Friday, August 17, 2012

GLAAD's $4.5M Deficit Over Last 3 Years

(Page 1 of GLAAD's tax return showing deficits in 2009 and 2010.)

On Tuesday, I blogged about the $2.5 million deficit reported in the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's 2011 IRS 990 filing. In response to my post, a longtime GLAAD watchdog offered this analysis:

I ended up writing an analysis/commentary with the headline: GLAAD = SAD (Spending Absent Donations) If you look at their direct mail/phone contractor, in 2011 they spent $401,000 and lost $56,000!!! 

No established group should do that, they should have an established membership base. But GLAAD doesn't. 

Also, if you look at the earlier IRS forms, over the last 5 years the only time they were in the black was one year with a surge of income, which I suspect was one or a few bequests. That is where much of their assets come from that they've been spending down. 

A credible organization would use such windfalls to either establish a revenue generating endowment and/or as a capital investment in creating new program activity that would be self-sustaining. But they just pissed it away. 

The Karen Ocamb story (gush, gush) at the Bilerico Project was interesting for the quote from Graddick saying they are becoming the PR firm for the community. Well, a client hires a PR firm, and judging from the lack of community support for GLAAD (i.e. membership and paying for it), the only people who have hired them are the corporate underwriters. 

 (Page 1 of GLAAD'S return for 2011 reporting a $2.5M deficit.)

Following the watchdog's advice, I looked over GLAAD's IRS 990s for 2010, which reported $450,343 deficit, and the 2009 edition and a deficit of $1,480,527, and saw a troubling pattern.

Over the last three years, GLAAD has racked up a $4,522,505 deficit.

Does a four-and-a-half million deficit sound like GLAAD is a responsible organization with its revenue?

Speaking of GLAAD's revenue, it looks like the Arcus Foundation has no interest in funding them anymore. From 2007 thru 2010, Arcus wasted $1,415,000 on GLAAD's useless programs and awards, and no grants show up in the 2011 list of recipients at the foundation's site.

Over at the Haas Jr Fund's site, records show they pissed away $550,000 on GLAAD from 2006 thru 2009 and gave no additional funding in 2010 and 2011.

What about money from the David Bohnett Foundation? It gave GLAAD $1,136,000 since 1988, but for 2012 all they've given is $4,500 and that was for GLAAD's inconsequential awards racket.

Maybe these foundations realized what many smart LGBT people have long known about GLAAD. It's a leech upon the gay body politic and not worthy of donations.

Another LGBT funder, the Gill Foundation, has made robust grants to GLAAD. In 2008 Gill wasted $5,000 on GLAAD, during 2009 the grant was $406,000, and in 2010 the amount was $308,000. Gill provides no 2011 or 2012 figures on their site.

One important way to look at such grants is that they artificially prop up GLAAD, when it has such miniscule support among average LGBT people. This is an organization for foundations and corporations to throw money at, and just because it's raked in millions does not equal a "community" organization with a purpose other than keeping paychecks going to staffers who should be working in the catering and awards industries.

A $4.5 million cumulative deficit over three-years sure doesn't tell a story that GLAAD's leaders are good fiscal stewards.


Stephen R. Stapleton, Sacramento, CA said...

Michael, who is loaning GLAAD $4.5 million dollars? That is a huge sum of money and I can't imagine a bank or other financial institution would do so. GLAAD doesn't have solid assets that could be pledged as collateral for such a loan. Thus, where is this money coming from?

Someone has loaned GLAAD a huge amount of money and I have to assume that entity has great say in GLAAD's decisions. Thus, who they are could be very meaningful.

Unknown said...

The IRS 990s for GLAAD show their nest egg assets are greatly diminished, and I believe they are taking from the assets to cover the deficits. Not sure any gays with money would want to throw money down the GLAAD toilet, not after reading their tax returns.

Anonymous said...

All our orgs should be up front about finances. This item is disturbing. Why are people suppporting GLAAD? The major drop in fundraising, staff cuts, turnover at the top tells me there is a major problem. And regarding the latest flap with Jeff Lewis, I believe Jeff was wrong to say what he did, but GLAAD normally goes after the network. Oh right, Bravo is a major supporter of GLAAD's. GLAAD should demand Bravo automatically address issues like this, but that does not help them raise money. Waiting for something to happen and then ringing a bell about it does.

Anonymous said...

Michael - it is interesting that a few years back, GLAAD went after Bravo when reality stars used a derogatory term as reported by Queerty. Bravo is providing talent for an upcoming GLAAD event, which I would guess is why they are not going after Bravo, unless their policies have changed? Why not hold Bravo accountable for running the scene? Have you even been able to get an interview with GLAAD? Between the finances and this, things appear out of order.