BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Manna, a non-profit organization in Bangor, has not been following a number of the best practices for non-profits as spelled out in a guidebook put out by the Maine Association of Non-Profits.
Manna recently acknowledged that it owes DHHS more than a million dollars for overpayments it accepted for a drug treatment program. It has also failed to file it's federal tax forms for the past three years and keep its list of board members current. Manna's executive director Bill Rae is taking steps to address these problems and says he's focused on continuing to do the good work of Manna, which operates a soup kitchen, food pantry, and drug treatment programs.
But Scott Schnapp, the Executive Director of the Maine Association of Non-Profits says not filing federal 990 tax forms is a concern because those tax forms, which show the money collected and spent by a non-profit each year, are important for transparency.
"Well first of all it's the law," Schnapp said. "filing a 990 is actually part of the responsibility of a non-profit on an annual basis. "
Schnapp wouldn't speak directly about Manna but did address problems in general with the way the organization is structured. Manna is run by Bill Rae, who is the executive director, he's also a member of the four member board of directors, which Schnapp says is another problem.
"It's not illegal to have an executive director sit on a board. We certainly don't see it as a best practice because it creates either a real or perceived conflict of interest as it relates to the duties of the board," he said.
Schnapp says boards should be free to hire, fire, and review the performance of executive directors as it relates to the goal of the non-profit. Advice he would offer to Manna and has offered to many non-profits around the state.
In a brief phone conversation, Manna's Executive Director, Bill Rae said Manna's management structure has been in place for 26 years and has worked fine. He does not see any reason to change it.