OTTAWA — Charity experts say covering the costs of overseas trips by donors is an unusual practice, even though the WE organization says it can lead to bigger donations.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau told a House of Commons committee last week he had freshly repaid WE Charity more than $41,000 in expenses for trips he and his family took in 2017 to see and take part in some of the organization’s humanitarian work.
WE says it had meant to cover the cost of trips and that covering such expenses for potential sponsors is nothing out of the ordinary for the organization — or the international development sector.
Charitably Speaking’s Ann Rosenfield, who has over 20 years of experience in the sector, says paying for rich donors to travel overseas is not common practice.
Both she and Elizabeth Gomery, founding partner of the charitable consulting firm Philanthropica, say charities that do invite donors to participate in overseas trips would expect them to pay their own way.
WE says complimentary trips for sponsors and potential donors has elicited millions of dollars from donors after they saw the organization’s work on the ground.
The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2020.
The Canadian Press