The Alliance, and how it Protects the Climate

I got to reading about Al Gore today, and started wondering about his Climate Reality Project (CRP). So I looked up the background of the company on Guidestar.

The official name of the CRP is the Alliance for Climate Protection. The purpose of the Alliance is as follows:

The Alliance’s single purpose is to ignite public action to solve the climate crisis.

Now, of course this raises questions, like what is the evidence for the climate “crisis” of which they speak, and how does one “protect” a climate, but let’s leave those questions to sleep in peace. I wanted to look at the public accounts of the CRP, the most recent set of which (2010) I’ve posted up here (PDF, 1.7 Mb). I’ve usually found it fruitful to “Follow the Benjamins”, as the saying has it, which means to follow what is happening with the money.

Figure 1. An old-school Benjamin, in this case showing a certain John J. Knox, from 1902. The current US $100 bill features a picture of Benjamin Franklin. Photo Source: WSJ Article 

So what do the accounts of the Alliance for Climate Protection, also called the Climate Reality Project, tell us? No great revelations, but a few interesting things.

First, the accounts show that protecting the climate pays quite well. The CEO of the Alliance makes over a quarter million dollars a year. There are six other officers of the company making over $160,000 per year.

Al Gore is the Chairman of the Board of the CRP. He serves without a salary, although I assume that they pay his expenses if he is fronting for the company. Some of the company documents call him “Chairman Gore”, which I found hilarious … but I digress.

Now, people talk a lot about the mythical “Big Oil” money that is supposed to inspire and impel and motivate us climate skeptics. Me, I’ve never seen any Big Oil bucks. I’ve done all of this on my own dime, just like Steve McIntyre and many of the major players on the skeptical side. Anthony got some money for one specific scientific research project, but other than that it’s been funded out of his own pocket. Money is simply not a factor on the skeptic side.

But I will assure you that if I were getting a quarter of a million dollar salary, and my job was based entirely on the idea that we are headed for thermal meltdown, I would defend that idea with everything I had. People say that the skeptics are motivated by the money? Pffft. At most that’s a few bucks here or there. But if you are making a quarter of a million per year based on the idea that CO2 is dangerous, you are very strongly motivated by the money to spread that meme to as many people as possible. If people stop believing that CO2 is the magical control knob for the climate, you’re out of a job. At that point, you are committed, you have to shout about the impending long-rumored but somehow not yet visible Thermageddon.

Second, there is a site called the Charity Navigator that ranks non-profit organizations from 0 to four stars, based on a variety of metrics. Charity Navigator gives the Climate Reality Project two stars.

The Charity Navigator folks also compare the CRP to what they consider to be similar projects (Alaska Wilderness League and three others). The CRP comes in … well … not to put too fine a point on it, of the five, they come in dead last in the overall rating.

The most interesting finding, however, was how much of the money goes to overheads, and how much actually goes to their work. I used to run a non-profit, and I have kept the books and dealt with all the grant madness and all of the accounting requirements. The usual division for a well-run non-profit is on the order of 15% or less going to overheads, and 85% going to the work of the non-profit.

According to the Charity Navigator, only 74% of the money raised by the Climate Reality Project goes to projects, with the rest going to overheads. No bueno. The CRP is the worst of the five comparable non-profits by that metric as well. All of the comparison non-profits spent more on projects and less on administration than did the CRP.

Now, that’s bad enough. But if you take a look at the accounts I linked to earlier, they break down their expenses as follows:

ACCOUNT, 2010 Expense
Grants USA, $3,725,209
Grants Overseas, $155,310
Salaries Officers, $1,387,906
Salaries Staff, $7,251,182
Benefits, $992,182
Payroll Taxes, $466,680
Legal, $41,738
Accounting, $30,257
Lobbying, $13,408
Fundraising, $255,022
Other Expenses, $2,960,738
Advertising, $1,135,090
Office Expenses, $229,111
Info Technology, $547,260
Occupancy, $1,434,612
Travel, $553,737
Conferences, $291,713
Interest, $3,531
Depreciation, $428,292
Insurance, $27,506
Bad Debt, $2,000,032
Events, $1,030,059
Email List Purchase, $378,699
Pubs/Subscriptions, $189,949
Other Exp, $151,178
Misc. Exp, $7,385
TOTAL, $25,687,786

Used for Projects, $14,142,300, 55%
Used for Administration, $11,545,486, 45%

I’ve marked the line items that I would say were project related in red, and left the administrative expenses in black. Perhaps there are some other project related expenses, although if so I can’t see them. According to the Climate Navigator, they spent just over nineteen million dollars on projects, and I’m short about five million. But even by the numbers from the Climate Navigator, the Climate Reality Project is spending too much money on their overheads and not enough on projects.

What does all of this establish? Not a lot, other than that:

• The officers are making quite nice money off of climate alarm, thank you very much, and

• Al Gore is not very good at running a non-profit, and

• The people giving their hard-earned money to Al et al. are getting a bad deal, they’re getting very little bang for the Benjamin.

