Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why is Uncle Sam subsidizing these YMCA CEOs?

Pat Libby, who runs the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research at the University of San Diego, said lawmakers are starting to take a closer look at salaries paid to charity officials.

“It goes to the question of public tax dollars,” she said. “Should people receive a tax deduction for contributing to organizations where executives are so highly compensated?”--San Diego Union Tribune

See also Robert Reich: “Paid-what-you’re-worth” is a toxic myth

The San Diego YMCA pays $544,172 to President and CEO Baron Herdelin-Doherty.

The organization is a bit secretive: it doesn't put its
Form 990 (tax form) on its website. Perhaps one of these
years Herdelin-Doherty will pull in over $1 million like
his predecessor (see San Diego Union-Tribune article below--
the SDUT managed to get a look at the 2009 Form 990).

My experience

I was delighted last July with my clever decision to take exercise classes at the YMCA.

But it didn't work out well. I wasn't able to make it to the classes I wanted to take. I had scheduling conflicts, an injury and I was out of the state for six weeks.

This wasn't the fault of the YMCA, but I'm wondering about their policy of taking $38 out of my checking account every month without regard to whether I am receiving any benefit.

I am thinking in particular about older members who may become incapacitated physically or mentally and who aren't able to make it to the Y to cancel their membership. Some of them might not have email, which is what I used to cancel my membership today. How long will that money keep flowing to the YMCA?

I called to express my concerns about this, but the membership director at the McGrath Family YMCA wasn't available--she was out of the office and wouldn't be available to talk to me for an hour or two. At least, that was the story I was given. But the minute I asked to talk to the executive director, what do you know? The membership director suddenly happened to walk into the office and got on the phone with me!

I said that was serendipitous, and she claimed that she didn't understand what I was talking about and that I should talk to someone else. So I am writing this as I wait for a call from Jennifer Pillsbury.

While waiting, I Googled the San Diego YMCA and discovered that their Form 990 (tax form) is not on their website!

Charity Navigator, however, has collected some information:
Compensation of Leaders (FYE 06/2012)

$544,172 Baron Herdelin-Doherty President, CEO
$187,500 Richard A. Collato Former President, CEO [The former president is still pulling in all this money? No wonder it cost me so much for classes. See below for San Diego Union-Tribune story about Collato.]

Now get this. Here's the mission of the YMCA:
Character development is an important part of the YMCA Mission and through all its programs the YMCA works at teaching young people to accept and demonstrate the four core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility in their daily lives.

Doesn't "responsibility" include putting your form 990 on your website? Doesn't "caring, honesty and respect" include not taking money from people when giving them nothing in return?

YMCA chief was paid nearly $1 million
The nonprofit says it was a one-year anomaly based on a retention package for the successful leader
By Jeff McDonald
Dec. 9, 2010

Richard Collato

Tax form for the YMCA of San Diego County Pay compared

YMCA of San Diego County

President/CEO Richard Collato [Retired Sept. 30}
Compensation: $954,441
Gross receipts: $151.8 million
Employees: 4,178*
Endowment: $14.9 million

*Number provided by YMCA of San Diego County; 2008 tax records state 5,967; YMCA staff declined to explain the discrepancy

Story continued HERE.

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