Saturday, November 30, 2013

BAR: World AIDS Day, Executive Pay & Profiteer Dan Pallotta

(Credit: Ben Sklar, the New York Times.)

Kudos to Bay Area Reporter editor Cynthia Laird for her column this week marking the observance of 25 years of World AIDS Day commemorations, and with too much blather from AIDS Inc soliciting sympathy and donations all over social media and print outlets, for throwing a cold bucket of water on all the warm fuzzies for December 1st.

Think twice before donating to any AIDS organization, look at their IRS 990s over a few years, question why compensation packages are so high and ask how satisfied are people with HIV and AIDS with how the group handles their revenue.

Cynthia reminds us that for too long, two major nonprofits stonewalled opening the books on the California AIDS Rides put on by profiteer (and proud of it), Dan Pallotta, and once the truth came out, only after years of dogged reporting by the BAR, POZ magazine and Philadelphia Gay News, we all learned how the biggest beneficiary of the rides was Pallotta. My post earlier this month on Pallotta in the New York Times boasting of being a profiteer but not a queen, is here.

Read the full BAR editorial and share it far and wide, please:

Some people never change or fade away: Dan Pallotta is back, seeking to profit by preaching his flawed management gospel to the nonprofit world through a new organization, the Charity Defense Council. Local nonprofit executives should run for the hills – quick! 

Pallotta, a gay man, made his name in the 1990s through the California AIDS Ride and other massive fundraising treks like the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Eventually it became obvious over the years that the AIDS Ride in particular began to line Pallotta's pockets with increasing fees at the expense of the charities. [...] 

He created this new entity [the Charity Defense Council] to enrich himself by doing what he knows best: priming charities to believe in his flawed fundraising model in order to sign them up as future clients. Nonprofits shouldn't give him $1 to support his outdated, inefficient, ineffective, and failed organizational philosophy. [...] 

Pallotta talks about how when he was doing major fundraising his ego was bruised because other wealthier people his age were driving BMWs and taking European vacations. "There are things you are not able to afford," he said. "It makes you envious. It makes you wonder, 'Do I really want to give up all of those things in the name of helping other people?'" Um, yes, Dan, you do. [...] 

[We] continue to see in the HIV/AIDS field, as well as plenty of other organizations that cater to the LGBT community and nonprofits in general [that executive salaries . In our view, six-figure salaries are rarely warranted for nonprofits that don't have multimillion-dollar budgets. [...] Some AIDS organizations have reduced client services in recent years yet salaries have stayed the same or increased in the executive suite. [...] 

This World AIDS Day, the 25th annual observance of an epidemic that wiped out a generation of gay men and continues to ravage communities around the globe, let's think about that.

No comments: