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All-in-the-Family Charities Receive F's

   Apr 01, 2009

While not all charities that have family members running them receive poor grades from the American Institute of Philanthropy, many of them do. The Chronicle of Philanthropy last September published "Family Ties: a Sampling of Charities With Relatives in Top Spots." Five of the six family-run charities mentioned in the article receive F grades from AIP. (Note: Unless otherwise stated the following relationships were identified in each charity's tax form.):

American Veterans Coalition was founded and is run by Robert Friend and his wife Shao Mei Wang. The couple also founded three other groups that they operate together.

Cancer Fund of America was founded by James Reynolds Sr., who has two sons on staff, James Jr. and Michael, and a son-in-law, Joshua Loveless.

Children's Wish Foundation International has as its top two executives a husband and wife, Arthur J. Stein and Linda Dozoretz.

Feed the Children has a husband and wife, Larry and Frances Jones, in the two top spots and a daughter, Larri Sue Jones, who formerly served as general counsel.

National Association of Chiefs of Police told AIP that family connections include a mother, Donna M. Shepherd, and her two sons, Barry and Brent, as well as her former daughter-in-law, Jamie, in key positions.

A charity's executive may appear to have a reasonable salary until you learn that his wife and children are also on the group's payroll. Angel Food Ministries is a nonprofit that generously compensates the family that operates it. The Wingo family (consisting of the parents, Wesley Joseph and Linda Wingo, and their two sons, Andrew and Jonathan Wesley) received $2.5 million in combined compensation over the two fiscal years 2006 to 2007. In addition all four family members had a combined $1.098 million worth of loans outstanding from the charity as of year ending 2007.

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