Where Does the Money Go?
Nice work if you can get it. Aw, go ahead and click it. Hint, it's a tax form.
Nice work if you can get it. Aw, go ahead and click it. Hint, it's a tax form.
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Looking at this 990 a couple of things have me puzzled.
I notice that there are a lot of employees of the organization, very few of whom received any compensation. I’m not silly enough to believe that just because this form shows that these individuals received no compensation, they really did receive nothing of value from the works that this organization has done. I’ve seen enough about how support organizations work here locally to understand that they’re all rather in bed together, so to speak. Or as someone close to me once put it, “the relationships are incestuous”.
I keep hearing it said “follow the money”. Look at how many organizations received cash grants. How is anyone supposed to follow that money??
I’m not saying that the people receiving compensation or grants from AS have to be taking money in exchange for working to silence, publicly, any mention of a vaccine/autism link. But I do wonder why, after seeing things like this …
Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy group, recently made its clearest public statement yet that minimizes the link between vaccines and autism.
… occur repeatedly, they continue to want to have their names associated with this organization if they do believe that there is a link.
I’m not at all surprised to see Bob and Suzanne Wright listed. But some of the names surprised me. People such as Sallie Bernard. Is this the same Sallie Bernard who is the executive director of Safe Minds?
Posted by: Robin Nemeth | August 18, 2009 at 08:49 AM
Sheisters! The lot of them!!!
Expletives flying around in my mind as I read this a second time with more time on my hands.
Ugghh! I am so disgusted..but lol, I expected little from them and am not surprised AT ALL!!
Posted by: kathleen | August 17, 2009 at 06:51 PM
I know nothing about business, but is it not strange that this is "self prepared" for an organization that is as large as AS?
Posted by: kathleen | August 17, 2009 at 02:27 PM
While this 990 is disturbing indeed - the remedy is going after the Board of Directors - all listed - including Holly Robinson Peete. These folks set salaries and approve expenditures - they too need held accountable!
Posted by: Diane | August 17, 2009 at 11:38 AM
What kind of imbecile racks up $1 million in credit card and banking fees. SERIOUSLY?
Posted by: Cindy Waeltermann | August 17, 2009 at 10:34 AM
So Allison Singer got paid $187,000.00 to strip vaccinated vs. unvaccinated from the IACC research plans.
Such meager compensation to inflict so much damage.
Posted by: michael framson | August 17, 2009 at 02:32 AM
hum! One of those receiving organizations got six of their employees to surrounded me and my kids and force-walked us out of the building. They just kept repeating "your kids are walking and talking, they will thrive . . . " Do ya think ASs know they are giving money to behavior guards - not university researchers?
Posted by: Zeph | August 17, 2009 at 02:09 AM
I love the FACT that this (and other) "non-profits" are being thrushed out of the bushes and brought into the light. Bravo to you and much thanks for letting many people see where the money goes. It is a crying shame - but not unexpected. My only question is this: with all that money why not make a real film about the needs, desires, hopes, positive qualities, joy and struggles of our kids? We see a million dollars in salary going out the door....
Posted by: Peggy Rose | August 16, 2009 at 11:50 PM
Everyone walkin' their asses off to pay a cool million in credit card and bank fees....
Posted by: Cathy | August 16, 2009 at 10:57 PM
This is disgusting and shameful! I knew it was 'bad' but I had no IDEA just how bad it was! MY GOSH! 39 employees that earn over 100,000 per year? WHat is wrong with that? This is a 'non-profit' right? SICK! And to top that off, the majority are WELL over 100,000! They list (far into the form) about how much $ was used to help people/grants to help actual PEOPLE. It was about $25,000 to help with housing costs, $6500 for utilities, 12,000 for food/clothes, and about 22,000 for Hurricane Relief....AND THEY CLAIMED they had 72+ MILLION come into the organization last year? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT!
They listed almost 1 MILLION (I htink it was aobut $980,000 in Charge card and bank FEES! and they granted directly to people/families under 100,000! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT?
All of the MILLIONS spent on "RESEARCH", where is our answer, THAT Much money and that many super high grants/highly paid scientists, and no one has come up with the solid proof and evidence, that any one of us parents/families could provide for FREE?!?! How much they spend on rent/leasing/travelling? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT?
What is all of this 'government relations' they talk about...I thought it would be lobbying (which they still spent millions on, and where has that gotten us, Insel is still around...all that crap that is going on with the IACC/CAA, time to get a NEW lobbying group...what about VOLUNTEER PARENTS who actually can get a point across by using their vote, not wining and dining...
Gerry Dawson needed a relocation/move payment of over $260,000? What? I know that movers are expensive, I mean our family once paid $600 for movers to come and move us,they worked about 6 hours, and it was across town..so I am assuming Gerry moved to another planet? And the cost of the move included a new property fully paid for? WHAT the HECK?!?!
I am so angry and upset right now. The Wrights (not you Katie) should be ashamed at the LACK of progress being made, especially with all of the MONEY they are throwing away on overpaid, under-working, 'execs' they are paying..I mean how many 'Executive Vice Presidents' does ONE ORGANIZATION NEED? so many departments with so many Executive VP's? I mean, what ever happened to a company, ESPECIALLY a non-profit "FIGHTING" for kids having like ONE President, ONE VP, ONE head of each department? NAHHHH....we are SO sucessfull at helping families, and getting THINGS DONE in Washington, no families are in 'need' of any help...just the public needs some info and some advocacy...so lets just funnel the money we do have out to our top 40 employees, so they can have nice salaries and live super comfortable..God knows that none of the families of any of the kids we are looking to 'advocate' for have NO needs of any kind that could use our help...I mean, we raise so much money from fundraisers/donations/etc that actually have family with Autism, grandparents/aunts/uncles/friends all donate money to us, because we NEED the money to HELP FAMILIES right? but the families obviously dont NEED help, right? I think that is the way they actually THINK..I mean, goodness gracious, WHAT DO THEY THINK IS GOING ON WITH FAMILIES LIKE OURS?!?!
