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Penn students accused of withholding promised donations to Boys & Girls Club
UPenn Wharton School fundraiser

Students resign, protest after $90,000 allegedly missing from fundraiser

A University of Pennsylvania student group is facing questions after allegedly failing to give about $90,000 in promised donations to a Philadelphia children’s charity.

The allegations involve money raised during the 2023 Penn Fight Night, an annual charity boxing fundraiser organized by UPenn Wharton School graduate students.

The event raised approximately $165,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia, several students told The Daily Pennsylvanian.

However, sources said the Wharton Graduate Association, a student government organization that handles finances for the fundraiser, only donated about $75,000, according to the investigation published this week.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports:

Prior to the most recent event on April 8, 2023, Penn Fight Night advertised that it was their “mission” to raise over $200,000 for the Clubs. This total was not reached, as the 2023 event raised approximately $165,000, according to multiple sources.

A source directly familiar with the matter told the DP that Krishna Shah, the co-chair of Penn Fight Night at the time, emailed the Clubs after the event concluded. The DP obtained the May 4, 2023 email, in which Shah wrote that a donation of $160,000 would be finalized on the following day.

Individuals familiar with the situation said the charity never received all the money, and they do not know what happened to the rest, according to the report.

In February, several students on the fundraising committee resigned as a result of the allegations, the report states.

The association did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The College Fix about the allegations.

The Daily Pennsylvanian also reported WGA has struggled with financial management in recent years.

A university spokesperson confirmed Penn investigated the matter. The association is a separate nonprofit from the university.

“The University conducted a multi-year independent audit of the WGA’s financials and shared the findings with the WGA, club and conference leaders, and Wharton administrators in Fall 2023,” the spokesperson told the Daily Pennsylvanian. “The Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia received a $75,000 donation following the 2023 Penn Fight Night event, which is financially in line with previous donations from Fight Night events.”

However, the news investigation found evidence that Penn Fight Night raised and donated $173,000 to the charity in 2022.

Lawyers told the student newspaper that the likelihood of legal action is slim because the association does not have a contractual obligation to donate the entire amount to the Boys & Girls Club.

The 2024 Penn Fight Night is scheduled for April 6. According to its website, donations will be given to the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia’s Literacy Initiative, “which ensures over 1,300 youth each year have access to high-quality literacy instruction and enrichment.”

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IMAGE: Penn Fight Night/Instagram

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.