Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, February 25, 2013

Globe: In nonprofit game, many athletes post losing records

A decent read, if only scratching the surface of the issue. I’ve always been curious just how much money raised goes to charities directly, versus going to fund activities which in turn help the charity, versus going to fund “administrative costs”.

In some cases athlete charitable foundations are accomplishing a lot, sometimes after very non-productive starts. In other cases, calling them charities is being… er, charitable.

...just 37 cents of every dollar raised by the Josh Beckett Foundation went toward its mission to “improve the health and well-being of children.” That’s far less than the 65 to 75 cents that nonprofit specialists say is an acceptable minimum.

In fact, many nonprofits that help burnish the reputations of pro athletes fall well short of those standards, the Globe review found. Among the 50 nonprofits examined, nearly half spent less than 65 percent of revenues on charitable programs and donations.

...

A foundation started by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez gave only 1 percent of proceeds to charity during its first year of operation in 2006, then stopped submitting mandatory financial reports to the IRS and was stripped of its tax-exempt status. Yet the group’s website still tells visitors the A-Rod Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization.

 

villageidiom Posted: February 25, 2013 at 07:36 PM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: charity, dodgers, nba, nfl, olympics, red sox, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bourbon Samurai Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4376055)
Do these things really "raise" money? Doesn't the athlete just give them a chunk of their salary for tax purposes?
   2. Bourbon Samurai Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4376057)
Perhaps I should read the article before asking dumb questions.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4376060)
There are a lot of "non-profits" that have nothing to do with athletics that deserve far greater scrutiny, too.
   4. tfbg9 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:32 AM (#4376073)
Speaking of non-profits, are the financials for BTF viewable?
   5. Cabbage Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4376092)
Speaking of non-profits, are the financials for BTF viewable?

No, but as Facebook friends with Jim Furtado, I can assure you he is living a life of luxury by selling your pseudonymous thoughts about baseball to marketing data miners.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:52 AM (#4376108)
I can assure you he is living a life of luxury by selling your pseudonymous thoughts about baseball to marketing data miners.

Must be related to the new BBTF advertising pitching Cable TV & smartphones - a step up from the Asian Brides & criminal record checks of seasons past.

   7. bigglou115 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:27 AM (#4376113)
I'm always amused when these kind of articles* come out. The writers clearly lack understanding of the "fundraising lifestyle."

In Arkansas there's basically this group of families that take turns hosting these events. Kind of an "I went to your thing so you go to mine" where everybody gets to show off their house or the size venue that can get. Every charity has a golf tournament. Its just a social scene that happens to raise money some of the time for worthy causes. To expect more of the athletes is silly. Should the system work differently? Of course. But this is the system we have.

Btw, one guy that does it right is Cliff Lee. He's devoted a ton of time and money to Miracle League down here (building ballparks for mentally handicapped children).

*Not amused at the writers, just situationally amused. Turning cancer research into a gala event has always struck me as distasteful.
   8. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:32 AM (#4376114)
There are a lot of "non-profits" that have nothing to do with athletics that deserve far greater scrutiny, too.


Susan G. Komen is the one that automatically springs to mind for me.
   9. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:49 AM (#4376118)
I've had several charities try to raise money for me wrt issues friends and family have actually had and that said charities claim to help with, so when I write back asking for assistance I invariably don't get any.

My broader experience is that much of the money raised is wasted, and that most mission statements should read, 'we are in the business of perpetuating ourselves'.
   10. Bhaakon Posted: February 26, 2013 at 04:13 AM (#4376124)
I'm always amused when these kind of articles* come out. The writers clearly lack understanding of the "fundraising lifestyle."


This, plus I assume that personal charitable foundations are often (if not always) a way to spread the wealth to friends and family without literally gifting them money.
   11. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:45 AM (#4376127)
Must be related to the new BBTF advertising pitching Cable TV & smartphones - a step up from the Asian Brides & criminal record checks of seasons past.

