Showing posts with label Non Profit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Non Profit. Show all posts

December 14, 2017

The Salvation Army Looks Nice But Inside its Always Been Anti-Gay-What is a Giving Person to Do?


Growing up in suburban North Carolina, the sound of a tinkling bell and the subsequent call for donations became ubiquitous with the holiday season. Each time I went to the grocery store or Wal-Mart, I’d see someone ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, and if I was lucky, they might even be wearing a Santa suit or dressed up like an elf. As a kid, I had fond memories of running up to the person ringing the bell, slipping a dollar into the bucket, and feeling like I’d done my part.

Increasingly, those memories have become clouded, fogged up with knowledge about the Salvation Army’s complicated history with the LGBTQ+ community. These days, it’s hard for a queen like me to scroll through her newsfeed around the holiday season without seeing a post from someone reminding me not to give to the Salvation Army because they are homophobic, transphobic, fundamentalist, or worse.

For my own rainbow edification, I decided to do some digging, and the results were, well, confusing. What I can say, with absolute certainty, is that the Salvation Army has a pretty sketchy history of bigotryclose-mindednesshostility, and general weirdness towards LGBTQ+ folks around the world. They’re like that ex-boyfriend who cheated on you in ninth grade but swore that he changed this summer and tenth grade is going to be different. Sure, you could keep dating him, but you deserve better.

The problem with the Salvation Army is that they’ve layered the good in with the bad: the frosting is nice, but the cake is dry. In their mission statement, they say that their goal is “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination,” and the without discrimination part is what gets me. 

Not discriminating against LGBTQ+ people isn’t a crowning achievement: it’s the bare minimum necessary to be a decent organization. To be an organization worthy of donations and financial support from people who care about LGBTQ+ folks and about equality, you have to do a whole lot more than simply not discriminating in order to pass go.

What's a girl to do if she's feeling philanthropic around the holidays? If you’re feeling extra generous this holiday season, and you care at all about the fact that an estimated 40 percent of homeless youth in the United States identify as LGBTQ+ or about the fact that transgender people in America are four times more likely to live in abject poverty, here are eight organizations that are a helluva lot more deserving of your donation:
The Ali Forney Center: Headquartered in New York City, the Ali Forney Center works “to protect LGBTQ+ youth from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.”

TGI Justice Project: Located in the Bay Area, the TGI Justice Project works with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated trans and gender nonconforming people to create a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.

The Hetrick-Martin Institute: With locations in both New York City and Newark, NJ, the Hetrick-Martin Institute provides a range of support services -- from community programming, art workshops, and GED programs, to crisis intervention, health counseling, and housing support -- for economically marginalized LGBTQ+ young people.
Casa Ruby: Open six days a week, Casa Ruby provides a bilingual, multicultural safe space for LGBTQ+ people in Washington, DC. Their staff and volunteers provide basic human services to more than 150 clients per week, including hot meals, support groups, case management, and emergency housing referrals.

True Colors Fund: Founded by Cyndi Lauper in 2008, the True Colors Fund works to support homeless LGBTQ+ youth through a combination of youth empowerment programs, public policy advocacy, and nationwide training with homeless service providers.
Audre Lorde Project: The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Nonconforming People of Color center for community organizing. With a major focus on community wellness and economic justice, ALP works to develop and implement culturally specific and effective programs reflecting the needs of LGBTQ+ People of Color in New York City.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project: The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Through a collective organizing approach, SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for gender nonconforming people, with a focus on low-income people and people of color.

Your Local LGBTQ+ Community Center: There are LGBTQ+ Community Centers in hundreds of cities across the country, and many centers have programs specifically designed to foster economic empowerment for folks in the community. Many, like the Los Angeles LGBT Center, provide services specifically for LGBTQ+ adults and young people experiencing homelessness.