I want to say that our family DID get a grant from "Autism Cares", in which Autism Speaks DOES (I am assuming that is where the $ listed for helping families with housing/clothes/hurricane relief) put money into the grants along with other Autism Org's...we had an issue about 1.5 years ago where our landlord, at no fault of our own, gave us a 30 day notice to move, they were selling the property, so Autism Cares helped us (I believe that we were one of the first families helped by Autism Cares), Autism Cares, helped us with the security deposit to our rental we are in now, since there was NO way we could have paid first month, last months, and security deposit on a new place, with 3 kids and one 'retail management' income....we were SUPER thankful, and still are!!!
Then, we came across another 'life event' as listed on the application for Autism Cares (they have qualifications to apply, like a natural disaster/death/illness/job loss/moving/etc)...we had a flood here after super bad rainstorms, and we lost a whole freezer full of food, we just purchased(shared with other local families) part of an organic hog, and I made many many freezer meals (GFCF and organic of course), I think we lost well over $600 in food...AND then my back and hip problems became super bad, super painful, and I fell into a deep depression, and my hubby ended up having to take about 3-4 weeks off, UNPAID to help me, so I could get help with my depression and my pain under control again...we applied for a second time and were told they were 'changing' their requirements, that you couldnt apply within the same year of getting a grant approved, where as the previous rules/qualifications were a major life event..where as we had like 3-4 things all go at once..LOL! Now, certainly I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND, and really felt badly about even asking to apply, because we DID get a grant about 6 months previously...I feel bad about having to apply for ANY type of grant...but THANKFULLY THEY ARE OUT THERE for families like ours, we are truely thankful for that. I totally understand that often times there are MANY more applications and MANY more people that NEED help with things, 99.99% of the time, I am sure there are more requests than there are funds.
That was what I thought about Autism Cares (well specifically Autism Speaks part of Autism Cares) until I saw this tax form.
How DARE they spend like they have been AND promote themselves as a 'charity' who like is the 'best' Autism charity around..when the employees are making and spending like they are?
I am sure, if we got a group of us parents, and professionals that ARE parents, and even adults ON the Spectrum, WE would all do much better with VOLUNTEER hours, and only spending the BARE minimum on office supplies/etc..I mean, I know it takes money to raise money, but this is NONSENSE! REally! They should be ASHAMED to say that they "SUPPORT" ANY family/child with Autism AND pay out what they have been paying out, and then NOT have "enough" money to even SLIGHTLY MEET the demands for grants for families in need? I mean they spent UNDER $100,000 TOTAL for the YEAR that went directly to benefit families, YET Gerry's RELOCATION was over $250,000? That fact alone should be seriously "put out there", I surely will help spread the word!
I am grateful for their attempts, but come on, enough already! If you want to be a research only charity, fine, but SAY that! dont claim otherwise...or better yet, dont even PROMOTE anything BUT Research and Government lobbying...I am sure that 99.99% of the public and companies who donate to AS have NO IDEA about how and where they spend the donations....I think each and every person who donates, even a DIME, to ANY organization should have to see their tax return..you know, like the 'privacy' statements you have to 'click' before you can do anything online, everyone should have to read their taxes before donating! I think that would help BIG TIME...either no one would donate anymore, OR they would finally start spending how the public THINKS they are donating!
Thanks for listening to me vent!
Mom to Ethan, Alex, and Megan
Posted by: Angie | August 16, 2009 at 09:23 PM
Wow. I think I just threw up a little. Autism Speaks should hang their head in shame! Geri Dawson should feel like flinging herself off of a bridge every time she sees an autistic child or a family dealing with an autistic child. I am sick about it. Even if she was supporting useful research, her salary is disgusting- she's not worth it AS! I've met her and they could do better. Also, why the psychologist???!! When will we learn- not a psychological disorder, people!
Posted by: Christen | August 16, 2009 at 08:53 PM
Most gross of all - NO programs that directly help families pay for biomedical treatments for autism, like the NAA's Helping Hand grant. But their chief scientist gets paid close to $700,000/year? Riiiiight.
Posted by: Whatever, AS | August 16, 2009 at 06:32 PM
I have every one of Ms Holiday's albums. I love sitting on the porch on a warm evening with a glass of iced tea or wine and listening. She is my calming relief.
I guess I didn't associate that song with the big pharma or The Doc Proffits of the world but now that you pointed it out...I will get a grin every evening!!!
Posted by: rileysmom | August 16, 2009 at 05:59 PM
they should be ashamed. what a scam.
Posted by: kim | August 16, 2009 at 04:30 PM
Number 28, It is my understanding that nobody knows anybody or associates with anybody with autism. But they who prepared the tax claim do have a double job. One job at Autism Speaks and the other job that does business with Autism Speaks.
When I first click the Buddie Holiday (is it called U tube?) I thought my computer was not working beacause nothing happened. That was the point, wasn't it? The tax thingey shows nothing happening too.
Posted by: Benedetta Stilwell | August 16, 2009 at 03:31 PM
Good call Kim.
"The man who only live for making money
Lives a life that isn't necessarily sunny;
Likewise the man who works for fame --
There's no guarantee that time won't erase his name..."
Posted by: Gatogorra | August 16, 2009 at 02:27 PM
Oh, age of autism...why do you love to make me cry with your posts that reveal the ugly truth?
God I hope they will actually do something, anything about this thing called autism.
Posted by: anon | August 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM
Posted by: TexasDad | August 16, 2009 at 08:55 AM