Not to mention the "the internet has blessed me with a $XXXX job!" ads. If these things are legit, I'm Ben Affleck.
   12. Blastin Posted: February 26, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4376150)
I think a lot of non-profits would do better to do like the one I work for, where we don't pretend to give out much money but instead provide a great number of low-cost or free services (day care, adult education, a senior center, a fitness center) for the neighborhood. Been around 119 years so I suppose they have it all figured out.
   13. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4376157)
Turning cancer research into a gala event has always struck me as distasteful.


I don't fully understand the complaint here. Is it that you don't think an organization can effectively raise money with a gala? Or that the gala itself is distasteful? I'm sure that there are many nonprofits out there spending way too much money on things that aren't supporting their mission; I have no doubt this is true. But I can also assure you that many organizations raise a significant amount of their operating budget from one-time events, including galas. I'm on the board of an organization that covers in the neighborhood of 50% of its annual expenses through a gala/awards dinner.

EDIT: To simplify, many people like dressing fancy, socializing, and eating fancy meals in fancy places. It can be an excellent way to raise money and expose people to an important cause or effort.
   14. Blastin Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4376160)
I think a lot of non-profits would do better to do like the one I work for, where we don't pretend to give out much money but instead provide a great number of low-cost or free services (day care, adult education, a senior center, a fitness center) for the neighborhood. Been around 119 years so I suppose they have it all figured out.
   15. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:30 AM (#4376165)
I'm going to a gala event for Habitat for Humanity on Friday, hosted by an Academy Award winning producer. I'll let you know how I feel about it on Saturday.
   16. Blastin Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:30 AM (#4376166)
Sorry for the dupe.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4376174)
I think the complaint about gala funraisers is that the whole "$30000 dress purchased and worn to the $10000 a plate charity dinner" syndrome is somewhat distasteful. But hell, I guess its good for the economy and the poor at some level.

Just don't ask us to admire it that much I suppose.
   18. villageidiom Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4376175)
Btw, one guy that does it right is Cliff Lee. He's devoted a ton of time and money to Miracle League down here (building ballparks for mentally handicapped children).
One of the things the article touches on, but doesn't really cover well, is the time aspect. That, and the raising awareness aspect. For example: If the Beckett Bowl pays for Jason Aldean to perform, and they get no additional donations, they just lost a bunch of money that otherwise could go to charity. But if Beckett also gets Aldean to visit some leukemia patients in the hospital who like his music, and they spend the day with him and have a great time, and Aldean is touched by their spirit and donates $100k directly to a charity that funds leukemia research, then the spirit-lifting day (i.e. the time Aldean spent there) and the subsequent donation (i.e. the "raising awareness" aspect) are accomplishments of Beckett's foundation that won't show up in the ledger. What will show up is the salary of the person who arranged for Aldean's visit, and whatever expenses were necessary to make it happen.

That's not to defend Beckett's foundation... I've no idea if it has accomplished anything beyond what the article states. Just saying these foundations can accomplish many things besides raising money for charitable donation, and those are not the kind of things that manifest in a bean-counting exercise such as this.

Still, if they say they're raising money to donate to a cause, one would hope they would be able to donate a lot more than 65% of the money raised.
   19. Bob Tufts Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4376181)
........As do many owners and non-players. Witness the Dodgers under McCourt paying over $ 400,000 of their $1.6 million in assets to a team employee (Howard Sunkin) in one of his many financial shell games.

The problem with not for profits hiring relatives and being a way to fund a certain life style also exists. (Jesse Jackson)

Get a subscription to guidestar to look at IRS Form 990 and see how much the chief executives makes and listed conflicts of interest before you give them any money (see - United Way, Aramony - and I still thin the Taylor Hooton Foundation pays Don Hooton excess compensation, which should cause concern).
   20. villageidiom Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4376184)
I think the complaint about gala funraisers is that the whole "$30000 dress purchased and worn to the $10000 a plate charity dinner" syndrome is somewhat distasteful. But hell, I guess its good for the economy and the poor at some level.

Just don't ask us to admire it that much I suppose.
This, halfheartedly.

I get that you sometimes have to spend $100k on an event to generate $120k in donations, that you wouldn't be able to achieve that extra $20k in donations otherwise. I don't begrudge charities doing that. It irks me somewhat that people would be willing to spend $120k to get $100k in value back than to spend $20k and get nothing back. But that's the way it is.

I'd like to see a charity hold an anti-ball. Have a gala, but make it into a competition to see who can contribute the most by spending the least on themselves. "I didn't buy that $5k ball gown, instead wearing just a t-shirt and sweatpants. Instead of renting a limo, I took the bus. Rather than spend the day at the salon I pulled my hair back into a ponytail. And rather than have you spend $1000 preparing my meal, before I left home I made myself a sandwich, which I brought with me in a paper bag. Here's the donation you would have had from me, plus the $10k I didn't spend on myself. Let's party!"
   21. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4376188)
I think the complaint about gala funraisers is that the whole "$30000 dress purchased and worn to the $10000 a plate charity dinner" syndrome is somewhat distasteful. But hell, I guess its good for the economy and the poor at some level.

Just don't ask us to admire it that much I suppose.


I see where you're coming from, I've just moved beyond caring about that as long as the bottom line is positive (although golf tournament fundraisers still annoy me, I have to admit). People are motivated by different things. The thing with the gala circuit (at least in certain areas) is that you're not getting those donors any other way. Many people donate online or send a check every year in response to direct mail, others have personal relationships with organizations or serve on boards, others like to go to events.

Edit: Err, didn't mean that "move beyond" bit to sound snobby. I just meant I got over it when I saw firsthand the value.
   22. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4376194)
Get a subscription to guidestar to look at IRS Form 990 and see how much the chief executives makes and listed conflicts of interest before you give them any money (see - United Way, Aramony - and I still thin the Taylor Hooton Foundation pays Don Hooton excess compensation, which should cause concern).


I think all nonprofits should face scrutiny, constantly, and should be able to easily demonstrate their objective impact and relative worth. I disagree, though, that executive compensation is a good way to judge that. Large national or international nonprofits can have budgets in the 30-40 million range (or more) and hundreds or even thousands of employees. They need talented leaders (who are at least partially motivated by money) just like a for-profit business does.
   23. Rants Mulliniks Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4376195)
Susan G. Komen is the one that automatically springs to mind for me.


What, you have a problem with pink KFC buckets? :-)
   24. Bob Tufts Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4376205)
I disagree, though, that executive compensation is a good way to judge that


When the Dodgers Dream Foundation was paying 25% of their assets raised via tax advantages contributions to their director, I think you can safely say that there is a problem (and the California state AG's office agreed).

   25. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4376243)
A foundation started by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez gave only 1 percent of proceeds to charity during its first year of operation in 2006, then stopped submitting mandatory financial reports to the IRS and was stripped of its tax-exempt status. Yet the group’s website still tells visitors the A-Rod Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization.

A-Rod's charity is a phony baloney waste of time and money. Gee ... what a shock.
   26. jdennis Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4376344)
this is why you need to look up the charities before you donate. charitynavigator.org is one place i'd suggest.

as far as celebrities, some have done really great, others are crap/crooked. some celebs try to do several charities and one or more of them ends up sucking, but it's overly harsh to their reputation. for example, don cheadle and meryl streep have both started many charities, some of which are good, but they get much more attention for the one that failed.

in general, though, i'd use a healthy dose of skepticism with most of these famous people charities. they are either honest but half-assed and done for tax/publicity purposes, or they are just a funnel to the eminent person at the top. they can make a large $ donation very publicly but percentage wise it's obviously a scam. make sure their intent is obvious and make sure they're tracked by watchdogs with a decent rating before you support them. they should have records of what they've actually donated to and stuff.

of course, complicating this are the really huge charities that are esentially bundlers for a myriad of lesser charities, like clinton, gates, etc.

red cross has 93% (economy of scale) and there are a few others that good
your typical medical charity should be at around 85%
60-80% indicates not crooked but ineffective
anything below 60% is probably crooked (or it's defunct but they still get donations from unaware people, such as save the music)

avoid pretty much all veterans charities.
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4376350)
in general, though, i'd use a healthy dose of skepticism with most of these famous people charities. they are either honest but half-assed and done for tax/publicity purposes, or they are just a funnel to the eminent person at the top.