So the next time you see an elf asking you to put money in a bucket outside the grocery store, first check that you’re not hallucinating. Then, resist your nostalgic instinct to put a dollar in the bucket, whip out your phone instead, and donate to any of these fabulous organizations — organizations that empower the most marginalized folks in the LGBTQ+ community while holding the fullness of our shimmering identities.

Jacob Tobia is a writer, producer, and author of the forthcoming memoir Sissy with Putnam Books at Penguin Random House. Named in the Forbes 30 Under 30, Jacob served as the Social Media Producer on Season 4 of the Emmy Award-winning series Transparent. Jacob's work and activism have been featured in TIME Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Playboy, and The Guardian, among others.

October 3, 2016

Follow The Money? Ye$, NYAG Orders Trump Foundation to Stop Fundraising$

 Paying taxes Will go further to help more than an empty hug

The New York attorney general has notified Donald Trump that his charitable foundation is violating state law — by soliciting donations without proper certification — and ordered Trump’s charity to stop its fundraising immediately, the attorney general’s office said Monday.

James Sheehan, head of the attorney general’s charities bureau, sent the “notice of violation” to the Donald J. Trump Foundation on Friday, according to a copy of the notice provided by the press office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D).

The night before that, The Washington Post reported that Trump’s charity had been soliciting donations from other people without being properly registered in New York state.

According to tax records, Trump’s foundation has subsisted entirely on donations from others since 2008, when Trump gave his last personal donation. This year, the Trump Foundation made its most wide-ranging request for donations yet: It set up a public website,, to gather donations that Trump said would be passed on to veterans’ groups.

But the Trump Foundation never registered under article 7A of New York’s Executive Law, as is required for any charity soliciting more than $25,000 a year from the public. One important consequence: Trump’s foundation avoided rigorous outside audits, which New York law requires of larger charities that ask the public for money.
The Washington Post's David A. Fahrenthold explains how Donald Trump directed people who owed him money to make their payments to the tax-exempt Donald J. Trump Foundation instead. 
“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York,” Sheehan wrote to the foundation, of which Trump himself is still president. The Trump Foundation has no paid employees, and its board consists of Trump, three of his children and one Trump Organization employee. They all work one half-hour per week, according to the charity’s most recent IRS filings.

Schneiderman ordered the Trump Foundation to supply the state, within 15 days, with all the legal paperwork required of charities that solicit money from the public.

In addition, Sheehan ordered that Trump’s foundation provide all the financial audit reports it should have provided in prior years, when it raised money without legal permission. He said that if Trump’s foundation did not stop its fundraising and file the proper paperwork, that would be considered “a continuing fraud upon the people of New York.”

Trump’s campaign has not responded to The Post’s questions about the Trump Foundation’s registration in New York state. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Schneiderman’s order, sent early Monday afternoon.