Best to all,

w.

108 thoughts on “The Alliance, and how it Protects the Climate

  1. All climate alarmism is about the money. I just spent a week in Spain. Serious poverty, and the country is littered with wind turbines.

  2. Nicely done, the facts and figures speak for themselves. It would be sweet to see where the funding actually comes from though. If any of it is nickles and dimes from members of the public I’m sure they’d be delighted to know how Al spends their hard earned donations!

  3. JunkScience.com notes a grist.org interview with Chairman Gore:

    http://junkscience.com/2012/11/22/gore-doubles-down-claims-to-give-all-his-kleiner-perkins-income-to-climate-charity/

    Gore states, in part: “I have given, and do give, every year, 100 percent of my salary and 100 percent of distributions from Kleiner Perkins to the Climate Reality Project.”

    OK, fine. Whatever. Although this sounds like “Lazy Susan” accounting where someone hands money to someone else, who hands it back and around it goes. The question is, should CRP qualify as a charity when it clearly is a political lobby organization?

  4. I guess that ‘Chairman Gore’ is the control knob for the climate.

    Seriously, where the heck does such an organisation – that doesn’t manufacture anything that people can buy -get its money??? (Perhaps Ponzi/Madof still lives…)

  5. What do you expect of an organization “chaired” by a guy who spent 8.2 million on a villa in Montecito which, if his own predictions are correct, will soon be under water?

  6. How many people are in this organization? 100? 200?

    They spent $547K on “info technology”?

    Seems out of proportion. Oh wait….thousands of bots logging into Al’s presentation. Never mind, makes sense now.

  7. ConfusedPhoton says:
    November 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Shouldn’t Climate Reality Project (CRP) really be Climate Reality Al’s Project (CRAP)?

    Scatological references aside, there’s a curious historical precedent for the CRP acronym. This was the “Committee to Re-elect the President” under President Nixon. It also had the CRP acronym, but in common parlance it was called “CREEP” …

    w.

  8. Two additional things look funky. Why does this organization have over $2 million in bad debts in one year?

    Also, for the size of the total payroll, over $8.5 million, their payroll tax number of $466k is absurdly low.

  9. Willis Eschenbach;
    there’s a curious historical precedent for the CRP acronym. This was the “Committee to Re-elect the President” under President Nixon. It also had the CRP acronym, but in common parlance it was called “CREEP”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There was a time in Canada when we had two right of centre political parties, the Conservatives and the Reform. They merged, and announced themselves as the “Conservative Reform Alliance of Canada”.

    24 hours later, they changed it….

  10. Many are coming to realize the charitable status of these “organizations” is misplaced. As PaulH pointed out a “lobbyist group” should not have charitable status.

  11. Nice can of worms you’ve found there, Willis!

    Looking through some of the statistics from Charity Navigator, they say that under ‘Environment and Environmental Protection and Conservation’ there are 232 charities, of which 85 are 4-star, 93 3-star, 44 2-star and 9 1-star. So another Gore fail, falling into the bottom quartile.

    Also, take a look at ’10 Highly-paid CEOs at Low-Rated Charities’. The lowest gets $266,371 for a 2-star charity, while Maggie Fox of CRP gets $283,078.

    CRP don’t seem to have an official representative with this site. Perhaps Kenji could login and use the facilities to Gleick the CRP. ;-) (Er, not that we would stoop to those tactics).

    “Are you the representative for this organization? If so, click here to access the application form. As an official representative you will have the ability to update some of the information on this page.”

  12. Thanx Willis. Maybe this should have been titled “Human Nature Reality Project”.

    Come to think of it, most people understand the phrase “follow the money”. Would it be a good idea to start a reference page about the millions/billions going to the AGW proponents side of the ledger?
    It would be useful when the oft used meme “funded by big oil” is trotted out.

  13. Looks like Al is getting a hefty tax break from his Donation to the Non Profit then getting his untaxable compensation for running that same non profit. Sounds like a LEGAL? money laundering scheme.

    Oh and by the by, for a corporation to pay $8.6M in compensation to its salaried workers but only $466.8k in taxes to the gov’t???… that is a mere 5.4% witholding tax. I have over 30% withheld from my paycheck

    That can’t be kosher

  14. “Conservative Reform Alliance of Canada”.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    My fingers are disconnected from my brain again:

    “Conservative Reform Alliance Party of Canada”

    Making them the CRAP of Canada.

  15. The provision for bad debts of over two million dollars looks very odd.Could this relate to unpaid loans to ‘associated’ persons or companies.In Australia this was called a ‘bottom of the harbour scheme’?

  16. It is the same in most scams, those at the top of the pyramid cash in on the foolishness of those at the bottom, funny how it’s never the other way around.
    Odd as well how doubters are never listened to, but I’m sure everyone will become. hyper intelligent with hindsight once it becomes painfully obvious that we have been scammed.
    The difference with this scam is that the internet has allowed us to keep a track of those who, scientifically, should have known better and questioned the validity of CAGW more closely…

  17. Did anyone click on the “environmental” category link? Up comes a short essay outlining the scary stuff, including threatened polar bears etc. I’d be inclined to question the neutrality of the rating organization.

