Sunday, May 16, 2010

GMHC: $3.6M Less Revenue;

ED = $210K; Lobbyists Dropped

I have a few kind things to say about the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the leaders of it, starting with thanks for posting your new IRS 990 report for 2009 on your web site. As a sunshine advocate who well knows how reluctant orgs are to share 990s on their web sites, let's applaud GMHC for this important act of transparency, and for being so current.

Look at page 1 and notice that the 990 was signed off on April 1, not even two months ago. All Gay Inc and AIDS Inc should follow GMHC's model and post their 990s as soon as the executive director accepts it from the accountants.

But I digress away from the figures in GMHC's 2009 tax filing, and the top news is that revenue was at $28.4 million in the previous year, while the current year's number was $24.8 million. They took in $3.6 million less.

That may explain the drop in compensation for the executive director, Marjorie Hill. She received a package of $224,889 in 2008, and the amount decreased to $210,456 in the following year.

This is amazing. An ED of an AIDS org earning less money, is so rare I can't recall it ever happening before, and I've been following AIDS Inc salaries for decades. Okay, the revenue declined, but I would still expect an ED of Hill's stature to somehow wrangle herself a raise.

Something else from the GMHC that caught my eye is the amount spent in 2008 on professional lobbyists. They spent $131,956 for the Malkin and Ross firm to lobby in Albany, and $139,007 on the expertise of M and R Strategic Services in Washington.

Seems wise to me for an org of this size to spend $270,963 on lobbyists, for various political and financial benefits that could return to the org's clients living with HIV/AIDS.

But in 2009, GMHC lists no lobbyists in the 990. Appears as though with the $3.6 million shortfall, not only were the salaries of top honchos scaled back, but the org also eliminated its professional lobbying.

Let's hope as the debate continues in NYC over GMHC's unwise move to Siberia and significant changes in services for people with AIDS, coupled with growing scrutiny of executive and board stewardship of the agency, that the IRS 990s become integral to the discussion.

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