Questions swirl around CCCC and Team M25

Questions swirl around CCCC and Team M25 homeless outreach

Unregistered charity group uses college logo on public solicitation

By Walter Brooks

“It’s not our fundraiser, said Cape Cod Community College President Kathleen Schatzberg in an email to Cape Cod Today.   Dr. Schatzberg was responding to the Eyes on the Cape team’s article about “Team M25” homeless outreach and a fundraiser held Friday night at the College’s Tilden Arts Center featuring CCCC employee and local author Daniel McCullough, a founder of Team M25.

Cape Cod Today’s researchers were unable to find any registration of Team M25 with any of the organizations responsible for tracking public charities.

When we spoke on Friday morning with the college’s Director of Communications, Michael Gross, he kept interrupting our questions with comments like “Don’t you want to help a fireman who lost his leg?” In what appears to be the default response by liberal educators, when confronted by facts Mr. Gross chose to attack the messenger.

No Registration Found for Team M25

We were unable to find Team M25 in the IRS Select Check charity look-up tool for Massachusetts, on Guidestar.org or in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s public charity division database.  In order for a charity to do business in Massachusetts, it must be registered with the Attorney General’s office.

We also searched the IRS database of organizations that submitted form 990-N and the IRS database of revoked charities.  Once again, Team M25 is not to be found.

Finally, we checked the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s database of corporations and again found nothing.  Sometimes a charity will incorporate but the founders don’t know about the Attorney General’s filing requirements, so we wanted to give Team M25 the benefit of the doubt by checking the corporation database.

At the suggestion of President Schatzberg, Cape Cod Today sent Daniel McCullough an email Saturday morning in which we asked for a copy of Team M25’s IRS determination letter and a copy of the group’s Massachusetts solicitation certificate.  Professor McCullough has not responded to that email although it was mailed to his college and Cape Cod Times email addresses as well as through his website DanMcCullough.com.

“Special Relationship” with CCCC?

The promotional flyer for the Friday event.In the same email where Dr. Schatzberg told us, “It’s not our fundraiser”, she said that “Dan and his group are paying the same facility use fee than any group would.”

Cape Cod Community College’s trustees instituted a policy on renting facilities back in 1992 and have periodically amended and added appendices to it since that time.  The policy contains two sections that warrant some attention.

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 Friday night’s fundraiser was indeed a rental by an outside group, then how does 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 “violate Federal, State or local law”? 

We wonder what due diligence the college conducts when renting to a group 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? 

The other relevant section of CCCC’s rental policy is:

K.  College Auspices - No organization and/or individual renting facilities or equipment may in any manner represent themselves or their activities as College sponsored activities or as sanctioned or otherwise recommended by the College.  Any variance from this policy must be approved in writing by the College President or his/her designee.

The flyer and print ad (Page B3 of Cape Cod Times’ 4/20/12 issue) for the Team M25 event prominently features the Cape Cod Community College logo and offers a reduced ticket price to “CCCC students w/photo ID”.  Mr. McCullough is a well-known member of the school’s faculty. 

As one of our researchers said, "That flyer sure looks like a college sponsored event. The logo. The layout matches. He works at the community college. any reasonable person would think the college was involved."

Team M25 has held previous events at CCCC including one on April 22, 2011 which also featured the college’s logo on the promotional material.  A similar even was also held on April 16, 2010 at the college.

Other Solicitations?

Apparently CCCC is not the only fund-raising venue for Team M25.  In Mr. McCullough’s January 8th column in the Cape Cod Times he says in his own words, “Not many months ago, the Roman Catholic congregation of Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville invited me to lunch, asked me to tell them about the plight of homelessness on Cape Cod and sent me away with a gen­erous donation for the homeless. And just a couple of weeks ago, the Masonic Lodge in Cotuit invited me to speak and also gave a very generous donation to the M25 Homeless Outreach team.”

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