By Agnes Moran
May 29, 2008
Non-profit organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code are accountable to the public for
how they generate and spend their funds. At a minimum, when requested,
they are required to provide tax returns and copies of their
letters of determination for nonprofit status along with the
supporting documentation the organization used to prove to the
IRS that they were qualified for 501( c)(3) status. (For more
information see IRS publication 4221 Compliance Guide for 501(
c)(3) Public Charities.) Ketchikan-Kanayama Exchange Inc is
a 501(c)(3) qualified organization.
Most non-profit organizations are happy to provide the public
with information about their policies and procedures beyond what
the IRS requires that they disclose. For example, a quick web
search of local non-profits including The Ketchikan Killer Whales,
The Ketchikan Theater Ballet, The Ketchikan Dribblers League,
The Ketchikan Youth Soccer League, showed that these organizations
provide links to their policy manuals, league manuals, code of
conduct, etc. on their web sites for all to see. These groups
make a good faith effort to disclose what is expected of individuals
that wish to participate in their organization. In this manner
they are able to inform the public about their activities and
show that they are using donations responsibly.
I find it very disturbing that a simple request for information
by a parent on the policies and procedures used by the Kanayama
organization to disqualify their child from the program has resulted
in essentially a public character assassination of the child.
I would have expected that the Kanayama organization would simply
have had to point to their policy manual to explain their decision
making process and the discussion is over. If further debate
was necessarry it should have focused on the methodology used
in the decision process and not the individuals involved. One
is left to wonder if the group has any formal policies and procedures
that they followed to support their decision. I have not been
able to find any that are easily publically accessible.
I have no doubt that the Kanayama organization has benefitted
some individuals in the community. There have been testimonials
to this effect. Unfortunately, there are also many stories coming
from families whose children were rejected at very late stages
from the program and believe they were not given an adequate
explanation as to why. (Please note that this is not a request
for a another public inquisition.) It is hard to discern the
truth about these situations when there is no easily accessible
public information as to the requirements and expectations the
Kanayama Organization levies on its members.
I have supported Kanayama in the past but in the future, I will
concentrate my donations on organizations that provide public
disclosure of their procedures and policies.
I can only hope that this child can someday find it in her heart
to forgive these adults that have treated her so appallingly
in such a public manner.
Ward Cove, AK
Received May 29, 2008 - Published
May 29, 2008
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