Tuesday, December 03, 2013

AIDS Vaccine Initiative: Why Government Grants Have Decreased

There is an enormous difference of purposes and goals of a local AIDS service organization such as Food and Friends, and a research nonprofit effort with a global focus. I'm not comparing the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative fiscal stewardship with a hot-meals program for people living with HIV and AIDS, but I am committed to sunshining the IRS 990 filings of AIDS Inc organizations whatever their goals are. There cannot be too much transparency regarding any HIV organization.

As always, I give tremendous credit to groups that post several years' worth of tax reports on their sites and IAVI shares four years' of their 990s here.

These are key figures gleaned from the filings:

2009: $83.9 million
2010: $63.2 million
2011: $60.5 million
2012: $61.4 million

2009: $114 million
2010: $94.7 million
2011: $76.3 million
2012: $68.5 million

Government Grants
2009: $69 million
2010: $50.1 million
2011: $49.3 million
2012: $30.2 million

Private Donations
2009: $11.9 million
2010: $11.9 million
2011: $8.7 million
2012: $28.9 million

Executive Director Compensation
Seth Berkley
2009: $599,521
2010: $534,329
2011: $803,415
Margaret McGlynn
2012: $500,381

I asked IAVI's spokesman Arne Naeveke to explain the decline in government grants 

The global economic downturn led to lower government funding during the past several years, for IAVI and many other not-for-profit organizations. In response, IAVI focused and streamlined programs and expenditures to areas in which the organization can deliver the most value, consistent with what we believe is a sustainable funding level of about $60 million a year.  

It is difficult to compare deficits between two different years as we sometimes receive grants in a given year that will be spent primarily in subsequent years. 

Since the downturn in the economy and government funding, IAVI has spent down a portion of its temporarily restricted funds in strategic advancement of its mission. In 2013, IAVI’s program and operational expenditures were largely matched by current year donor funding.

In 2012, a different allocation method was used for government vs. private sector funding, making it difficult to compare figures for 2009 and 2012. In 2013, IAVI received about 75% of its funding from government donors, and 25% from the private sector, primarily foundations.  

Kudos to IAVI for shedding light on their stewardship of funds!

Given the enormous need of a vaccine, I'm not arguing that at all that we shouldn't be spending the money. Indeed, I hope the researchers around the world in their laboratories develop a safe, effective and affordable vaccine against HIV in our lifetime. 

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