Question: School not giving out promised awards after fundraiser

I was involved in a golf fundraiser for my private school. Kids were promised cash prizes if certain criteria were met. Business donors were promised plaques. Certain size donations were to receive a trip. Kids who sent the most brochures out were also to get a prize, response from longest distance, etc. The only prize that was awarded was one trip, and that was claimed by the school's marketing director. None of the kids received their cash awards and businesses did not receive plaques. I was not reimbursed for over $500 I purchased and submitted for reimbursement. The principal is aware of the issue - was questioned by the parent who headed up the fundraiser and myself. This fundraiser was done April 2012. It is November 2012, so clearly they have no intention of addressing this. Who do I report this fraud to? I am in the State of Indiana. I feel responsible as I was a part of this fundraiser. This is a private christian school. Of course, right?

Asked by kmao159



Community Advice

gjcoram writes:
To whom does the principal report? Is there a board of directors for the school? They should be aware -- and very concerned -- that the businesses won't ever donate again if they feel that they have been wronged. Is there an accounting firm that handles yearly audits?

Community Advice

gjcoram writes:
Do you have any written documentation about the prizes the kids were supposed to get? I think you might have trouble proving fraud, though it sure looks bad for the marketing director. Is the principal usually responsive? You might tell him that you're going to be collecting names of the kids who were due prizes and didn't get them, and be sure to mention to all the parents that you didn't get reimbursed your $500, so they should think twice before agreeing to help out with any future fundraiser.

Community Advice

firefighter464 writes:
Dear KMAO159: The trouble with enforcement of all laws (fraud included) is that A. Folks who break the law need to be caught. (No, they have no conscience) B. the person catching them needs to be willing to take action. C. the entities in charge of punishment for lawbreakers need to take action. You have A and B., (congratulations to you, by the way, for caring to take action. Most folks out of self-preservation or telling themselves they don’t have time, turn a blind eye or tell themselves ‘lesson learned’ and walk away leaving the wrongdoers a chance to score again on the next do-nothing person.) Sad to tell you, in reality C. won’t happen. Most folks in power know this. Naïve trusting honest people don’t know this. (I’ve always thought I need to write a book called “The rest of the story” to inform honest people what reality really is.) Prosecutors have bigger fish to fry. Pursuing anything costs more than it’s worth. Doesn’t matter if it’s Indiana or Washington.

Gicoram’s suggestion to tell other parents will simply put you on the radar as a negative-nellie who’s trying to harm the wonderful people who do so much for your school or making for bad publicity. How dare you, huh? (I had a pastor tell me that he wouldn’t beseech his flock to seek correction of the wrongdoing we caught because it would alienate too many in his congregation whom he knew were friends with the wrongdoer. And he himself didn’t recognize anyone else in the community who had the skills to take over the wrongdoer’s position and do it as well as she did. She was known for getting grants for our school. I was personally shocked. Apparently her grant-getting was an asset that allowed her to do just about anything else to include theft, falsifying records, slander, bullying and intimidation and admin would turn a blind eye.) Believe me they (principal etc) have more friends higher up than you probably do. There’s never been a private who could get a general to fix what a major screwed up. The officers are in charge. Typically they use volunteers such as yourself and move on to the next ones without a care. Parents move thru the school. They are there to stay. People will do a lot of wrong things when their jobs/powers are threatened in this economy. Gicoram suggests you can wise up other parents, but, like a strike, you have to be all-inclusive to have any effect. Scabs are what admin counts on. Get wise and unless you have the numbers of willing participants to stage a coup and enforce change, it’s stomach-churning but walk away. Don’t sacrifice yourself. Or, at bare minimum, get lost in a crowd, don’t stand alone.

Believe me, I have your back.

Answer this question: