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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lavigne: Athlete charities often lack standards

Using guidelines set by nonprofit watchdogs Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, “Outside the Lines” found that 74 percent of the nonprofits fell short of one or more acceptable nonprofit operating standards. The standards cover all sorts of aspects, such as how much money a nonprofit actually spends on charitable work as opposed to administrative expenses and whether there are enough board members overseeing the organization.

Among the “Outside the Lines” findings:

• Many athlete charities fail the effectiveness test for a variety of reasons, ranging from the deceptive and unethical—if not illegal—to the simply neglectful and ignorant. Some athletes set up foundations as tax-planning vehicles. Others dispute the nonprofit standards overall, saying as long as they spend at least some money on actual charity they should not be criticized.

• In many cases, OTL had a hard time measuring a charity’s actual effectiveness because it was behind on filing its IRS tax returns or the returns were filled with errors and omissions. Problems can go unnoticed for years as the main agencies that oversee charities—the Internal Revenue Service and states’ attorney general offices—don’t audit every return.

• Even though the athlete charities often are named in honor of wealthy sports icons, only about a third of them had total assets of $500,000 or more. Multimillion-dollar charities that actually run programs, such as those founded by Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Andre Agassi and Richard and Kyle Petty, are rare. ...

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez—who signed a record-breaking $275 million contract in 2007—also had two foundations. Much like [Randy] Moss’ charities, both seem to have fizzled. It’s hard to tell exactly what happened because neither foundation has filed a tax return since 2006, prompting the IRS in 2011 to revoke their tax-exempt statuses.

One of the foundations reported earning $368,000 from a fundraiser in 2006. It gave $5,000 to a scholarship fund and $90 to a Miami-area Little League. That year, it had about $300,000 left after myriad expenses, and it’s unclear where that money went, even though the IRS has specific rules about what is supposed to happen to funds leftover in a foundation that decides to shut down.

The ballplayer’s website lists a number of donations, totaling in the millions, that Rodriguez has made directly to other nonprofits, including the University of Miami, and a partnership he has with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade County. But it doesn’t say what happened to either of the foundations started in his name. Multiple calls to Rodriguez’s business manager and agent were not returned.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: March 31, 2013 at 09:15 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex rodriguez, business, charity

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. Flynn Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4400106)
At its most cynical, I would say having a foundation is great PR and an equally good way to set up relatives and friends without having to dip into your own pocket. Let them pay themselves out of the donations from fundraisers and everybody wins, except for the needy and common decency.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: March 31, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4400107)
   3. Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: March 31, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4400154)
In doing so, Breslow elected to take a pot shot at, of all things, WAR:
Akin to the sabermetrician who would argue that WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is the single comprehensive metric of a player’s total contribution to his team, nonprofit rating agency, Charity Navigator, cites seven financial performance metrics for measuring the financial health of a charitable organization. The Globe appears to have focused on one area, dividing program service expenses by gross revenue, to define whether a charity loses in supporting improving the health and well-being of children. As the brother of a childhood cancer survivor, it just doesn’t feel that simple.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: March 31, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4400159)
Not really a pot shot, more like a fairly accurate analogy.
   5. Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: March 31, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4400194)
Not really a pot shot, more like a fairly accurate analogy.

It is indeed a pot shot (or do you prefer "straw man?"), CFB, since no sabermetrician makes such a sweeping claim.
   6. Greg K Posted: March 31, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4400198)
Maybe I'm just dense, but I'm not entirely sure if I follow Breslow's analogy.

My first reading is this:

WAR is being compared to "Charity Navigator" in that it takes several different components and attempts to present an overall picture of the player/charity. His complaint with the Globe is that they are taking just one of those components and acting like it is the only measure that matters.

Essentially he's saying WAR is good, just like Charity Navigator, but the Globe is doing the equivalent of taking Rbat and pretending that is the full evaluation.

I do have to admit that he doesn't seem to present the argument in the clearest terms, and I'm not 100% confident that I'm reading it right. But the direct comparison seems to be between WAR and Charity Navigator (which he seems to have no problem with). His problem is with how the Globe presented one aspect of it.

EDIT: I would say that WAR can be defined as a "single comprehensive metric of a player's total contribution to his team" in that, that its goal. We have to be realistic about how definitive we can treat the result, but that unity is the goal of the statistic.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BDC
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: August 2016 Soccer Thread
(360 - 12:58pm, Aug 27)
Last: I am going to be Frank

NewsblogSanchez-Fueled Yanks Penning Thrilling Script
(7 - 12:57pm, Aug 27)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogOTP 2016 August 22: Baseball has much to teach us about politics
(930 - 12:48pm, Aug 27)
Last: GregD

NewsblogThe San Diego Chicken Heads Into a Sunset
(1 - 12:34pm, Aug 27)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight

Newsblog2016 New York City Softball Game
(444 - 12:14pm, Aug 27)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogBaseball’s minor leaguers pursue their dreams below the poverty line - The Washington Post
(12 - 12:07pm, Aug 27)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogWhite Sox GM Rick Hahn says talk of trade-deadline discord 'simply untrue'
(26 - 11:39am, Aug 27)
Last: McCoy

Gonfalon CubsDog Days of Summer
(104 - 11:31am, Aug 27)
Last: Brian C

NewsblogDodgers land Ruiz from Phillies | dodgers.com
(45 - 9:38am, Aug 27)
Last: Bote Man makes baseball fun again

NewsblogJeff Francoeur is Still Employed by a Major League Team
(24 - 8:25am, Aug 27)
Last: bbmck

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-25-16
(166 - 2:31am, Aug 27)
Last: Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™

NewsblogOT: NBA Offseason Thread, July 2016
(1029 - 2:31am, Aug 27)
Last: maccoach57

Sox TherapyIt Gets Easier...But Not Easy
(9 - 1:26am, Aug 27)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogAstros analysis: Third baseman of the future has to be Alex Bregman - Houston Chronicle
(7 - 12:10am, Aug 27)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT - College Football offseason thread (February - August 2016)
(37 - 11:16pm, Aug 26)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

Page rendered in 0.1580 seconds
47 querie(s) executed