July 17, 2014

A Catholic Org Forgoes Funding Rather than Agree Not to Discriminate


A Catholic organization has decided to cut off long-standing funding to a Portland immigrant rights group that works with day laborers over its affiliation with an organization that supports same-sex marriage.
Voz Workers’ Rights Education lost a $75,000 grant in June from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which is the national anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 
Catholic Campaign director Ralph McCloud said the group asked Voz to cut ties with the National Council of La Raza, a large Latino civil rights organization that endorses marriage equality, to be considered for the grant. Voz has been an affiliate of NCLR since 2009, primarily as a grantee. 
After Voz refused to cut its ties, the organization “self-disqualified” itself from the funding process, McCloud said. 
In June, the bishops approved more than $14 million in grants to 205 organizations. The bishops had supported Voz since 1994, via 10 grants, McCloud said.
 “It’s certainly difficult and painful, because Voz has done some tremendous work,” McCloud said. “But it became obvious that they were assisting in something that was contrary to the teachings of our traditions. And we have to honor our donors’ intent that this money be spent on issues that are not contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
Voz is not the first nonprofit to lose church funding because of ties to organizations that endorse same-sex marriage.
A coalition of conservative Catholic groups led by the American Life League has criticized what it sees as lax administration by the Catholic Campaign and has been working since 2009 to call attention to CCHD grantees with activities, positions or affiliations with other nonprofits that contradict Church teachings on abortion, contraception and gay rights. 
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops conducted a review of the grant program and adopted several changes in 2010 that were designed to clarify the eligibility rules and strengthen the application review process. As a result of the review, nine nonprofits that were part of coalitions led by groups that supported reproductive rights or same-sex marriage no longer qualified for the funds, McCloud said. Others chose not to apply, or re-apply.
Community organizations serving immigrants and the poor in Colorado, Illinois, California and several other states have either had to decide whether to forgo their grants or sever their relationships with larger groups whose views the church considers problematic.
The lost grant represents a large bulk of Voz’s annual budget of $310,000, said Voz director Romeo Sosa. But he said the decision to withdraw from the grant competition allowed Voz to maintain its values.
“Marriage equality is not the focus of our work; we focus on immigrant rights. But we work with everyone, we don’t discriminate,” Sosa said. “There may be gays and lesbians among our staff or workers, and we can’t turn our backs on them.”
Local labor, immigrant rights, and groups that support gay rights have vowed to fundraise for Voz to fill the financial hole left by the grant’s loss.
Lisa Leff/ San Francisco.

November 9, 2013

GMHC The Biggest AIDS Non Profit is Breeding Internally From Self Inflicted Wounds

I was alerted about the enclosed DNA article by one of my readers. Before that I only had rumors which I believe to be true but you can’t print rumors as truth.
This problem with GMHC (Gay men’s Health Crisis) is something that most of us have suspected or came to know when details of the money GMAC threw away in the Hudson River for some unexplained reason  and now evidence came to light. This board (GMHC) decided to break their lease and move to a prettier building right in the West Village and got themselves in this astronomical bind by not only having to pay rent of the old building while paying for the new one but having unrented non utilized space in the new building while they cut services and staff.
AIDS Walk Supporters Outraged to Hear Most Donations Go to Rent

They got themselves in the red by many thousands of dollars comparing the money coming in by donations and a trickle by rents on the new building. So they really got stuck with two buildings and diminished services while they are bleeding to death financially.  It looks on paper like they stop being a non profit for services like they have been known since Larry Kramer got together with a bunch of good people to start a service for all these guys that were dropping dead by AIDS.

They seemed like they lost sight of their mission and of the realities of simple math that most people follow. You got to live where you can afford to live not where you dream to live.They went into real estate to give money away to realtors and to a well paid Corporate Executive staff.

GMHC CEO Fired After Widespread Outrage, Sources Say
GMHC CEO Fired After Widespread Outrage, Sources Say

It did not take a genius to see all the money coming in from the AIDS Walk, which it really belong to them as beneficiaries and then see that instead of services getting better, they were getting curtailed or eliminated.  This was happening while their board argued like chickens without heads about how they can look good on the outside and continue the financial chaos they have gotten themselves into. Even after they fired one of the zombies responsible for the move, they go and appoint the deputy to that zombie and proponent of the move to the W.Village.

When I first got involved in non profits, first as a volunteer and then as a part time staff for about 5 years I saw how easy it would be for a zombie like person or a dishonest board to bring a good thing benefiting people at the bottom to come crashing to earth. Like every corporation if the wrong people get control of the helm any org no matter size and history will be castrated.

One of the early signs I saw was compensation to the people on top. The idea that you have to pay top money to get top people is a myth started by people trying to justify inflated salaries for sitting behind a desk and collecting ideas from their subordinates.  While you have people working for nothing at the bottom, good people with experience in their work and well educated yet there is no desire to bring people from the bottom up and sometimes they even go to the opposite coast of the nation to find a Chairman, President, or Director paying top dollar to someone who has no idea who the particular Org is or is run and it’s needs. They are hired because they sell themselves as people that can sell the company and get people to give money. They hire top sales people not administrators. If they can show they got a company to give money in the past, that puts them in front of the resume pile. They do a credit check but not a character check with people that have work with these individuals.

