The donation was designated to be used to support a long-standing, Board of Directors approved project assisting homeless people in my city. However, my donation was instead allocated to the charity’s general account. When I first reported the error, it was initially corrected. Later that year, my donation was once more diverted back to the general account without informing me.
When I again raised my concerns and pointed out the error, the National Director refused to honour my designation of the donation. I proposed a Charity-to-Charity Transfer consistent with the Canadian Revenue Agency’s Charity rules and regulations. The Chairman of the Board agreed but insisted the written agreement contained an NDA. It was made clear to me that signing the NDA was a pre-condition for the charity to make the transfer to correct their error. On the advice of a well-meaning lawyer, I signed it. The NDA stated that the agreement, its terms and existence, could not be spoken about to anyone. Sadly, the charity did not then honour their agreement to reallocate the money correctly and we remain in dispute to this day.
- Asking somebody to sign an NDA as part of resolving a financial dispute should be a red flag to any organization with a concern for good governance and accountability.
- Making an NDA a precondition of dispute resolution creates a dangerous context where further abuse can take place.
- Including an NDA is a good indication that the organisation has something to hide and that they are prepared to use the threat of legal action to protect their secrets.
Sadly, NDAs also have a very detrimental impact on those who sign them. For me, the emotional impact has been overwhelming. Far from providing any form of resolution, the NDA prevents both resolution and reconciliation. I am overwhelmed with fear. Anxiety and lack of trust kill the opportunities for authentic relationship. This experience in a Christian organization has been devastating and has led me to leave my Christian community.