Monday, November 08, 2010

NCLR's Kendell: 
Transparency = 3 Years IRS 990s

Forgive my medicated memory, but I don't know if I ever blogged about an impromptu, one-man sit-in at the headquarters of Equality California, two weeks after we lost Prop 8. My demand was to speak with Geoff Kors, to demand he resign from the org. As luck would have it, Kate Kendell was there, when she heard I was acting up, she came out of Geoff's office, ended her phone call, and engaged me.

Considering my angry rep and the depth of my disgust with the Prop 8 campaign, it was a miracle that I was quite civil. Little did Kate know I had just had a four-hand Reiki treatment and was feeling a lot of peaceful qi. Kors never came out of his sanctum.

But Kate had no problem listening to me, and responding with her thoughts. My point is that Geoff showed, in not showing his face, his cowardice. While Kate simply sat down and chatted. I was impressed with her courage.

So, last week I emailed her a few questions about my observations of not finding any IRS filings on her site and other fiscal concerns, and asked for a reply today. In an act of genuine voluntary sunshine, the National Center for Lesbian Rights has done what HRC, NGLTF, GLAAD and other gay orgs have not, and the lesbian center has made three years' worth of IRS 990s available for public inspection on their site.

Oh, happy gay sunshine day!

But enough of my musings. Here are excerpts from Kate's note:

In response to your suggestion, we have now made these past three 990s available for download on our website at [...]

With regard to the questions you raised:

1) NCLR’s income fluctuated from $2.6M in 2007 to $4.3M in 2008 to $2.7M in 2009. Most of that variance is explained by a generous $1,000,000 bequest received in 2008 as well as $400,000 in one-time foundation grants that were booked in 2008 and thus do not show up in 2009.

2) My base salary was $140,000 in 2007 with a bonus of $10,000 (totaling $150,000), $175,000 in 2008 with a bonus of $30,000 (totaling $205,000), and $175,000 in 2009 with a $15,000 bonus (totaling $190,000). The total amount of compensation includes benefits which are the same for all employees. I note that my bonus was not necessarily paid in same year for which it was awarded. Also, the compensation increase in 2009 is due to an adjustment that was made to my severance package to account for years of service (maximum one year’s salary). The auditors required that NCLR account for that liability. Whether I receive a raise or bonus this year will be determined by NCLR’s Board in late 2010 or early 2011.

3) NCLR contracted with Sequence LLC for $161,000 in 2007. NCLR incurred this one-time expense as part of a complete overhaul of our website, from re-constructing the structure and navigation, including some content, to the design and migration of the 800+ individual web pages to the new content management system they helped us to put in place. [...]

And since the NCLR web site now hosts three years' of IRS 990 reports, I say that the money spent on the web site for this purpose was well spent. I am so pleased to have Kate and NCLR's excellent example today of what should be the standard at _all_ Gay Inc groups, voluntary posting of the three most current 990s.

Let's see how long it takes for the executives at HRC, NGLTF and GLAAD to get on the gay sunshine bandwagon pronto.

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