Must Modern Philanthropy Be So Corrosive?

In a NPQ (Nonprofit Quarterly) story, it quotes Komal Shah, a trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, asking, "How evil is too evil when it comes to donors?" The question is in connection to new details that emerged regarding Jeffrey Epstein's relationship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

MIT had previously admitted that it has received donations from Epstein. In an apologetic statement, its president, L. Rafael Reif, conceded that the university had "accepted about $800,000 in donations over two decades, all of which went to the MIT Media Lab or to physicist Seth Lloyd."

MIT's Media Lab received at least $7.5 million directly from Epstein and his fundraising efforts. Epstein was proven not only as a significant donor but as an important solicitor of other potential benefactors, and the university knew this was wrong.

It's because MIT's donor database categorized Epstein as "disqualified." Yet its Media Lab continued to actively work with Epstein and accept his funds.

NPQ's prior coverage has seen the need for nonprofits to effectively screen donors and supporters so that they can avoid situations like these. Read the Entire Article


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