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Little Recourse for Donors to Hornbeck Foundation

Megan Lynch @MLynchOnAir
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ST. LOUIS Mo.  (KMOX) – Charity watchdogs say it’s unlikely donors will ever know how one area non-profit spent their money.

Earlier this month the foundation named after Shawn Hornbeck announced it was shutting down.

“It really leaves people high and dry,” says Sandra Minuitti, Vice President of Charity Navigator. Minuitti says its doubtful federal officials will try to investigate now.

“There’s not going to be much recourse here for donors and it’s a terribly sad situation that the organization was allowed to continue so many years not in compliance with IRS rules.”

The last year the foundation filed any financial information with the IRS was for 2008.  That came after pressure from the IRS and Better Business Bureau.

The Hornbeck website says some members of the foundation plan to form their own non-profit search and rescue team.  Minuitti says if that happens potential donors should ask a lot of questions before giving them money.

“If they do move forward we want to make sure they’re being as transparent as possible to the public.  That when people ask questions that they are ready and willing and eager to answer them from everything from their finances to their ethics to their impact.”

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