The Enron Family Philanthropies (Summer 2006)

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How did the charitable and community involvements of the Enron defendants compare to their business practices? What are the implications for the nonprofit recipients of their contributions? This article goes into great depth to examine the uses of foundations and contributions by former Enron executives Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling and others, showing that the principal uses of the funds were self serving image and social position enhancement. Some foundation funds were seized by court order. The article raises legal and ethical questions about the proper use of foundations and fundraising practices, and argues that nonprofits should have asked more questions before accepting funds from Lay and Skilling.