No Award for Accountability

Central Asia Institute (CAI) is one charity that for many donors and avid readers alike requires no introduction. CAI's co-founder and executive director, Greg Mortenson, is a New York Times best selling author two times over and has received wide recognition for his charitable work in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including two Nobel Peace Prize nominations. While many people are interested in reading Mortenson's books, Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, the one document that AIP is most interested in reading does not exist - CAI's audited financial statements.

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Update: Greg Mortenson, Central Asia Institute

In April 2012, Montana Attorney General announced a settlement agreement requiring Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, to pay more than $1 million in restitution for financial wrongdoing at the charity he founded, Central Asia Institute. The very same three person board, which includes Greg Mortenson and is responsible for the mismanagement of CAI, is empowered with selecting its replacement board, according to the settlement reached with the Montana Attorney General. Read the CharityWatch article that sparked the investigation, and listen to Daniel Borochoff discuss the settlement agreement on NPR. For Borochoff's comments on how the nonprofit sector could be affected by shortcomings in the AG's settlement, read this AP article.

UPDATE: Click here to read about CharityWatch's continued concern about Central Asia Intitute and its "?" rating. 

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