September 25, 2020

by Tom J. Canova, Co-Founder, CMO Modevity

University development fundraising programs are in facing a public relations crisis.  Over the last couple of years there have been major examples of PR disruptions that are far reaching – from Sackler family, Epstein, and highly questionable money from Saudi Arabia and China entities.

While contributions from these funding sources and others who are associated with controversy, or perhaps have ties to companies, countries and individuals with questionable motives – they might once have been welcomed, they have now put many Universities and Charities under intense scrutiny.

These relationships and contributions, once revealed, give rise to uncomfortable questions from the media, legislators, student and faculty groups, and other key stakeholders.  Who knew what, and when?  Was there an extensive Due Diligence vetting and approval process done prior to accepting these funds?  What policies and procedures could have averted the problem?  What should be changed going forward?

A University or Charitable organization’s reputation could be on the line, and the senior leaderships positions at risk when questionable money is accepted.

The recent example of the Epstein case shows how fast reputations can change.  Your celebrity donor today can tomorrow be vilified in the media and with your stakeholder community.

Investigative Due Diligence research today is vital to the fundamental ‘Know Your Donor’ program and Compliance Risk Management initiatives.  But it needs to be part of a continuous process.

In accepting major contributions from foreign sources there certainly can be complexity in these relationships and transactions. For example, the gift may have come from a consortium of companies, in a country in which little or no corporate transparency exists, channeled via a foundation led by a dictator’s family. Complexity makes Due Diligence vetting difficult.  Major donors lead complex lives and may make gifts via complex structures; The Investigative Due Diligence research needs to be undertaken as part of the standard ‘Know Your Donor’ funding process.

Investigative Due Diligence means “doing a thorough job of vetting entities and individuals”. In University Development, Fundraising and Research initiatives – foreign funding sources are becoming more frequent and a major source of new contributions and capital to the University.  These offshore funding sources can be tied to questionable and illegal entities.  Also, confirmation that a person is the person that they claim to be is an essential part of due diligence, as well as the accuracy and reputation of the contributing entity.

Due Diligence research can reveal criminal convictions, Sanctions, PEPS, lawsuits, bankruptcies, etc. where these are recorded in the public domain.

A key focus of your organization is your reputation and trustworthiness – the perception in the public mind and stakeholder community that your organization can be trusted.

Your objective is to maintain and enhance your organization’s trustworthiness. So reputational risk means; “If we accept this substantial funding contribution from a donor, could this damage the public perception that we can be trusted?”

But not everything can be verified with Due Diligence Research, such as funds held in banks.  Also, most wealth held through private trusts, or wealth held in certain jurisdictions cannot always be ascertained.

Modevity Investigative Due Diligence Research Services provides the dedicated due diligence research resources to reduce search and analysis time and allows your professional staff to focus on your other important departmental responsibilities.

Our experienced investigative analysts can search vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently through our powerful database technology platforms and open source tools.  The investigator research analysts quickly and efficiently access billions of domestic and global public records and private data sources.

The Modevity team can help Universities and Charities quickly verify data about individuals, entities, Federal and Global Sanctions, Pep Lists, assets, adverse media, social media, litigation history, criminal records, judgements, professional licenses, patents, and more.  Modevity skilled research analysts can uncover concealed relationships, connections, and complex networks.

Modevity investigative Due Diligence Research Support Services provides the dedicated professional research resources to reduce the search time, increase the volume of vital data needed, analyze and compile a comprehensive detailed custom research report to get you the critical ‘Know Your Donor’ project information quickly.

*Investigative Due Diligence should not be applied the university friends and family and normal consumer donors, but only to major and foreign donors.

Contact info:

(610) 251-0700

#DueDiligence, #InvestigativeDueDiligence, #Sanctions, #Modevity, #AdverseMedia, #Epstein, #CriminalRecords, #ComplianceRisk, #UniverstyRisk, #UniversityCompliance, #PEPS, #KnowYourDonor, #CharitiesRisk, #NGO, UniversityResearchFunding, #UniversityDevelopment, #Fundraising 

Post Details


September 25, 2020