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Posts from the ‘Special Topics’ Category


A Memorial to Luke: 2009-2022

Luke, my beloved pear-shaped, black and white cat with a big black heart on his chest passed away this week  after suffering from kidney disease.  He came into our lives on August 4, 2009 and he left our lives on August 18, 2022 when he was just 13 years old.

My sweet Luke was supposed to live twenty years (that’s how long everyone told me cats live) so I didn’t expect to be writing a memorial to him in 2022 but kidney disease robbed him of more time so I find myself writing this years before I thought I would have to. I keep thinking it wasn’t suppose to end this soon. Read more »


Where Does $100 to the American Red Cross Go (2021)?

When most people think of the American Red Cross (ARC), they often think of blood collection, testing, and distribution and/or disaster services – both domestic and international and in the most simplistic terms, this is what the ARC is about.

Formally known as the American National Red Cross (the organization is the designated affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), ARC was established by Clara Barton in 1881 and given a charter by Congress in 1900 and again in 1905 to carry out humanitarian services. Since that time, the charter has been amended nine times, with the most recent in 2009 to address reforms to the organization. Read more »


Executive Compensation at Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation (2020)

The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation (JHHSC), along with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is collectively referred to as Johns Hopkins Medicine – an integrated healthcare system that includes the medical school, six hospitals, four healthcare and surgery centers, and 40 outpatient healthcare sites.

Although Johns Hopkins Medicine has numerous non-profits, the focus of this post is the executive compensation at JHHSC (a non-profit 501 (c) (3)  that serves as a support organization for the healthcare system providing management, centralized purchasing, distribution, legal, claims management and other services to support the medical service providers. Read more »


Executive Compensation at the Cruise Lines International Association

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is a Washington, DC-based tax-exempt, non-profit 50 (c) 6 (a trade association) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with a worldwide reach to promote the interests of the cruise industry.

There are 27 independent voting members (board members) of the governing body (board), 24 (89%) of whom are male; 3 (11%) are female.

CLIA, as measured by revenue, is a small trade association. Over the past 5 years, the organization has raised $25-$30 million annually, most of which comes from membership dues.  Expenses have typically matched revenue or been slightly below revenue (allowing the organization to accumulate a small amount – $6 million –  of net assets. Read more »


Executive Compensation at the National Futures Association (2020)

In 1974, Congress established the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as an independent agency of the federal government to regulate the US derivatives market, which includes futures, swaps, and certain types of options.

The National Futures Association (NFA) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) 6 business association that is a self-regulatory organization for the US derivatives market.

Sounds almost the same so what’s the difference? Both organizations are working to ensure legal standards are being adhered to but the NFA is only concerned with members of the NFA while operating under the authority of the CFTC. Read more »


Where Does $100 to Paws for Purple Hearts (2020)

Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH)  is a non-profit, tax-exempt (501) (c) (3) that teaches veterans to train service dogs for their fellow veterans with combat-related injuries. The Form 990 (2020) submitted to the IRS indicates PPH raised $7 million in 2018 (compared to $6 million in 2019)  most of which came from contributions, gifts and grants.  The organization has the same address as “Bergin University of Canine Studies” in Penngrove, California, whose president is Bonita Bergen, who is also the president and CEO of PPH.

There are 8 independent voting members on the governing body, 7 of whom are male and 1 a female (the President and CEO, Bonita Bergen).

Read more »


Executive Compensation at the American Beverage Association (2018)

The American  Beverage Association is a Washington, DC-based non-profit 501 (c) (6) trade association representing America’s non-alcoholic beverage industry. Originally established in 1919 as the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages, the organization was renamed the National Soft Drink Association in 1966, when the soft drink market began growing rapidly in the USA.

In 2004, the organization’s name was changed to the American Beverage Association (ABA), which coincidently was about the time negative press was on the upswing calling out the soft drink industry for the copious amount of sugar and high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks. In subsequent years, as the government imposed taxes on these beverages siting the lack of nutritional benefits and the great cost to the consumer and the health care industry, the ABA has fought attempts by stepping up their lobbying efforts. Read more »


$19 a Month to the ASPCA – How Much Goes to Vet Services?

If you donated $19 a month to the ASPCA in 2020 and want to know how your donation was spent, know that nearly half ($9) went to pay staff, office-related expenses, travel and conferences.  $5 went to pay advertising and promotion and fees for outside services, including professional fundraisers, and miscellaneous expenses. $2 out of every $19 was spent on veterinary services, operating supplies, and grants to other non-profits whose mission is to help protect animals,  leaving $3 unspent and allocated to the organization’s general fund. Read more »


Executive Compensation at Americans For Prosperity (2018)

Americans For Prosperity (AFP) is a conservative political advocacy committee (PAC) founded in 2004. AFP is actually two organizations:  AFP, the social welfare organization and therefore a 501 (c) (4), and the Americans For Prosperity Foundation (AFPF), an “educational” organization, a 501 (c) (3).

Both organizations are tax-exempt non-profits with two major differences between them:  donations to AFP are not tax deductible while donations to AFPF are tax deductible; and, as a 501 (c) (4), AFP can engage in more lobbying (businesses and unions can donate unlimited amounts of funds) while AFPF, as a 501 (c) (3) can only engage in a limited amount of lobbying because the organization is considered an educational organization. Read more »


Where Does $100 to Oral Roberts Ministries Go (2020)?

The Oral Roberts Ministries is legally known as the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (OREA) – a Tulsa, Oklahoma based non-profit 501 (c) (3) whose “evangelistic mission is to pray for healing of the whole man.”  Established in 1947 by Oral Roberts, a televangelist, OREA is now run by Oral’s son, Richard Roberts, along with his wife, Linda Salem Roberts who also appears to be known as Lindsay Roberts.

There are 9 voting members (trustees) of the governing body, 8 of whom are independent; 7 of whom are male, 2 of whom are female.

According to the most recent Form 990 (2019 for the year ending April 30, 2020): Read more »