By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist project director. February 16, 2012
The Courage to Resist organizing collective was formed in late 2005 as a fiscally sponsored project of the International Humanities Center (IHC). In October 2010, we ended our relationship with IHC and have since operated as a project of the Alliance for Global Justice (“Now a program of the Alliance for Global Justice”, October 12, 2010) In light of IHC’s recent very suspicious closure, this turned out to be a very good move on our part. (“Vanishing act: Activist groups say donations disappeared with fiscal sponsor”, NonProfit Quarterly, February 3, 2012). I’m able reassure our friends and supporters that Courage to Resist, and the Bradley Manning defense fund which we currently host, were not financially affected by IHC’s closure.
Having a fiscal sponsor allows us to focus more of our energies on our mission of supporting GI resisters, and less on the administrative effort required to keep a non-profit running. And for nearly five years, we had a very good working relationship with IHC. However, starting in late 2009, the level of service and support IHC provided us began slowly declining, while their fees began to creep upward.
By mid-2010, IHC was no longer providing anything near satisfactory service. Despite the significant administrative effort, Courage to Resist ended our relationship with IHC in October 2010 due to a compelling necessity to have our invoices, rent, and bills paid in a timely manner. When we left IHC, I chalked up their shortcomings to poor staffing and management. To learn that IHC was basically running a ponzi scheme on the hundreds of projects under its fiscal umbrella from 2009 onward is “shocking”, but not really “a surprise”—if that makes any sense.
Because IHC never removed Courage to Resist from their website’s directory of sponsored projects, one of the news articles about IHC’s collapse incorrectly listed Courage to Resist as one of the organizations that collectively lost over a million dollars by the recent developments. Fortunately for us, we were able to cajole IHC into transferring our remaining funds under their control by the end of 2010.