Friday, July 20, 2012

AG Report: AIDS Project LA's
Low 26% Return from Fundraiser

California's Attorney General Kamala Harris issued her office's annual report on commercial fundraisers for 2010 in November 2011, which I got around to reading this week. One charity's abysmal returns from their commercial fundraisers was the AIDS Project Los Angeles.

The report noted that APLA in 2010 received only 26% out of $1.6 million raised by Walk the Talk Productions, just 48% from MZA Events and that year's AIDS Walk which brought in $2.9 million, and lost money on an event produced by SD&A Teleservices that cost $21,700. See page 3 of the report for APLA's listings.

After the 2010 AIDS Walk, the executive director of APLA, Craig Thompson, pictured, made this comment about money raised in a press release: "We are deeply grateful to our 30,000 participants for raising $2,878,711 for L.A. County’s fight against AIDS."

I don't believe Thompson was totally truthful about where that money went, based on what the AG report said about only 48% of revenue went to the agency. I sent off a few questions to him and his staff requesting clarification.

APLA sent this reply: "We have received your inquiry. As a matter of policy, we only respond to legitimate news outlets. Our financial information is available on our Web site at"  

Very odd of them to avoid the fiscal questions and not release answers to me, prodding me to think of Mitt Romney and his refusal to release more of his tax returns. It was easier for me to get a confirmation and reply from Romney's trustee R. Bradford Malt this week than APLA.

The agency's 2011 IRS 990 filing is posted on their site and shows that last year revenue was at $14.5 million and Thompson's total compensation was $253,000. Compare Thompson's salary with that of San Francisco AIDS Foundation executive director Neil Guiliano, $249,000 according to the Bay Area Reporter, and his agency's $24 million dollar budget.

APLA's budget is tremendously lower than SFAF's, yet the Los Angeles group's leader makes more than the San Francisco agency's head. Something to keep in mind when looking at the overall fiscal stewardship at APLA.

The AIDS Project Los Angeles owes everyone answers about what the California Attorney General said about their low return rates from their commercial fundraisers.


Anonymous said...

Great piece of reporting. You seem pretty legitimate to me.

Michael said...

Thanks, Anon, for your vote of confidence. APLA sure has a lame excuse for avoiding my questions.