I signed an NDA in 2017 as part of a settlement agreement and release.
I made a donation of $10,000 in 2012 to a Christian charity with explicit instructions for it to be used for a particular program with which I was working, also a Christian charity and operating under the auspices of the first charity (the “umbrella charity”). This was a designated donation. In fact, my donation was not sent to the designated program, but instead transferred to the General Account for the umbrella charity. I pointed out the error, and it was corrected.
However later that year my donation was again diverted from the designated program back to the General Account, along with additional monies that were taken from the homelessness program..
This meant that instead of being used as to help the program I specified, they were diverted to the larger organization of the umbrella charity but I was not informed of this. As a result, the needs of the program I intended to support went unmet.
The umbrella charity is a member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) and has claims to adhere to their Standards of Organizational Integrity and Accountability, On their website they state that “Spending of funds is confined to programs and projects approved by (the umbrella charity). Each restricted contribution designated toward such an approved program or project will be used as designated with the understanding that when the need for such a program or project has been met or cannot be completed for any reason determined by the ministry, the remaining restricted contributions will be used where the need is the greatest. Gifts are acknowledged and receipted with an official tax receipt for income tax purposes.”
However, the needs of the program I wanted to support had not been me and continued to go unmet – this was a homelessness charity in dire need of basic resources to help the homeless. Not only was my designated donation diverted, but at the same time additional monies were taken from the homelessness program and given back the umbrella charity. As a volunteer with the homelessness program, I knew just how desperately that money was needed.
After raising my concerns and insisting that this “redesignation” of my gift be corrected, I made an agreement with the umbrella charity which included the NDA. In that agreement, the umbrella charity agreed to transfer my donation as I requested. The NDA stated that the agreement, its terns and existence, could not be spoken about to anyone. There was no reference to reporting for tax purposes.
In fact, in their reporting to the CRA, the umbrella charity entered my donation under “compensation” for their employees. In the absence of clarification and evidence, recording the transaction as “Compensation” is false or misleading. If it is factually true, this means that the undertaking made to me in the settlement agreement has not been met. Yet I am supposed to continue to abide by the NDA?
To say my trust has been broken does not come close to capturing the impact this has had on me. Christian leaders have destroyed the foundation of my world view: A Christian faith I entered in to on Easter Sunday, 1973. The emotional impact has been overwhelming. I have suffered and continue to suffer significant loss. I am getting professional help to deal with that.
The NDA protects the perpetrator, not the victim – here, homeless people. Furthermore it was used to cover up what I consider to be a fraudulent breach of trust.
I believe that a non-disclosure agreement is fundamentally un-Christian.