10 Major Scandals in Charitable Donations: A Look at Fund Misuse

Charitable organizations are crucial in aiding the needy and supporting important causes. However, there have been notable instances of fund misappropriation by deceitful individuals. This article lists the top 10 major scandals in charity donations.

  • United Way Misappropriation (2002): William Aramony, ex-President of United Way, misused over $1.2 million meant for disadvantaged children for personal luxury.
  • Scandal at Kids Wish Network (2013): This charity gathered millions for ill children, but a large part of the money was used for fundraising costs, with little reaching the actual families.
  • Red Cross Post-9/11 Controversy (2001): After 9/11, the Red Cross raised enormous sums, yet much was allocated to overheads instead of victims and their families.
  • Fraud at Salvation Army (2004): An accountant embezzled $2 million over four years through falsified payroll records.
  • Central Asia Institute Mismanagement (2011): Funds raised for Greg Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea” schools were partly used for personal expenses.
  • American Cancer Society Embezzlement (1992): Former leader David Laney was convicted for misusing nearly $7 million meant for cancer research.
  • Boys & Girls Club of America Fraud (2000): The organization’s president misappropriated $4 million via fake invoices.
  • Lutheran Church Embezzlement (2019): Over $8 million was stolen over 12 years by an employee through counterfeit checks.
  • Issues at Disabled Veterans National Foundation (2013): Funds intended for disabled veterans were largely spent on advertising and salaries.
  • World Healing Center Church Theft (2007): The church founder was convicted of using over $4 million intended for charity on personal luxuries.


These scandals highlight the need for transparent, responsible fund management in charities. The shift to digital donation platforms, especially NFTs, promises improved transparency and efficiency in charitable giving.

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