I am reminded of when Garth Brooks decided he wanted to go play in spring training, so he cobbled together some excuse for why it was really just an attempt to raise money for his charity.
   28. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4376358)
this is why you need to look up the charities before you donate. charitynavigator.org is one place i'd suggest.

Seconded.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4376362)
I get that you sometimes have to spend $100k on an event to generate $120k in donations, that you wouldn't be able to achieve that extra $20k in donations otherwise. I don't begrudge charities doing that. It irks me somewhat that people would be willing to spend $120k to get $100k in value back than to spend $20k and get nothing back. But that's the way it is.

I'd like to see a charity hold an anti-ball. Have a gala, but make it into a competition to see who can contribute the most by spending the least on themselves. "I didn't buy that $5k ball gown, instead wearing just a t-shirt and sweatpants. Instead of renting a limo, I took the bus. Rather than spend the day at the salon I pulled my hair back into a ponytail. And rather than have you spend $1000 preparing my meal, before I left home I made myself a sandwich, which I brought with me in a paper bag. Here's the donation you would have had from me, plus the $10k I didn't spend on myself. Let's party!"


But I like my PBS tote bag.

What charities do ya'll give to, if any?

Last year I gave to:
Local PBS station
Local NPR station
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Friends of St. Luke's (hospital)
Kiva - not sure if that even counts since its a microloan, but I don't get the money back, so I guess its a donation, although I didn't claim it on my taxes.

And yes, I did get some swag and cocktails out of it. And I like to brag about it because it makes me feel good.
   30. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4376375)
Do people tend to give to big organizations, or to local based organizations? I give to my church and the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, and if I have friends who are doing charitable bike rides/runs/walks for the American Cancer Society or whoever, I'll kick in a few dollars.
   31. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4376415)
Poncho, which was for many years a non-profit that was a major fundraiser for arts organizations in the Seattle area, just this weekend announced that it was closing its fundraising efforts as a separate entity, because the galas it used to raise money no longer bring in enough money to make them viable:

Poncho’s transition reflects a debate that has been raging in the world of nonprofits for some time, about whether fancy fundraisers and galas are an effective way of meeting funding goals.

For 45 years, Poncho’s glittery annual charity galas were the talk of the town — where the well-heeled went to see and be seen. “Everybody wanted to go,” Kutz said.

Tickets for the elaborate, often sold-out, affairs cost hundreds of dollars. Black ties and evening gowns were de rigueur, and a glass of Champagne could cost more than a meal at a fine restaurant.

Over the years, Poncho added two other, separate fundraising events — a wine auction and an arts auction. It later dropped the arts fundraiser, and five years ago discontinued the bigger gala, too, retaining only the wine auction.

That change was part of a 2008 overhaul that saw the resignation of Poncho’s then-executive director, Gordon Hamilton, who was criticized for relying too heavily on donor events to raise money.

Poncho’s fundraising had dropped off in the previous fiscal year after it spent more money putting on its annual gala than the event raised.


   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4376420)
The gala events also help you get people on your mailing list so you can hit them up for future donations.

I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC and I know that at their big annual fundraising dinner (I'm hesitant to call it a "gala"), they raised $2 million and made a conscious effort not to spend a lot on the food. We also have a less expensive benefit targeting young people; the goal there is to attract new volunteers to the organization in addition to raising money. It's a lot of fun, and while I personally donate to the organization in addition to going to the benefit, I'm not sure how prevalent that is. In total, BBBS of NYC raised $4.5 million, more than half its operating budget, from "Special Events" (which also includes a fun run and a bunch of smaller events).
   33. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4376424)
What charities do ya'll give to, if any?

