Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gill Action's Guerriero's Pay = $319K;
Town Hall Meetings When?

One of the most uncommunicative gay advocacy organizations is the Gill Action Fund, and every component of Tim Gill Inc including the founder are not known for transparency. All parts of the Tim Gill Inc orbits operate without public meetings or easy access to the executives and boards of the various components.

How allergic to sunshine is one component, the annual OutGiving conference? This March 2010 headline for a Washington Blade article by Lou Chibarro gives the answer: Rare peek behind closed doors of secret gay donor confab. Secretive is the operative word.

In keeping with their desire for as little scrutiny as possible, the web site for Gill Action Fund based in Washington, DC, is woefully devoid of substance and forget about locating any financial instruments there including IRS 990s. Heck, they don't even link to their latest three 990s posted at the GuideStar site.

Last week, Gill Action announced that their executive director Patrick Guerriero and political director Bill Smith were stepping down from the organization. They're soon setting up their own consultant shop in DC. As with all non-profits when they make this sort of announcement, Gill Action omitted the current compensation for the exiting directors. That omission drove me to inspect their latest IRS 990 filing. (Registration required for viewing.)

First of all, revenue for 2009 was $2.5 million versus $2.7 million the previous year. Total amount in grants doled out during 2009 was $153,500, way down from the $1.9 million dispersed the year prior.

Second, Guerriero's compensation package was listed at $319,494; for Smith it was $211,534; while the chief operating officer Robin Brand took home $190,948.

Interesting that Guerriero's package is nicely above what Joe Solmonese at the Human Rights Campaign is getting - $303,966 - and he's head of an organization with a $38 million budget.

The Gill Action tax filing also noted on page 29 that it's their policy to ban first class travel. The only exceptions are when medical care or emergency personal or professional reasons demand it. However, they allow the executive director's spouse or domestic partner to travel to the yearly conference and holiday gathering.

I have some easy recommendations for the leaders at Tim Gill Inc. Open up your various political advocacy components to community town hall meetings, develop democratic engagement principles and improve the Gill Action site by posting the three most-current IRS 990 filings.

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