Drew Morrison-CityGuru is ripping off Charities? Exploiting Non-Profit brand names to promote CityGuru For-profit events? Hardly the type of press any CityGuru Shareholder wants to hear, and that is the purpose of this post: to call attention to reconsidering how CityGuru teams with Charities or Non-Profit organizations to circumvent any appearance of indiscretion.
The practice of For-Profit companies partnering with Charitable and Non-Profit organizations to raise funds, community awareness or other benefits is a common—and desirable—business practice. The benefits are mutual; the For-Profit promotes Good Will within the community and the Non-Profit enhances its resources of support. To the credit of our founder, Drew Morrison, CityGuru has been successful in partnering with some notable Seattle Charities/Non-Profits in promoting several CityGuru events.
CityGuru sponsored several events to benefit Mary’s Place, even creating a website to promote and collect donations in behalf of the Non-Profit organization. Morrison promoted a New Membership drive for CityGuru by promising a percentage of the new membership fees to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. CityGuru sponsored events such as “The Ladies Night Out”, “Cute Pups & Hot Men” and “To The Table” were to benefit both the Homeward Pet Adoption Center and the Inspire Youth Project. And, the CityGuru event with an unlikely name of “Blood, Boobs & Booze” committed to raise funds for the Pink Gene Foundation.
However, a recent backlash for what seemed to be innocent-enough intentions, has resulted in controversy and downright suspicion of intentions by Drew Morrison-CityGuru.
Controversy revolving around Drew Morrison-CityGuru’s relationships with its Charity/Non-Profit partners surfaced immediately following the ill-fated CityGuru-sponsored “Ferraris & Fashion Show” event. Claiming unforeseen circumstances, Drew Morrison cancelled the event at the last moment leaving several business owners in a lurch with incurred expenses and CityGuru indebted with a promise to “make things right” by founder, Drew Morrison.
Bad press for Drew Morrison began to surface soon afterwards, presuming from the same angry and frustrated business owners when it became obvious they were not going to be paid. A particularly stinging article regarding the incident appeared in The RipOff Report. This report triggered another controversy surrounding the Drew Morrison-CityGuru website, CityGuru SupportsPurple.com.
Though the public could donate directly via the website, the donations would first pass through Drew Morrison and then onto Mary’s Place. But Morrison’s own revelation he has no company accounting system nor keeps financial records–and therefore no means to account for any donations raised through the website—only stirred the controversy. Furthermore, it was revealed that Mary’s Place had not sanctioned Drew Morrison or the website to collect donations in its behalf.
NOTE: While in a May, 2015 Deposition, Drew Morrison testified that he was not aware of this website nor did he know who designed and launched it. Within days, the donation page was inactive and now we are pleased to announce the website has appeared to have been removed in its entirety.
Further controversy was exacerbated following an email response from the Susan G. Komen Foundation that they were not affiliated with Drew Morrison or CityGuru, and apparently not aware of the founder/company’s promotion to increase paid CityGuru memberships in the name of the well-known Non-Profit organization.
Other Charities/Non-Profits whose names have been used to promote CityGuru events, have not been as forthcoming as the Komen Foundation to our questions regarding receipt of any proceeds promised to them from certain CityGuru events. Perhaps this can be expected if considering the possibility the organization may yet receive proceeds or benefits from future CityGuru events.
AVOID THE APPEARANCE OF INDISCRETION
When asked about payments, during his Deposition, Drew Morrison testified the Charities/Non-Profits hasn’t been paid because the CityGuru events are not making “enough money”. Since he also testified that he keeps no accounting system or financial records for his CityGuru company, it is impossible to determine how much is “enough money”.
It is also impossible to account for money taken in during CityGuru events and thus determining what promised percentage should rightfully go to the Charity or Non-Profit.
For CityGuru Investors, this poses a particular risk of all the possible implications that can arise from Drew Morrison-CityGuru appearing “indiscrete” in its management of funds intended for Charitable/Non-Profit organizations.
A RESOLUTION OF SHAREHOLDERS
Therefore, let it be known:
A. In behalf of current and future CityGuru Shareholders, let this be our resolution that we are committed to the Seattle community in which we operate our business; and we encourage active participation and support of those Charitable and Non-Profit organizations local to that community. We resolve that our founder Drew Morrison should not commit either proceeds or benefits to any Charitable or Non-Profit organization without reasonable assurance that our company, CityGuru can and will deliver.
B. It is our resolution as CityGuru Shareholders that our founder, Drew Morrison will not place CityGuru, Inc. at risk of compromise or of appearing indiscrete in regards to the funds or proceeds intended for certain Charities or Non-Profits raised by CityGuru events/promotions.
C. It is our resolution that until CityGuru, can reasonably demonstrate its fiscal responsibility and maturation as a corporation, our founder Drew Morrison shall not assume responsibility of cash, funds or any other proceeds of value intended for a Charity or Non-Profit organization. Morrison-CityGuru are encouraged to actively support and promote local Charities/Non-Profits but reserve the responsibility of managing and accounting for all receipts and proceeds to either a representative of the Charity/Non-Fiction organization, or the representative of a For-Profit company in which CityGuru partners with to benefit a Chartiy or Non-Profit. It is our resolve that Drew Morrison-CityGuru shall not participate in any such financial transactions without the appropriate transparency.
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