William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (September 2, 2018)—Since June CNBNews has been investigating inquiries from our readers about the non-profit charity Neighbors United (NU), located in Gloucester City. That organization held a music festival at Proprietors Park, King Street, and the Delaware River on June 23. The majority of the public's questions pertained to monies that were donated to them from the city and others for that event. They wanted an accounting of those funds.
According to NU, they are trying to raise money to build a community center in the city.
CNBNews reached out to them on two different occasions via hand-written letters in August. The first letter was delivered personally by this reporter on August 19 to their address on Middlesex Street and placed in their mailbox. In that letter, we asked their contact person, Stevie Kircher for a review of their financial records for the period of January 1, 2018, up until the present date. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules that governed non-profits were cited and a request was made for an appointment date to see those records. Included was our contact information.
Five days later Kircher sent the following response.
"I received the letter that you illegally placed in my mailbox. In the future, please simply email our organization or place a postage stamp on your letter and mail it legally. I was not aware that you had requested any information from Neighbors United as you had not contacted any of our board members directly.
"The information that you are requesting can be found online here https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/. Simply enter our EIN as 82-4146081 and click the drop down to find our 990 Postcard. It may not be uploaded to the IRS website yet but it should be available for your review within the next 30 days."
It was signed, "Have a nice day Mr. Cleary. Best, Stevie Kircher"
Note: the documents from that search and others appear below the article.
Many of the questions asked on the Neighbors United Charity Details report were left blank. What is included on the form is the charities' registration number-CH4038300; the Federal EIN -824146081, Charity File Standing- Compliant. Listed under Total Revenue was $1,115; Report in File-6/30/18 (4AM).
For some reason, other fields were left blank (see the form below)
The following letter, which was sent certified return receipt, several days day later basically asked some of the same questions and reiterated our request for an interview.
Here is an excerpt from the second letter.
"The majority of those remarks (from the public) pertain to the amount of money you have raised and your plans for that money. We feel the public has a right to that information not only because you are a non-profit organization but also because you received a direct $2500 donation from the taxpayers via mayor and council and also received $2500 from the 150th-anniversary celebration committee. You have also received monies directly from local businesses and residents."
"However, the report you filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on June 30, 2018, which was seven days after the music festival you list only $1,115 under income and expenses. You left all of the other fields on that report blank."
"On your GoFundMe page, listed under the title GC Community Center Fundraiser it shows you have raised $205 as of today. That page reveals that your goal is to raise $50,000. Found on other sites is your requests for residents to buy Yankee Candles and T-shirts also under the premise that money is going to be used to build a community center."
Included in the letter were questions about the location of the community center, how did they arrive at the $50,000 on their GoFundMe page and who was going to man the center. Lastly, it was pointed out that St. Marys Parish had announced earlier this year that they were going to build such a center at 420 Monmouth Street located next to the parish rectory?
"Won't you be duplicating services?" we asked.
As of this posting, we haven't received a reply.
Lisa Coryell, Public Information Officer for the New Jersey Attorney General's Office provided answers to some questions we had about non-profit organizations active in the State of New Jersey.
CNBNews-What state agencies oversee non-profit organizations?
Coryell—There are many agencies within the State that oversee aspects of non-profit organizations, including the Division of Consumer Affairs. The Division's Charities Registration Section administers and enforces the provisions of the Charitable Registration & Investigation Act (CRI Act). The CRI Act regulates the fundraising activities of most charitable organizations and all professional fundraisers, fund-raising counsels, commercial co-ventures and solicitors conducting business within this State by requiring them to register and file annual financial reports with the Charitable Registration Section. Consumers wishing to verify that an organization and/or a professional fundraiser soliciting them is currently registered, can search our Directory of Registered Charities or call our Charitable Registration Hotline at (973) 504-6215.
CNBNews- How often does a non-profit organization have to file their financial paperwork with the state?
Coryell-NJ registered charities are required to file their annual registration within six months of their fiscal year end date.
CNBNews-Does a non-profit organization have to show their financial records to any citizen that ask to see them?
Coryell-The CRI Act does not speak to matters concerning public inquiries of individual organizations. Information charities are required to file with the Division are publically accessible online via the Division's Directory of Registered Charities.
CNBNews—Have you received any other inquiries about Neighbors United or the Citizens for Positive Growth located in Gloucester City?
Coryell—The Division has not received any consumer complaints about either organization. Neighbors United (CH4038300) is a registered NJ Charity. Consumers wishing to file a complaint against a charity can do so online at https://njconsumeraffairs.state.nj.us/file-a-complaint/.
CNBNews-Where would someone find any actions taken against this charity or any other charity operating in the State of New Jersey?
Coryell-The Division neither confirms nor denies, the status or existence of investigations. Actions filed against a charity by the Division are posted on our website.
If any resident or interested person has a concern about the Neighbors United, the Citizens for Positive Growth, or any other charity it is suggested that you click on the links provided in our interview with Lisa Coryell, the press spokesperson for the AG. She provided links that would help you in finding the right person or agency to report your concerns too.