HRC: 17% Revenue Drop;
Solmonese Salary Freeze
After a week of pure obstinacy for no good reason over my public records request for their 2010 IRS 990 filings, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), finally complied with federal law and made the HRC filing, along with the one for the HRC Foundation (HRCF), and their hot-off-the-presses annual report available for public inspection on their web site.
My hunch is that because of the bad news about plummeting revenue, HRC wanted to wait as long as possible before allowing prying eyes to view the documents. The documents were published earlier today.
Let's go over the highlights of what's in the three documents made available.
1.) The annual report shows that revenue for 2009 was at $45,792,310, and for 2010 it was $37,918,133. The difference comes to $7,874,177, which is a drop of 17%.
The lousy economy certainly played a role in that steep fall, but my gut also says a significant portion of the decline is due to more gays not donating to HRC.
2.) For the org's president Joe Solmonese and other top leaders, their salaries have been frozen for two-years, according to the HRCF 990:
In 2009, prior to the start of the new fiscal year, the board appointed a committee of independent directors to look at the president's compensation before his contract was renewed. In reviewing compensation, the committee reviewed salary surveys of comparable nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC, area and data available from the 990s of other comparable nonprofit. [...]
The committee's findings were presented to the full board, which adopted its findings in March of 2009. The same committee described in 15A that examined the president's compensation also looked at the current compensation of the organization's officers and key employees.
The same set of materials and procedures were used to assess the compensation of the officers and key employees, and minutes were kept of the meeting. The findings were presented to the full board, which adopted its findings in March of 2009.
Based on that review, the board approved a two-year contract for the president. As a result of changes in the economy, all compensation for the for other officers and key employees was frozen in FY 2010. Consequently, the organization believes that the 2009 analysis remains applicable in 2010. [Emphasis added.]
So the decisions to keep Solmonese on for an additional two-years and to hold executive salaries at 2008 levels were made more than a year-and-a-half back, but we're only now learning it. Frankly, this information should have been made known to the community in March 2009, because HRC owes us more comprehensive transparency about its changes at the executive level.
I find it curious that top salaries didn't fall 17%, as did revenue. Heck, they didn't drop one bit, showing no real sacrifice on this front from Solmonese and colleagues. Maybe they cut programs 17%, to deal with the shortfall?
3.) The HRC 990 on page 2 claims the org has a membership of more than 750,000, and the same page offers this accomplishment:
HRC continued broad-based efforts to build support for a fully-inclusive ENDAby creating the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, hosting 300 clergy members in Washington, DC, for Congressional lobbying, coordinating in-district lobbying by 1,000 HRC members and educating and training faith communities about gender identity issues in priority districts.
How pathetic is it to tell the IRS that your org has hundreds of thousands of members, and you can only persuade 1,000 of them to engage in local lobbying of their House and Senate representatives? Very pathetic admission on HRC's part.
4.) Solmonese still flies first-class on occasion.
5.) I've compared the total compensation for the top executives regarding the freeze, and there appears to small-to-medium discrepancies with 2009 and 2010 salaries, but there are no major increases. Here are the 2010 figures for some of the honchos:
Whatever the salaries or annual revenue, the Human Rights Campaign is still the Worst.Gay.Group.Ever.
I'm looking forward to watching if other gay and progressive bloggers, or straight and gay media, pick up on the release of the documents through my request to HRC. We need lots of eyes going over the HRC IRS 990s with fine tooth combs, and for the org to explain the serious plummet in revenue and how it affects their agenda and operations.