Saturday, December 12, 2009

Who Owns GLAAD?;
20% of Budget for Moneymaking

Can anyone be shocked that the largest donors to GLAAD are the usual names of Gay Inc foundations? It doesn't take much sniffing around to find out who really owns gay community advocacy orgs, and it's not ordinary gays. The folks with the big bucks at charitable foundations, and one deceased multi-millionaire, are the actual bosses at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Check out this list from GLAAD's 2008 annual report, page 20:

The Visionary Circle recognizes individuals [sic] whole [sic] generous support and cumulative giving to GLAAD exceeds $1 million.

The Arcus Foundation
The David Bohnett Foundation
The Gill Foundation
The Michael Palm Foundation
Terry K. Watanabe Charitable Trust
Ric Weiland

At minimum, those funding sources are responsible for endowing GLAAD with $6 million in recent years, quite a tidy sum. If GLAAD practiced full transparency, it would provide specific numbers for each foundation and their donation, instead of a terse statement about contributions exceeding $1 million. But there are ways of getting more numbers, even if they're not readily accessible in a yearly GLAAD report to the community.

GLAAD did issue a release last year when the charitable Pride Foundation, established by the late Ric Weiland, an early employee at Microsoft, heralding receiving a $7.9 million grant spread out over eight years.

And a search of the Gill Foundation's grants for 2008 shows that it gave GLAAD $650,000 during that year.

Honestly, what the hell does GLAAD do that warrants such big donations? The foundations that own GLAAD must be easily satisfied with minimal and mediocre results, because the org sure as hell doesn't have much to tout as full-fledged accomplishments in many years.

Speaking of problems with this org, be sure to check out a September 2001 analysis by longtime gay thinker Michael Bronksi, that appeared in the Boston Phoenix. It was titled "Hollywood Squares: GLAAD Has Lost Its Way," and much of what Bronski pointed out was wrong is still valid, starting with this observation:

[A] growing number of critics have taken the group to task, questioning many of its decisions and wondering whether its judgment might be clouded by its hand-in-glove relationship with Hollywood [...]

That cozy relationship was deplored eight years ago, and hasn't changed much, while still clouding the media lapdog's agenda.

GLAAD has a $7 million annual budget, and it seems an awful high amount for a jobs program for professional Gay Inc types. My mind takes flight, thinking of how such an amount could be better used by investigative bloggers and street activists to advance a gay rights agenda.

Over at Charity Navigator, GLAAD gets an overall rating of 49.19, out of a possible 100, and an efficiency ranking of 24.75. Not very high in that department for sure. Oh, and GLAAD spends a bit more than 20% of its budget for moneymaking.

Make no mistake: The primary purpose of GLAAD and other Gay Inc orgs is to keep themselves in business and top executives receiving lavish six-figure salaries.

With GLAAD's major accomplishments, few as they are, pieces of the past, why does it continue to receive millions of dollars in foundation grants?

1 comment:

AndrewW said...

Gay Inc. seems to be full of "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch your."

It isn't about actually achieving "equality," it's about raising enough money for the salaries and expense accounts.

In 2008 GLAAD received $14,072,151 in contributions. They paid out $4,187,648 in "salaries and other compensation." That's 30% of the money they received. And fundraising expenses are 20%. Combined, half their money goes to salaries and commissions. That's why the score so badly.

It is obscene - especially considering nobody (even GLAAD) seems to be able to make a compelling case that they are necessary.