When I saw those things Im describing  in the non profit I quit non profit work and went back to the regular job market. There is doggie eat doggie but at least they do it in your face.  Everything is in front of you.
My Non profit had gone to the West Coast to replace a Director that was successful at selling the organization but he had a lot of baggage and He even realized he had to run away and quit or he was quietly canned. The Chief Executive Officer brought in someone ineffective that cost them a year of pay, even though they knew they had a dud within the first 90 days. I felt a sense of shame of going to work even though I enjoyed my job but when things became a game of showing figures and numbers and no caring for real results for working with those in need. I hope they have changed and I hope is not too late to GMHC but on the next AIDS Walk there will be a bunch of people and money missing in action.

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher AdamfoxieBlog International

Mathew Katz

By Mathew Katz on November 7, 2013 7:12am | Updated 4 hrs ago

Where the AIDS Walk Money Goes
CLICK TO EXPAND: Where the AIDS Walk money and other GMHC donations go.
DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

CHELSEA — Of the millions of dollars raised every year through the AIDS Walk and other private donations, only a tiny fraction is spent on actually helping HIV-positive New Yorkers, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The rest pays for rent, executive salaries and administration costs for Gay Men's Health Crisis.
The oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the city expects to raise $11.4 million in donations this year — including $5.4 million from the popular AIDS Walk.
But only $374,000 of that money will go to HIV-postive and at-risk people, according to an analysis of GMHC's internal financial documents and multiple sources within the organization.
Nearly 97 percent of the small, private donations GMHC receives will go toward administrative costs, including paying the nonprofit's $389,000-per-month rent for it's largely empty office on the West Side, according to documents for the 2014 fiscal year obtained by DNAinfo.
In all, GMHC plans to spend $4.6 million in donations this year on rent and other building expenses.
"When you donate to the AIDS Walk, you think that you're funding meals, mental health, job training and legal services," said one GMHC insider, who asked to remain anonymous. "In fact, your donation is used to pay rent on empty space."
In addition to rent, the $11.4 million GMHC expects to receive in donations this year will also cover $4.2 million in fundraising costs, including nearly $2 million to put on the AIDS Walk. Some of that cash goes to MZA Events, a for-profit company that helps organize the event each spring. 
Those fundraising costs include about $450,000 of AIDS Walk money that's raised by smaller AIDS organizations and then passed back to those groups after being processed by GMHC.
GMHC also expects to spend about $720,000 worth of donations on its finance department this year and $500,000 on information systems, according to documents and sources.
The CEO's office will set GMHC back another $435,000, the communications department will cost $335,000 and the COO's office will cost $293,000.
The AIDS Walk raises millions of dollars each year for GMHC, but only a tiny portion of that money is spent on AIDS prog...
DNAinfo/Paul Lomax
By comparison, GMHC will spend just $174,000 of its donations this year on its Volunteer, Work and Wellness Center and its popular meal program; $168,000 on influencing public policy; and $32,000 on compiling reports and statistics about people living with HIV and AIDS, documents show.
The AIDS Walk website claims that money raised "will help GMHC continue to provide their life-saving programs and services to 10,000 men, women and families living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in New York City."
Krishna Stone, a spokeswoman for the GMHC, said the donations were intended mainly for infrastructure and administrative costs.
"AIDS Walk New York is the largest source of unrestricted funds for GMHC, helping to fill in the gaps in government-funded programs (like food service), to pay for some non-government funded programs (like policy work) and to support the vital infrastructure that makes it possible for GMHC to continue to fight AIDS," she said.
large donate button on the organization's website also claims that 88 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to services and programs. The actual number is closer to 3 cents of every dollar, according to records.
