The cold caller to the New To Seattle world headquarters said she was soliciting funds for Southwest Indian Relief Council, which she described as providing needed food and other goods to the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. I asked if the organization was a stand-alone charity in its own right or just a trade name used by another nonprofit.
Stand-alone, she replied.
I asked her for the charity’s tax identification number, which makes it easier to track down information. After a long wait, she provided the number. Meanwhile, the telephone connection was so bad I asked where on the sprawling reservation she was calling from.
“Manilla,” she replied.
Having lived near the reservation for 12 years, I told her I was not familiar with that place within the Navajo Nation.
The caller said she was in The Philippines.
“Oh,” I said.
Given that revelation, I was not surprised to learn after subsequent research that the Southwest Indian Research Council is not a stand-alone organization. Nor that the parent charity has been enmeshed in a lingering scandal. Nor that most of the cash raised didn’t seem to reach needy Indians in the form of tangible aid.