Last year I gave to:
Local PBS station
Local NPR station
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Friends of St. Luke's (hospital)
Kiva - not sure if that even counts since its a microloan, but I don't get the money back, so I guess its a donation, although I didn't claim it on my taxes.


For me, mostly animal-related organizations.

I have reason to believe (a former newspaper co-worker of mine is now a web guy for NPR) that all sorts of people at NPR & PBS make more money than I do. I'm thinking they should start sending me money (especially if the round of layoffs expected here next month because of this sequestration crap includes me, as is certainly possible).
   34. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4376430)
I want the NPR guys making more money than I do. That stuff (foreign reporters, not Wait Wait...) is important and hard to do.
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4376431)

I donate to a few local organizations (Big Brothers, New York Cares, Animal Care and Control) and a few national ones (American Red Cross, ASPCA). I also give to my old college newspaper's financial aid program, and when friends or relatives are raising money for personal causes.
   36. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4376435)
I want the NPR guys making more money than I do. That stuff (foreign reporters, not Wait Wait...) is important and hard to do.


It is. Doesn't mean I want to contribute to their pay checks, though.

Besides, the fact that I haven't yet gone ballistic & embarked on a killing rampage upon accidentally coming across Garrison "Boredom Incarnate" Keillor on an NPR station is my contribution to their continued existence, I think. (Is he still on? My car stereo's audio went out after a botched jump start 5 months ago, & I haven't heard 5 minutes of radio since then.)
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4376510)

I want the NPR guys making more money than I do. That stuff (foreign reporters, not Wait Wait...) is important and hard to do.


I had a professor that did a lot of consulting to non-profits to get their financial ship in order and one thing he said he constantly saw was organizations completely underpaying their staff because of things like Charity Navigator and the perception that if a non-profit is spending money on staff, they're wasting your money. In reality, by underpaying staff, they're not getting the best bang for the buck because the staff is probably less qualified and are more likely to make financial errors and not have the skills to write proper grants.

In any case, I'm more than happy to pay for Ira Glass and Terry Gross' salary.
   38. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4376540)
Get a subscription to guidestar to look at IRS Form 990 and see how much the chief executives makes and listed conflicts of interest before you give them any money (see - United Way, Aramony - and I still thin the Taylor Hooton Foundation pays Don Hooton excess compensation, which should cause concern).


I second this recommendation. Guidestar is a great site for nonprofit info.

-- MWE
   39. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4376542)
What charities do ya'll give to, if any?
I divide my efforts into three areas:

1) Medical charities -- my bottom line rule is that a medical charity must either perform research or provide treatment; any charity that "raises awareness" is a scam. Not in the sense of literally being fraudulent -- the charity may do what it claims to do with the money -- but in the sense of being a complete waste of time and money.

2) Libertarian causes - IJ (my favorite), Cato, Reason, others.

3) Social welfare causes, which I usually do through my temple or through other jewish organizations.

I've always wondered whether I spread too thin and should give more money to fewer organizations, but every time I consider doing that I can't decide what to drop.
   40. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4376549)
In addition to other points people have raised, I would note that the article sometimes makes it sound as if the athletes are somehow mismanaging the charities. But presumably the athlete establishes it, donates some time and money to it, but doesn't run the foundation himself. He hires someone to do it. Perhaps he should be more vigilant -- though there's no reason to think that this is within most athletes' skill sets -- but that doesn't mean he's engaged in some sort of scam.
   41. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4376558)
I give to SABR every year (beyond the cost of membership) and I generally support a variety of other charities both national and local, as does my wife (we don't usually support the same causes but we don't question the other's choices either). Mostly these are social welfare causes for me, and animal welfare causes for my wife. I do not - and will not - participate in United Way, because I don't support some of the activities that United Way supports and even though I can direct my contributions elsewhere that just frees up money that is not directed to a specific charity to go to one of the ones that I don't support, which essentially means that I'm supporting those activities indirectly. I'd rather select actively.

