CCCC fundraiser tonight is not registered as a charity

The college's response to questions about tonight's event prove useless

Team M25 Homeless Outreach apparently not registered as a charity

By Walter Brooks

Throughout the week we’ve been hearing about the good work of Cape Cod Community College professor and local author Dan McCullough’s “Team M25” homeless outreach program.  Team M25 searches out the homeless and provides them with items such as shoes, socks, and medical intervention. 

The event's flyer has the college logo on the bottom.
Click here or on the image to see actual poster.

According to the November 1, 2011 edition of Cape Cod Community College’s Main Sheet publication, Prof. McCullough has worked this program for “four or five years” and deals with the most extreme segments of the homeless population – “the people who don’t go to shelters but instead live in places, like railroad tracks and the woods, year round.”  McCullough and his colleagues reportedly do this work as volunteers and thus do not receive salaries or other compensation.

That’s the kind of charity we like to see – all volunteers, zero overhead and “just getting on with the work”. 

That’s exactly the kind of charity we want to profile in Cape Cod Today.  So we asked one of our “Eyes on the Cape” team to obtain some basic information on Team M25 so we could assign a reported to write about the group.

“Houston, we have a problem!”

Our researcher called back the editor and said she could not find a “Team M25” in the IRS Select Check charity look-up tool for Massachusetts.  She could not find them in Guidestar.org nor could she find them in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s public charity division database.

Just to be certain, our researcher downloaded the entire IRS Exempt Organizations database for Massachusetts and searched it unsuccessfully for both “Team M25” and “M25”.

The college’s policy on renting facilities includes the following:

Special Criteria:
A.  Requirements of Law - All events must be operated in such a manner that they will in no way violate any Federal, State or local law, Board or College policy, collective bargaining agreements or concessionaire contracts.  All users shall be responsible for obtaining any required additional permits and licenses and for payment of  applicable fees and taxes.
   If this is indeed a rental by an outside group, then how is a public solicitation by a “charity” not showing in the IRS database and not registered with the AG’s office to conduct public solicitations not in violation of Federal, State or local law? 
   What due diligence does the college conduct when renting to a group representing itself as a public charity for the purposes of soliciting money from the public? 
   Do they ask for a copy of the group’s 501(c)(3) determination letter? 
   Do they ask for a copy of their solicitation certificate issued by the AG’s public charities division?
Cape Cod Community College is holding a high profile fundraiser for Team M25 this evening at 7 p.m. in the Tilden Arts Center.  The event is promoted on the radio, with a display ad on page B3 of today’s Cape Cod Times and also in the Times' "Cape Week" calendar section.

CCCC responds

Early this morning we contacted college president Dr. Kathleen Schatzberg's office to seek her reaction to the college raising money for an apparently un-registered charity.

On our second call we were turned over to Michael Gross who insisted it was for a good cause and brushed off our concerns.

When we tried to ask the Mr. Gross to check our story for accuracy, Mr. Gross keep interrupting our questions by protesting about what a good charity it was, we we never doubted, with comments like, "Don't you want to help a fireman who lost his leg?"

After a couple more attempts to get him focused on the story rather than attacking the messenger, we finally hung up on him.

EDITOR's NOTE: The name M-25 is apparently in reference to the Mathew 25 and M 25:35-36: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

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