Charity Industry Often Overlooked

Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 18:17.

There are big bucks in the Charity Industry. It doesn't receive the attention it deserves.

 

To prove how profitable the Charity Industry can be you need to look at Bill Clinton's income tax return, recently revealed.

 

Clinton got $450,000 for a speaking engagement for a charity in London. Fund-raising costs consumed more than half of the proceeds of the event for the charity. Clinton also received $280,000 for a speech for a for-profit the same day and another $280,000 for a talk the next day in Dublin.

 

That's more than $1 million in two days.

Andy Zajac, a Cleveland native and former Beacon Journal reporter now working the Washington Bureau of the Chicago Tribune wrote the article detailing the speaking fees.

His full article is available at:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-clinton-speechapr08,1,7724523.story

 

Zajac quoted a charity leader saying, "We were a charity but he wouldn't come without that, so we paid it."  "If we had been charged less, we could have given more," to the charity.

Similarly, charities here have events that cost more than the money raised. The Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns are in this category and reap the reward of being seen as charitable when most of the money goes to getting publicity for the team franchises.

 

Those interested in the issue of charities can find some interesting facts about numerous charities, including local ones, in a book, "Charity USA" by Carl Bakal.

 

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parkland for a song

So much for doing good when you're a charity. Our illustrious, do-no-wrong Cleveland Orchestra plans to sell parkland adjacent to Blossom Music Center. Did they have cost over runs while renovating Severance Hall? Are the airline tickets and hotel rooms in Miami and Europe costing more these days? The 2005 $3 million gift from Kulas for renovation at Blossom not enough? It was not a good sign when Cleveland Ballet started going to a warmer climate, was it? Is the orchestra in such dire straits that it must sell an asset it has had tucked away for years? When did they acquire this land anyway? A conservation easement won't help them because they are already tax exempt, so these 600 acres have just been money in the bank apparently.

So much was going on in 1968! Not just riots in Glenville, but the opening of Blossom Music Center. There is a NY Times article on the opening evening which mentions that the mayor of Akron placed s curfew on city residents due to "Negro protests, but found that many residents had already left for the festival. In 1966 the orchestra purchased 500 acres and then purchased 300 more as a buffer.

If you are interested, search the NYTimes database at CPL.org ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times with these criteria: New York Times (1857-Current file); Jul 20, 1968; Music: Ohio Tanglewood; Szell Conducts at New Blossom Center By HAROLD C. SCHONBERG

What would the Blossom family think?

"Hear the Cleveland Orchestra and hear what the world is talking about" takes on a different tone today, doesn't it? To park officials and conservationists it does. So much for the Orchestra’s environmental stewardship… Think their funding from Cleveland and Gund Foundations will be affected? How much carbon reduction does 600 acres of undeveloped land in the metroparks represent anyway?

Will the orchestra sell it for a song? A song written by some white guy from Europe? Over the past few years the arts have begun to smell funny to me. Tearing down a cultural icon to build a green building? Selling parkland to fund a fiddler? Encouraging arts and culture via more tax for carcinogens? (Today at the start of the Levin College Forum, Peter Lawson Jones compared the actions of predatory lenders to cigarette marketers... hmmm...) How are all these things connected? I swear I am trying to see the big picture - the one with "liberty and justice for all".

What will we lose if the national automobile slum extends to the grounds of Blossom Music Center and into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Wildlife habitat, greenspace that absorbs water, our natural and cultural heritage.

Are we thinking regionally yet? Wind on the lake and a LEED ND at UCI, but sell the park to a developer? Is this one hand giveth and the other taketh away? One step forward and two steps back?

 

And Bill Clinton looks pretty charitable charging a huge sum for his words and presence. Whatever happened to the Elizabethan Poor Laws? Wasn’t our own American nonprofit system lifted directly from said? When we’re dying of thirst and starving because of climate change will a song still sound as sweet? Do we have to have one and not the other? Who are the stewards here? Are the keepers of the flame of arts and culture really concerned about the bigger picture or just having a lovely evening and savoring a delightful melody? Let’s remember that music is just an imitation of the sounds of nature? What will the sound of nature be when we fail to protect it? Will it sound like the Aral Sea? What did that bird say?

