Main | Friday, July 16, 2010

Critics Question International Donations By San Francisco AIDS Foundation

This weekend's AIDS Walk in San Francisco is expected to raise about $3.5M, but many are concerned over the revelation that only a small amount of the money is disbursed to local AIDS charities.
While a majority of the money collected at the event goes to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation itself, only a small fraction in recent years has actually gone to those other local H.I.V./AIDS charities. Instead, an analysis of government tax filings shows that a significant part of past donations has gone to an international AIDS charity — as much as $1 million during one recent year. By comparison, that same year 26 local organizations split $340,000. The disparity — foreign spending versus local — has led to concerns that the walk’s benefits to Bay Area charities have been misrepresented, according to leaders in the local H.I.V./AIDS care community who would not speak publicly for fear of losing the financing they currently get. When asked about this possible lack of clarity, Barbara Kimport, the interim chief executive of the foundation, which oversees the walk, said, “We could do a better job of that.” But Ms. Kimport also bristled at the criticism, saying, “It saddens me that our own community is back stabbing about money when we should be collaborating together.”
One AIDS-walker feels deceived, saying, "Does it bother me? Yeah, it does. You’ve got to take care of home first." The above-linked New York Times story goes on to cite pressing needs at local San Francisco AIDS charities, all of whom have suffered funding crises in recent years. The Times doesn't allege that any of the international donations went to undeserving organizations.

(Tipped by JMG reader Sam)

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