Lady Gaga’s charity pulls millions in donations and spends $5,000 on actual charity
In 2011 Lady Gaga, along with mom Cynthia Germanotta, founded the Born This Way Foundation, dedicated to “creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.” Which is the kind of vague statement that can mean a lot of things, or more likely, nothing at all.
Well, after Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman published a breakdown of the non-profit’s financials, we’re leaning towards nothing at all. If anything, the mission of the foundation is to benefit the foundation.
Essentially, the organization claimed $2.1 million in net assets and proceeded to spend the bulk of it on legal fees, event production, the web site, publicity and other various expenses. Of that 2.1 million, 5,000 dollars was spent on “grants to organizations or individuals.” Unnecessary expenditures are the kinds of things that happen when well-intentioned people who know nothing about the business of running a charity start running a charity.
Cynthia Germanotta took to Huffington Post to defend the organization expenditures, claiming “…we are an organization that conducts our charitable activity directly, and we fund our own work. We are not a grant-maker that funds the work of other charities, and were never intended to be.” One example of that work was a Born Brave Bus Tour which aimed to raise mental health awareness and offered therapy on the bus. Alrighty then.
The whole debacle is probably a good reminder for people looking to donate money to a cause to look into where their money actually goes. Or more specifically, whether that money is actually making change or funding a millionaire’s vague vanity project.