State Probe of Doc Hurley Foundation Sad Reminder of Need for Responsible Non-Profit Management

In the 1970s, Hartford sports legend Walter “Doc” Hurley “began raising money for the Doc Hurley Scholarship Fund to give needy students some modest help paying for college.

An article in Sunday’s Hartford Courant revealed that the paper’s investigation had found:

The Doc Hurley Scholarship Foundation that boosted the college dreams of hundreds of Hartford-area students has nearly collapsed, losing its tax-exempt status and its board of trustees, and awarding no more than two new scholarships in the past five years…. Twelve years after boosters raised at least $1.7 million to build an endowment for the foundation, less than a third of that money remains, with no public accounting of spending since 2007.

The Foundation hasn’t filed hasn’t filed federal tax or state corporate registration forms in five years and it has experienced an exodus of its board of trustees.

This sad news for Hartford is a reminder of how critical it is for charities with 501(c)(3) non-profit status (and those organizations who may be seeking 501(c)(3) status), to make sure that are meeting all state and federal requirements to maintain or acquire that status.

Tax-exempt status is a wonderful opportunity for charitable organizations to further their missions, but it requires responsible and diligent legal, fiscal, and organizational planning, stewardship, and management by the entity’s board of directors in conjunction with their legal and accounting professionals.

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Written by Meghan Freed