"It's inappropriate and it's not right — every organization is going to have some overhead, but that overhead needs to be reasonable," said Stephanie Kalivas, an analyst with CharityWatch, a group that provides information about nonprofit accountability, when given a summary of GMHC's budget.
"You have to question why the board would approve that."
GMHC does spend millions of dollars each year on programs and advocacy for people living with HIV and AIDS: Nearly half of the nonprofit's $27 million budget this year is set to go toward programs like HIV testing, a health center and advocacy work. However, the cost of those services is almost entirely covered by a shrinking pool of government grants, government contracts and Medicaid, documents show.
In addition to government funding, GMHC also receives large donations from established groups like the Ford Foundation, which can restrict the money they give to a specific purpose, such as preventing HIV in prisons.
Individual donations, though, go into GMHC's $11.4 million "unrestricted" pool, which the organization can spend as it pleases — this year, almost entirely on rent and other administrative costs.
GMHC similarly devoted almost all of its unrestricted donations to administrative costs in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, sources said.
The organization has been struggling financially for the past several years, posting a six-figure deficit in 2012, records show.
Spending on AIDS service programs has plummeted as the organization lost out on some government contracts and others dried up due to the federal budget sequester, sources said. Staff saw their salaries slashed and were forced to take a furlough this year.
At the same time, two of the agency's top leadership positions are vacant: CEO Marjorie Hill was fired by the board in September and Chief Financial Officer David Fazio left the organization last month.
Chief Operating Officer Janet Weinberg has stepped in as interim CEO role since Hill's departure.
Along with Hill, Weinberg pushed heavily for the organization to move into its expensive new West 33rd Street offices in 2011, sources said.
GMHC now spends 21.1 percent of its overall annual budget on rent and building expenses — far more than other AIDS organizations in the city. Housing Works, by contrast, spends 7.7 percent of its budget on real estate costs, while Harlem Unitedspends 6 percent of its budget on its offices, according to records.
GMHC's board is now looking to break its lease and move out of its pricey 165,000-square-foot main office, which has rows of empty desks and unused rooms, sources said.
"They need to fix the real estate issue," said Peter Staley, a prominent AIDS and gay rights activist. "It's going to bury them, cost-wise, until they get that straightened out."
Staley added that he hoped GMHC would get back to spending cash on its original mission of providing clients with basic services like meals, legal support and help navigating government bureaucracy. That might mean moving to less expensive areas of the city like northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs, where many clients live, he said.
"Quite frankly, it's a mess in there — you can see it when you visit and you can see it when they cut down on programs," said one longtime client of the organization who asked to remain anonymous.
"For someone who has done the AIDS Walk for years, it's just a disgrace."
UPDATE: Gay Men's Health Crisis released a statement Friday afternoon in response to DNAinfo's story. READ FULL STATEMENT HERE.

November 9, 2011

Get This } Occupy Oakland Deposits $20K @ WeLls FaRgO

By Evann Gastaldo
(NEWSER– So much for Bank Transfer Dayand, you know, railing against Wall Street: Occupy Oakland took its $20,000 straight to Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest bank holding company in the US. The group’s general assembly agreed—just about unanimously—to temporarily put the large donation from Occupy Wall Street into the big bank Monday, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Not surprisingly, the 162-8 vote (16 abstained) led to outrage on Twitter.
“I can see the ad now: ‘People’s money is so safe here at Wells Fargo, even our sworn enemies use us for their banking needs!’” wrote@davidcolburn. Some, like @graceface, opted for a simpler message: “ARE YOU F***ING SERIOUS?!” Occupy Oakland does plan to ultimately transfer the money to a credit union, but needs to open an account as an unincorporated association first. The Examiner also notes another bit of irony: “Last week,” writes Sarah Gantz, “one or more Occupy Oakland protesters smashed the windows of a Wells Fargo branch.”

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