Note that for cash donations you should receive an acknowledgment of your donation from that charity that states the date and amount of the donation. Most will also include their EIN number.

-- MWE

   42. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4376562)
Perhaps he should be more vigilant -- though there's no reason to think that this is within most athletes' skill sets -- but that doesn't mean he's engaged in some sort of scam.


Completely agree with this. Best case scenario would be for wealthy athletes (and other wealthy people inclined to get involved in charity work) to attach themselves to existing, well-run organizations involved in causes that they care about, rather than to try to start one of their own.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4376576)
Get a subscription to guidestar to look at IRS Form 990 and see how much the chief executives makes and listed conflicts of interest before you give them any money

F folks I -- foundations and 501(c)3's operate under somewhat different rules. Foundations are required to give away a certain percentage of the return on their endowment. 501(c)3's are "educational".

Given the success of a foundation (and how much it spends per year) is primarily a function of the size of its endowments, I wonder if it's not "natural" for foundations to start out slow, with bad salary/charity ratios while the endowment builds. Once the endowment gets going, it starts generating a lot more revenue and then their charitable spending should increase substantially. But I don't know.

Also, if you really want to dig, 501(c)3's are allowed to have a separate profit-making (and tax-paying) arm. Many of the big PBS and public radio stations -- i.e. the ones that produce content -- are set up in this way. The CEO is often the same and getting a small salary as CEO of the PBS station and a nice, fat salary as the CEO of the profit-making arm. Nothing wrong with that necessarily, just don't necessarily give too much credit to that CEO working for less than he could get in private industry -- there's a good chance he's not.

As to the A-Rod thing -- is it actually still operating? The website lists no events later than Jan 2007, lists no upcoming events and stopped working after 2 minutes. :-) Somebody is keeping the copyrights updated but that appears to be the only activity. If they are still paying people to run it, obviously that's dumb. But it looks to me like a non-profit that has essentially ceased operations and so stopped filing tax returns.

Also there is no "donate" button or any other donation info on the ARod foundation page, so they aren't soliciting.

So they aren't holding events and they aren't soliciting money and (if they have lost tax-exempt status) ARod isn't getting any sort of writeoff but, yes, they do still claim to be a non-profit on the page -- who really cares?
   44. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4376602)
Most of my charitable donations go to free speech issues and animal rescues. I used to donate the local Unitarian church as well, but after they spent half a service advocating voting for the Ohio SB 5 repeal and organizing groups for protesting, I walked out and haven't had anything to do with them since (nor will I).

When I was younger, I used to do a lot more volunteering, but now I mostly help with money instead.
   45. bigglou115 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4376613)
I see where you're coming from, I've just moved beyond caring about that as long as the bottom line is positive (although golf tournament fundraisers still annoy me, I have to admit). People are motivated by different things. The thing with the gala circuit (at least in certain areas) is that you're not getting those donors any other way. Many people donate online or send a check every year in response to direct mail, others have personal relationships with organizations or serve on boards, others like to go to events.


While a large amount of my distaste is related to the money spent on these things, there's also a part of me that irritated at the necessity of such events. I'm in the general income bracket these events tend to aim for, and I'm always shocked at the idea that the people around me have so little awareness that a party has to be held for them to donate to charity. And then when all is said and done everybody is very proud.

I concentrate my donations to three areas.

1) I donate and volunteer with Miracle League (Cliff Lee's thing I mentioned above)
2) I donate to P.A.R.K., Kieth Jackson's thing here in Little Rock that takes at risk, underachieving youth and works with them to get their grades up and get them through high school at least.
3) I scare the crap out of everyone around me by giving hundred dollar bills to hobos, chosen by who smells the most. In my experience fake hobo's generally don't take the time to skip baths for weeks in order to add to their verisimilitude.
   46. BDC Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4376617)
I've given substantially, but sporadically, to St Jude Children's Research Hospital over the years. (Some years are better than others.) They helped a friend of mine enormously once, and all reports are it's a great organization. I got annoyed at them initially sending me so many soliciting mailings, told them to stop, and they did; that made me want to give more.

