By Carla B.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Do You Know What You Are Supporting?
Many giving Americans have been tricked, bamboozled, hoodwinked, led astray, run a muck and a few other expletives in regards to the celebrity studded, very viral… ice bucket campaign. Interestingly, the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) challenge has combined both our sense of responsibility to our fellow earthlings, aimed at changing the lives of those afflicted with the disease, not to mention how giving can in fact be fun and fulfilling.
But wait? Ice Bucket Challenge donations are nearing a staggering $100 million. Where is all that money going, you ask?
Well, according to the ALS Foundation, it’s probably NOT where you think.
Here’s a nugget for y’all:
Over 73% of all donations raised are going to fundraising, overhead, executive salaries, and external donations. Less than 27% is actually used for the purpose we donated for. (see chart below)
According to the ECFA, a charitable watchdog, 27% of donations actually making it to the cause they are donated to is unacceptable. In fact, the ECFA won’t deem a non-profit as a reliable charity unless at least 80% of donations make it to their intended projects.
- Jane H. Gilbert – President and CEO –$339,475.00
- Daniel M. Reznikov – Chief Financial Officer – $201,260.00
- Steve Gibson – Chief Public Policy Officer – $182,862.00
- Kimberly Maginnis -Chief of Care Services Officer – $160,646.00
- Lance Slaughter -Chief Chapter Relations and Development Officer – $152,692.00
- Michelle Keegan – Chief Development Officer – $178,744.00
- John Applegate – Association Finance Officer – $118.726.00
- David Moses – Director of Planned Giving – $112,509.00
- Carrie Munk – Chief Communications and Marketing Officer – $142,875.00
- Patrick Wildman – Director of Public Policy – $112,358.00
- Kathi Kromer – Director of State Advocacy – $110,661.00
Notably, as seen above total administration costs were under just under $2 million and “other salaries and wages” were $3.6 million, with another half million dollars in “pension plans” and “employee benefits.” Expenses for non-employee labor were about $4 million, and “travel expenses” exceeded $1.3 million.
So total costs for labor to run the association was around $12.5 million, from revenues received totaling $24 million. So we can gather that over 50% of what the ALS Association receives appears to support salaries of people working for the Association.
Here is the breakdown for the rest of the revenue:
Almost $1 million was spent on “Lobbying” (Schedule C Part II 2a). Here is what they wrote concerning their Lobbying efforts:
Explanation: The purpose of our advocacy program is to sensitize legislators to, and obtain their sympathy for, the plight of ALS victims, patients and their families, and to influence legislation regarding the appropriation of federal funds for ALS research and the use and cost to patients of “orphan” drugs.
The largest amount of what is remaining is: “Grants and other assistance to governments and organizations in the United States” (Part IX line 1) – $6.2 million. This amount is itemized on Schedule 1. Almost all of these recipients are medical schools, with strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
The ALS Association was started in 1985, and they still have not invested in any new cures for ALS. One of the latest failures was Biogen’s drug dexpramipexole, which halted research in early 2013. The drug was in research for more than 10 years at an estimated cost of between $75 million and $100 million, but was abandoned in last stage development due to poor results. (Source.)
If You Are Pro-life, You Are Supporting Research in Stem-Cells from Aborted Fetuses for ALS
The ALS Foundation’s primary work in “research” is in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, and that includes stem cell research. Here is one study where they have been listed as a sponsor: A Phase I, Open-label, First-in-human Feasibility and Safety Study of Human Spinal Cord derived Neural Stem Cell Transplantation for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Quote:
These stem cells have been engineered from the spinal cord of a single fetus electively aborted after eight weeks of gestation. The tissue was obtained with the mother’s consent.
When we make a contribution to a charity, typically we want to know that the particular charity reflects our own values, so this will be important information for many people.
For a review of over 500 published studies on natural approaches to ALS that you are unlikely to see referenced by the ALS charities supporting the pharmaceutical industry, see GreenMedInfo.com’s research page on ALS here.
Charities and fun activities like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge can often give us a feeling of contributing to something very helpful and worthwhile, but it is always wise to research any charity first. Examining their tax returns is one good way to find out where their money is actually being spent.
Click here to read the full article by Health Impact Daily News.
What are your thoughts? Sound off below in the comments.
Tweet to @EOTMOnline