City to cease fundraising for private charity - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

City to cease fundraising for private charity

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We found out that the Special Olympics is the only non-profit organization in our region the city runs external fundraising efforts for. We found out that the Special Olympics is the only non-profit organization in our region the city runs external fundraising efforts for.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The City of Wilmington is changing its policy, following a story we aired recently on the city's involvement with Special Olympics.

WECT was one of 500 local businesses to receive a letter on City of Wilmington stationary, soliciting donations for the Special Olympics. We found out that's the only non-profit organization in our region the city runs external fundraising efforts for.

City Councilwoman Laura Padgett said she did not know this was going on until we brought it to her attention. Although she supports the city's funding of Special Olympics programming, she thought the city's direct involvement in soliciting donations for this private charity was inappropriate.

Padgett said she thought it put the Special Olympics at an unfair advantage over other public charities, like Wounded Warriors and the American Cancer Society. She asked city staff and fellow council members to look at this issue.

City officials say staff members who were excited to help Special Olympics took on fundraising responsibilities without thinking about how it might look to other charities that didn't get to use taxpayer resources.

We have just learned the city will continue to finance programming for Special Olympics events, but moving forward, they don't plan to use taxpayer money or city stationary to fundraise.  They'll use Special Olympics proceeds for mailers, and the solicitation will come from the local Special Olympics Chairperson and not a public employee.

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved. 

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