   47. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4376621)
So they aren't holding events and they aren't soliciting money and (if they have lost tax-exempt status) ARod isn't getting any sort of writeoff but, yes, they do still claim to be a non-profit on the page -- who really cares?


Save the Centaurs!
   48. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4376622)
3) I scare the crap out of everyone around me by giving hundred dollar bills to hobos, chosen by who smells the most. In my experience fake hobo's generally don't take the time to skip baths for weeks in order to add to their verisimilitude.


In downtown Little Rock, around 15 years ago, when I was night editor at the Democrat-Gazette, I pretty much had my own personal crack addict. He'd wait for me to come out of the paper however long after midnight, then hit me up for money. I don't know that he was a crack addict, but evidence certainly suggested it (including begging me for a ride to a rather shady-looking residence a few blocks away that he exited after accomplishing whatever he went there for; I doubt he was completing a fantasy baseball trade).
   49. bigglou115 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4376629)
In downtown Little Rock, around 15 years ago, when I was night editor at the Democrat-Gazette, I pretty much had my own personal crack addict. He'd wait for me to come out of the paper however long after midnight, then hit me up for money. I don't know that he was a crack addict, but evidence certainly suggested it (including begging me for a ride to a rather shady-looking residence a few blocks away that he exited after accomplishing whatever he went there for; I doubt he was completing a fantasy baseball trade).


I think its generally safe to assume that the apparent homeless in downtown Little Rock are both real and addicted to something. The law school is on 9th right by McArther Park and night classes were a little scary. Of course, we all got to speculate on the at least twice annually occurrence of a body washing up in the pond in the park. The police like to take credit for ending Little Rock's gang problem, I tend to think the homeless people just scared them away.
   50. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: February 26, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4376639)
In addition to other points people have raised, I would note that the article sometimes makes it sound as if the athletes are somehow mismanaging the charities. But presumably the athlete establishes it, donates some time and money to it, but doesn't run the foundation himself. He hires someone to do it. Perhaps he should be more vigilant -- though there's no reason to think that this is within most athletes' skill sets -- but that doesn't mean he's engaged in some sort of scam.


I think one of the points made in the article addresses one problem with letting the athlete off the hook too easy--some of them hire some unqualified friend to run the charity, rather than hiring a qualified person to run it.
   51. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4376648)
The law school is on 9th right by McArther Park and night classes were a little scary.


Since I covered the Pulaski County Courthouse during my reporting days, I was going to say that we probably know quite a few of the same people in the legal profession ... but then I realized that for me those days are about 22 years gone. (The last thing of any consequence I covered was Attorney General Steve Clark's trial for theft by deception.) The guys I knew are probably judges, disbarred &/or senile by now.

*sigh*
   52. bigglou115 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4376673)
Since I covered the Pulaski County Courthouse during my reporting days, I was going to say that we probably know quite a few of the same people in the legal profession ... but then I realized that for me those days are about 22 years gone. (The last thing of any consequence I covered was Attorney General Steve Clark's trial for theft by deception.) The guys I knew are probably judges, disbarred &/or senile by now.


We actually probably do know some of the same people. Little Rock is too small an area in terms of lawyers for everybody to not know everybody else. I see judges and long-time attorney's at social events all the time.

More likely though you and my dad would know a lot of people in common, if not outright knowing each other. 22 years ago he would have been writing occasional pieces in the Arkansas Times.
   53. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4376694)
We donate monthly to: St. Jude, ASPCA, ALS Therapy Development Institute, our parish. Give to others as solicited.
   54. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:22 AM (#4376820)
Not to mention the "the internet has blessed me with a $XXXX job!" ads. If these things are legit, I'm Ben Affleck.

