5/5/16 Regarding Neil Carter -
Accountability & Transparency
Recovering from Religion is committed to the highest level of ethical transparency, donor accountability, and legal compliance.
On Thursday, April 21, 2016 the organization received an email requesting information regarding the Neil Carter fundraiser. The person making the request had read allegations on social media inferring that Neil had not satisfactorily completed work on the contract the funds were raised to accomplish. Attached to her email was a note from Neil giving permission for RfR to respond to her email. We would offer the screenshots as evidence, however, we do not have the permission of all parties to do so. We did reply to this person and the RfR response was then posted to Facebook by another party.
Please note: Recovering from Religion did not post this information on social media, we only responded privately to the inquiry.
We assume Neil saw this post that had been made public via Facebook and made a choice to respond on his own Facebook page with his rebuttal to our email. (Attachment 1) Because Neil has decided to take steps and escalate this issue into the public space, RfR finds it necessary to respond to Neil and correct the record. We will not respond to each item he listed on his "Contractor Report" but felt we should address just a few for perspective.
Neil was compensated to do specific work with a defined set of guidelines funded by donors and our expectation was that the work would be accomplished as specified in the contract. When it was not, it was our obligation to appropriately, consistently, and repeatedly offer specific feedback and course correction. These corrections did not manifest over the course of the contracted period.
As we stated in our email, our intention is to pursue a remedy as detailed in the contract. We plan to make all this public to the extent we can after we take appropriate action. We will not sign an NDA.
However, while we respectfully decline to have his entire contract litigated in the court of public opinion, we feel compelled to react to a few comments in Neil’s “Final Report” because of the egregiousness of the distortions.
Neil is accurate in stating that some of his payments were late. We cannot go into too much detail about why, because that information is protected in an NDA from a separate issue. What he does not mention is that he received 2 early payments. What is also critical to mention is that he received 100% of what was owed to him over 5 weeks prior to the conclusion of the contract. The organization offered him additional time and guidance to complete the unfinished portions of the contract and he declined.
It should be noted one of the reasons for late payment of the second installment was that Neil declined to give us his bank information and therefore we could not transfer funds directly to his account as we anticipated.
Section 2.8 on Neil's report he states, "he maintained ongoing communication with the database manager."
The facts unfortunately don't support that statement.
Neil missed 7 of 10 scheduled calls with the database manager. (Attachment 3) In addition, there were other times where the database manager reached out over and over again via text, email and phone without response. We have email and text strings to support this.
Section 2.9 Neil states he “participated in regular staff meetings during his tenure and met within a reasonably scheduled time whenever they or I requested to do so.” Neil also sites one single miscommunication.
The facts unfortunately don’t support this statement either.
The contract specifically states: "Participate in weekly staff meetings with the Executive Director to review progress".
Neil missed 4 of these meetings in a row (3 without explanation) with the new ED and when the ED finally reached out to him to hold his feet to the fire, Neil claims there is increased hostility and animosity.
The reason we chose to specify these two issues is because it was clear Neil chose not to communicate as mandated in the contract. The organization was concerned about the work product and with Neil's continued failure to update the organization as specified, we were concerned that the contract was not going to be even remotely completed.
Lastly and most curious, Neil highlights Section 4.2.3 in the contract regarding balance of funds due. Neil was in fact paid 100% of what was due to him.
He conveniently leaves out the next item on the contract, Section 4.2.4 which states (Attachment 2):
"Funds raised in excess of the amount due were donated specifically to support Contractor’s term with this organization. Contractor has offered to donate funds in excess of his fee to the Company for designated use."
We are attaching another screenshot from the RfR Facebook page to validate Neil's intention to donate the overage. (Attachment 4) Since this fundraiser was launched through RfR using our tax number, and Neil clearly wanted the funds over and above what he requested to go to RFR as documented by the below attachments, the funds were distributed as specified.
As stated earlier, we intend to pursue a remedy as outlined in the contract.
Board of Directors and Staff of Recovering from Religion
Neil Carter's Godless in Dixie post 9/4/15
See the last line specifically:
"The initial goal has been met, and my needs are covered, but there’s so much more to be done!"