Those of us in Maine and in the nation are well known as a society of giving to those in our country who are in need of help to be able to survive and live. Not only do we contribute to local charities, but we also give to the needy in the world. Big organized charities and the agencies that they sponsor are in effect big business – an industry.
It is said that these nonprofit agencies employ nearly three times as many employees as the Maine state government and spend millions of dollars. The question now arises as to who audits and monitors the activities of these tax-free organizations.
The United Way Charities of Eastern Maine control more than 73 programs and administer them with advice and funding. The federal government gives a large part of this funding to them and the state also gives funds, as well as funds given from foundations. The question arises as to how much trickles down to the needy and how much goes for expenses, salaries and perks.
One of the large programs that comes under the auspices of the United Way is the Eastern Agency on Aging which and by itself is a large entity. The EAOA has a contract with the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services to provide a large number of services to the elderly and Alzheimer’s disease sufferers as well as many others. These services are not forthcoming and they appear to be nonexistent.
There is no question that the Legislative Oversight Committee should address the problem of nonprofit organizations that collect funds from many sources and deliver little if any help to the ones that need help.