Times must be tough for spammers, too. I got spam the other day enticing me that I could make $300 a week working at home. Talk about an unambitious pitch.
   55. flournoy Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:10 AM (#4376830)
You're not looking at it the right way. That weekly $300 is tax free. You don't have to report it on your income taxes, since you'll never actually see the money! It's flawless.
   56. Bourbon Samurai Posted: February 27, 2013 at 05:10 AM (#4376843)
We give to a number of small D.C. area theatres, and occasionally a wildlife charity or two
   57. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4376892)
What charities do ya'll give to, if any?


Doctors Without Borders.
   58. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4376899)
Hey fellow New Yorkers...we have this deal at work where the company will match my contributions 3 to 1 to any charity I want to give to. Does anyone know of a good head-start style program in the City I can donate to? Mrs. Shooty and I usually give to conservation groups like Defenders of Wildlife and the Ocean Conservancy, but I'd like to take advantage of the program at work to help people more locally, too, and I think urban kids really need things like pre-school and after school programs where they can be safe and maybe get something to eat.
   59. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4376916)
I belong to SABR too and I guess I never considered that a charity since I get such value out of it (publications and the ultra-valuable Paper of Record access). I guess BTF is a non-profit too? I have donated to this in the past.

Does anyone know of a good head-start style program in the City I can donate to?


Harlem Children's Zone. Geoffrey Canada is an amazing man.
   60. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4376918)
Harlem Children's Zone. Geoffrey Canada is an amazing man.

Thanks Retro. I'm on it!
   61. GregD Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4376951)
Does anyone know of a good head-start style program in the City I can donate to?
One other to consider is Hartley House which runs a range of children's programs based in Hell's Kitchen. For a hundred years focused mostly on neighborhood kids. As the neighborhood has changed, it has turned the children's programs as well to the children of low-wage service workers who commute in to midtown. Some amazing programs and summer camps. Hartley House webpage
   62. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4377176)
Since there seem to be many other animal nerds here, I'll put in a plug for Panthera, which does excellent work protecting big cats and their territory worldwide.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Eugene Freedman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 1 OMNICHATTER
(23 - 2:36pm, Oct 21)
Last: Hey - you and Tommy Lasorda...I hate Tommy Lasorda

NewsblogCardinals proud of fourth straight NLCS appearance | cardinals.com
(50 - 2:36pm, Oct 21)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogSielski: A friend fights for ex-Phillie Dick Allen's Hall of Fame induction
(91 - 2:36pm, Oct 21)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogMorosi: Could Cain’s story make baseball king of sports world again?
(106 - 2:35pm, Oct 21)
Last: Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(282 - 2:33pm, Oct 21)
Last: Jimmy P

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(2849 - 2:28pm, Oct 21)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogBrisbee: The 5 worst commercials of the MLB postseason
(165 - 2:14pm, Oct 21)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogBaseball's hardest throwing bullpen - Beyond the Box Score
(5 - 2:14pm, Oct 21)
Last: Misirlou's been working for the drug squad

NewsblogRoyals’ James Shields passed kidney stone during ALCS but is ready for World Series | The Kansas City Star
(28 - 2:10pm, Oct 21)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogBaseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the People of Kauffman Stadium
(7 - 2:07pm, Oct 21)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogCalcaterra: So, if you’re not a fan of the Royals or Giants, who ya got?
(100 - 1:35pm, Oct 21)
Last: Belfry Bob

NewsblogSo You’re About to Pitch to Pablo Sandoval | FanGraphs Baseball
(3 - 1:34pm, Oct 21)
Last: A triple short of the cycle

NewsblogFan Returns Home Run Ball to Ishikawa; Receives World Series tickets
(47 - 1:27pm, Oct 21)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogOT:  October 2014 - College Football thread
(445 - 12:59pm, Oct 21)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogDealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball
(18 - 11:29am, Oct 21)
Last: GuyM

Page rendered in 0.8195 seconds
52 querie(s) executed