Asset Value of Nonprofit’s

Tax day has hit America. The United States tax code is well over 70,000 pages long with special give aways that benefit many organizations. One of those being nonprofits. Here is some tax day information about nonprofits via StastiticBrain.com

Number of nonprofit returns

383,064

Assets controlled by nonprofit’s

$3.796 Trillion

Inflation Alert: Girl Scout Cookies

girl scouts
Inflation is more often associated with the price of a product going up. But inflation is also measured by a product being produced in a smaller size but staying the same on price. Girl Scout cookies fall into both of those categories.

First, lets look at the price of buying Girl Scout cookies. The 2015 price per box according to the Girl Scout website is now $5. In 2009 the price of a box was $3.50 and faced the other side of inflation, downsizing the product. The website popsugar.com noted the downsize:

According to the organization, the cost of flour rose by 30 percent, assorted cooking oils by 40 percent, and cocoa by at least 20 percent. The company felt this was the best method of dealing with increasing raw material prices. Alternatively, Girl Scouts could have used cheaper ingredients, or raised cookie prices from their current price of $3.50 per box.

Second downsizing of the product happened in 2011 as noted by OCWEEKLY blogs:

The Girl Scouts announced earlier this week that both the size and quantity of some remaining flavors will also dwindle slightly–as of now, only the Lemon Chalet Cremes are reducing in size, while the downsized quantities include Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread Cookies, DoSiDos and Trefoils (up to four fewer cookies per box).

The reasons behind these changes? A rise in both transportation and baking costs. As a result, the agreed-upon course of action was to “lower the net weight of our cookie boxes slightly rather than ask our customers to pay a higher per-package price during these difficult times,” Girl Scouts spokesperson Michelle Tompkins told CNN.

Girl Scout cookies are shrinking in product serving and have spiked in price by almost 45%.

Indianapolis Gen Con Record Attendance

Gen Con just wrapped their annual convention in Indianapolis this last weekend and released their attendance information on their website:

Gen Con 2014, completed August 14-17 at the Indiana Convention Center, experienced another year of record attendance numbers and unprecedented growth. For the fourth consecutive year, Gen Con grew by more than 10%. This year, reaching more than 14% year-over-year growth with a weekend turnstile attendance of 184,699 and unique attendance of 56,614. This number surpasses 2013’s previous record of 49,530 unique attendees. Since 2009, Gen Con’s annual attendance has more than doubled.

The convention attendees also helped raise $40,000 for Gleaners Food Bank.

What is the American Red Cross Hiding?

Charity is wonderful feature of economics and free societies. For years the American Red Cross was seen as an American staple of society relating to charity. Unfortunately for several years now it has turned into a very secretive and untrustworthy organization when it comes to money.

Red Cross started to be questioned around the time frame of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Just that one event, they raised over $530 Million dollars and put $200 Million of that into “administrative & long-term” functions. Multiple media sources started catching onto the story and they finally started paying out to the victims.

Sharyl Attkisson in her new blog post has raised more questions of what the American Red Cross is doing with Hurricane Sandy funds. The following excerpts were taken through her blog from propublica.org:

Just how badly does the American Red Cross want to keep secret how it raised and spent over $300 million after Hurricane Sandy? The charity has hired a fancy law firm to fight a public request we filed with New York state, arguing that information about its Sandy activities is a “trade secret.” The Red Cross’ “trade secret” argument has persuaded the state to redact some material, though it’s not clear yet how much since the documents haven’t yet been released.

And the main reason why the American Red Cross is claiming “Trade Secrets”….

If those details were disclosed, “the American Red Cross would suffer competitive harm because its competitors would be able to mimic the American Red Cross’s business model for an increased competitive advantage,”

I really cannot say what “trade secret” Red Cross would try to be protecting. Yes, organizations like this can protect logos and other identifying marks but people donating to charity is not a trade secret that has to be kept under wraps. Americans can now just sit on their couch and donate from their cell phones and computer devices if they so choose. The charitable donations were also on top of the $60 Billion the government gave to the hurricane stricken area. That money itself will also have to be probably be investigated.

Sharyl Attkisson herself investigated five major non for profits who received charitable contributions to help the Hati people after their major earthquake. This is what she found:

On May 12, 2010 I reported for CBS News on how 5 major nonprofits, including American Red Cross, had spent funds intended for Haiti earthquake victims four months after the disaster. I noted that enough aid had been raised to give each displaced family a check for $37,000 but thousands of Haitians were still going hungry and living under flimsy shelters. I learned that, to a large degree, the charities can’t tell anyone with specificity where exactly all the money goes. They can give general figures such as, ‘we’ve given out 10,000 meals’ or ‘we’ve distributed 10,000 bottles of water,’ but I wondered why there wasn’t a spreadsheet that explains how many bottles or meals were shipped to which refugee camp and when. It seems pretty basic. After all, somebody has to know. A lot of the funds that donors intended for “emergency relief” were, in fact, still sitting in funds unspent. Some charity officials privately acknowledged that many charities receiving a giant influx of donations in the wake of a giant disaster are ill-equipped to produce long term recovery programs. They sometimes find themselves frantically trying to figure out how to spend all the money in a responsible way that serves the mission.

Myself, this is why I have been strictly going with local charities of affected areas or if a national charity, one that does not hesitate to provide data on their sites.