 

Lets’ have a charitable gift here folks. Let’s see some conservationists and orchestra supporters step up and conserve this land. Here’s the offering:

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (OH)

Acreage: 900 FY09 Ask: $8,000,000 Description: Located between Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park conserves the Cuyahoga River Valley and the parallel historic canal and railroad corridors in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties. The National Park Service has the opportunity to acquire several key in holdings to preserve historic areas for interpretation and education and conserve the scenery in the valley for recreational users. Among these properties is the 215-acre Brandywine Golf Course, currently on the market for sale as a potential subdivision development that would suddenly and irreparably change this property’s history of compatible land use with the park. The Musical Arts Association is looking to divest itself from 600 acres at the Blossom Music Center and is interested in selling those acres to the Park Service. These and other properties, including the last major large-acreage in holdings in priority areas within park boundaries, are under imminent threat of development, and the park is seeking working conservation solutions for these threats. Acquisition of these important properties by the National Park Service would be a signature accomplishment and would enhance trail access, viewsheds, and historic preservation. Link to image. Click to download PDF.

Trust for Public Land

  I only hope that the Trust for Public Land is on this one, Susan.  I would have liked to hear it from the horse's mouth last night, but maybe we all will hear better news, SMART NEWS, soon.  I would hope that someone is paying attention?????!

Downstream land-owners, FLOODING--HELLO, Independence, Valley View!!! 

READ THIS-CLOSELY:

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (OH)

Acreage: 900 FY09 Ask: $8,000,000 Description: Located between Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park conserves the Cuyahoga River Valley and the parallel historic canal and railroad corridors in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties. The National Park Service has the opportunity to acquire several key in holdings to preserve historic areas for interpretation and education and conserve the scenery in the valley for recreational users. Among these properties is the 215-acre Brandywine Golf Course, currently on the market for sale as a potential subdivision development that would suddenly and irreparably change this property’s history of compatible land use with the park. The Musical Arts Association is looking to divest itself from 600 acres at the Blossom Music Center and is interested in selling those acres to the Park Service. These and other properties, including the last major large-acreage in holdings in priority areas within park boundaries, are under imminent threat of development, and the park is seeking working conservation solutions for these threats. Acquisition of these important properties by the National Park Service would be a signature accomplishment and would enhance trail access, viewsheds, and historic preservation.

Here's the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission's SYNOPSIS:

08 April 2008

CVNP needs land acquisition funds The Musical Arts Association is interested in selling 600 acres at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but the Park cannot afford to purchase the land. Park officials are also concerned about the possible sale and development of the privately-owned Brandywine Golf Course in Peninsula. America's Heritage For Sale, a new report from the National Parks Conservation Association, says that the Park needs $8 million to purchase the properties.

Update: the Plain Dealer published a map and additional details.

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conservation golf

This has been on my lips and the tips of my fingers before here at realneo. Golf, a dying pasttime can be a source of conservation land.

In the theater we say "Heads up!" in golf they say "Fore!". In both cases, the intention is clear. "Attention!" is right! Or as the young lady who addressesd the UN said, "If you don't know how to fix it, stop breaking it."

Cleveland Metroparks

Susan--we all need to keep an eye on the golf courses...merely place holders for developers.  And, we need to keep a CLOSE, CLOSE watchful eye on the decisions made by the 3-MAN Cleveland Metroparks board.

these three guys?

BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS

  • David Whitehead, Vice President
  • Fred Rzepka, Vice President
  • William J. Ryan, President

Well, they don't post their minutes or their agendas. Clicked on minutes and got the old 404.

Shell game

  Funny how the old shell game works...and keeps on working. 

Feb. 14, 2008 Metropark minutes do open & show golf course los$

It appears the last few meeting minutes are  not up on their website, but the Feb. 14, 2008 pdf does load - showing that the book store, the cafe, and the golf course (about a million) are all subsidized by the ratepayer.   Fees should cover these activities which are not directly related to the park's purposes, and which are voluntarilly engaged in by visitors. 

Roldo tried giving us a hint long ago in this blog..

See blogs about the CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS OF CLEVELAND OHIO...and more...it's a top industry here.

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"