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Recent Articles


Executive Compensation at the March of Dimes (2018)

The March of Dimes continues to endure. For people following the March of Dimes, the past few years have been tough on the organization.

Just 5 years ago the March of Dimes had $75 million in net fund assets and was raising close to $200 million annually, but they were spending more than they raised.  Over the next few years, revenue started to decline and the organization went into a negative net fund position because they were spending anywhere from $8-$27 million more than they raised annually, had to fund a pension/post retirement liability, and had losses on investments. Read more »


Pink Peppercorns

If you’re looking to spice up a salad, pasta dish, or virtually any side dish or entree, think about sprinkling pink peppercorns on the top.  In contrast to red, white, green, or black peppercorns which are hard and crunchy and really need to be ground to release their powerful flavor, pink peppercorns are light, airy, and have a hollow like texture making them very easy to eat.

In terms of flavor, pink peppercorns are slightly sweet with a very light peppery flavor (so you won’t be overwhelmed with eating them straight). These super beautiful and tasty dried berries add color, texture, and flavor to almost any dish. Read more »


How Membership Dues to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Are Spent

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is a trade association in the food industry, representing  more than 200 companies that manufacture and market branded and private label food and consumer packaged goods through retail, wholesale and foodservice channels of distribution. Their mission “is to empower the industry to grow and thrive.”

Over the past several years, the GMA has undergone many changes including a substantial drop in revenue (from $38 million in 2015 to $19 million in 2018) which appears to have resulted in a big change in management (the departure of the President and CEO and several other executives and a new President and CEO installed in 2018). Read more »


Executive Compensation at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is a a trade organization representing more than 200 of the leading food companies that manufacture and market branded and private label food and consumer packaged goods through retail, wholesale and foodservice channels of distribution. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the GMA is a non-profit 501 (c) (6) – a business association – and thus, tax-exempt. In addition, GMA has a Foundation (GMA Science and Education Foundation) and a PAC (GMA Political Action Committee) operating out of the same office location. Read more »


How Membership Dues are Spent at the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA)

The Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) is a non-profit 501 (c) (5) – an agricultural, horticultural, or labor organization. As such, revenue is supposed to be derived primarily through membership dues which are based on the number of cattle ($120:  less than 100 head; $370:  up to 500 head; $620: up to 1,000 head, etc). Although these dues are not tax deductible at the federal level, the organization reports that 92% of the dues – the portion not directly allocated to lobbying – are deductible as a business expense. Read more »


Where Does $100 to RIP Medical Debt Go?

Most recently, the national news has given quite a bit of airtime to a non-profit known as RIP Medical Debt, calling the organization out for doing good deeds like paying off medical bills for people unable to settle these debts. Seems RIP Medical Debt has been acquiring bad debt (debt sent to collection agencies) for pennies and paying off that debt thereby erasing a person’s obligation to pay accumulated medical bills.

Established in 2014 by two former debt collection executives, RIP Medical Debt was created to collect donations to buy large bundles of medical debt and then forgive that debt with no tax consequences (although the donor making the donation to RIP Medical Debt gets the deduction). Read more »


The Christmas of ’51

Several years ago, I posted a story about the Christmas holidays and the Christmas of 1951, when my husband was 4 years old. It’s a story worth reposting because its message conveys the real meaning of the holidays:  being with the ones you love. Read more »


Where Does Donations to the Center for Consumer Freedom Go?

The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) was established in 2002 but changed its name to the Center for Organizational Research and Education (CORE) in 2014, but still uses both names.

Founded by Richard Berman, founder, principal and president of Berman and Company, a Washington, DC-based firm “specializing in research, communications, and creative advertising” reportedly for the fast food, soft drink, alcohol, restaurant and meat industries, CCF/CORE is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) who runs media campaigns against organizations whose doctors, scientists, environmentalists, health activists, animal activists, and employees who report and advocate information to the consumer. Although CCF/CORE reports the organization is leading the charge to protect personal freedoms, a closer look at the finances of CCF/CORE reveals that the primary person that benefits from donations to this organization is, in fact, Richard Berman. Read more »


Understanding the American Medical Association (AMA)

The American Medical Association is a non-profit 501 (c) (6) – a professional association – based in Chicago, Illinois with about 215,000 members who pay about $400 annually (although medical students and residents are exempt from annual fees).

The AMA raises about $300 million annually and spends half its revenue on staff compensation for the nearly 1,100 employees.  With a $560 million net fund balance (or what some people refer to as an endowment), the AMA is in a strong financial position.

Although the AMA publishes the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the primary income stream is from royalties the organization receives for establishing, maintaining, and allowing doctors, practices, groups, hospitals, and payers (i.e. insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, etc) to use it’s CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) Codes system.  Membership dues only provide about 12% of revenue annually. Read more »


Where Does $100 to Samaritan’s Purse Spent (2018)?

Samaritan’s Purse – based out of Boone, North Carolina – is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) established in 1970 by Bob Pierce who died in 1978. W. Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) became Chairman, President, and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse in 1979 and has held the position since although he is also an evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational Christian organization that provides “spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.” Read more »