  18. When I was young I would tell my wife that if I wanted to be rich I would just get a tent and start preaching.

    This is a better scam.

  19. How much in the way of grants went to other “organizations” that also have their own overhead expenses? Setting up a “non-profit” in many areas can be a very lucrative operation.

  20. Lewis P Buckingham says: November 24, 2012 at 11:29 am
    The provision for bad debts of over two million dollars looks very odd.

    Possibly a loan to the Presidential campaign of Chairman Gore.

  21. Lobbying, Thirteen and a half thousand
    Projects, about three fifths of their income. (Fourteen Million plus).

    I thought that Al was lobbying Governments and the public to make sure they remain convinced that AGW is true and a Bad Thing.

    Maybe failed politicians don’t quite understand what lobbying really is/tries to do.

    Or maybe he is just a very astute business person who sees where he thinks the main chance is and cynically just goes for it.
    If the latter he’s not making a bad job of it.

  22. But I will assure you that if I were getting a quarter of a million dollar salary, and my job was based entirely on the idea that we are headed for thermal meltdown, I would defend that idea with everything I had.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

    – Upton Sinclair

  23. Bad Debt $2M

    That tells me they have made loans that they don’t expect to be repaid. Wonder who they made the loans to? Why weren’t they grants?

  24. perhap prince charlie helps out with $$$ –

    (VIDEO) 24 Nov: Daily Mail: ‘World is committing suicide on a grand scale': Prince Charles warns of doomed planet unless we solve green issues
    He claims world is heading towards ‘terrifying point of no return’
    Future generations facing ‘unimaginable future’ if we don’t act
    Prince says he was written off as a crank over his green views
    By Daily Mail Reporter
    His comments came in a pre-recorded video speech accepting a lifetime achievement award at the 7th International Green Awards at Battersea Power Station in London…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237776/World-committing-suicide-grand-scale-Prince-Charles-warns-doomed-planet-unless-solve-green-issues.html

    the meme remains the same…

  25. Willis
    “CREEP”
    Strangely enough every time I see Al Gore I think of Richard Nixon – perhaps it is just me

  26. I’m no accountant, but…

    Total Revenue: 16,374,635
    Total Expenses: 25,637,786
    Net: – 9.313.151
    Previous Net: 16,022,357

    At that rate, they would be bankrupt within a year!

    They got most of their money in 2008, $87,448,111

    DaveMHoffer says:
    ‘They spent $547K on “info technology”?’

    That is just that year, With the depreciation of $428,292 and the fact they are renting, I would guess they spent a lot more in the past?

  27. I don’t have the source or the exact quote, but a year or so ago I read that Uncle Al has accumulated over $100 million in personal income since he was “retired” from official politics and began his climate crusade. Anyone believe that, come what may, Gore will never admit personal error, even if Jesus Christ himself came down and told Al he was full of it?

  28. “davidmhoffer says:

    November 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Willis Eschenbach;
    there’s a curious historical precedent for the CRP acronym. This was the “Committee to Re-elect the President” under President Nixon. It also had the CRP acronym, but in common parlance it was called “CREEP”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There was a time in Canada when we had two right of centre political parties, the Conservatives and the Reform. They merged, and announced themselves as the “Conservative Reform Alliance of Canada”.

    24 hours later, they changed it….”
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well, lets see — CREEP had too many letters in the acronym, CRAC may have been mising a “N” and a “Y”, Is there a vowel missing from Gore’s “CRP”?

  29. My thanks to those following up. Two interesting points that I hadn’t picked up on.

    1. The issue of the tax withheld. As someone pointed out, that’s only 5.4%. However, that may only be quarterly.

    2. The more important issue of the bad debt, for two million and thirty two dollars. $2,000,032 … as someone pointed out upthread, that seems quite odd. It would seem to indicate that they loaned someone two million dollars (plus some kind of fees), and then wrote off the debt.

    But why (and to whom) would a non-profit be loaning two megabucks?

    Hmmm … the info might be available by combing through past statements.

    Onwards,

    w.

  30. What jumped out at me was

    Email List Purchase, $378,699

    That is a shed load of emails, what exactly did he email to them? Or is this actually buying a long list of bot’able accounts? Can someone FOIA it out of them???

    There is a lot about this breakdown that just doesn’t add up in all senses.. Also I think the tax man needs to have a few words with Al. Something certainly does not smell right in the house of Al.

  31. Further research shows that they list “Pledges and Grants Receivable” among their assets, with a value of thirteen million at the start of the year and $125k at the end of the year. So if someone backed out of a pledge, I assume it would be written off as a “Bad Debt”. That seems the most likely explanation.

    w.

  32. Looks like Big Al Gore is plagiarizing the work of Big Al Capone! They both deal in the perception of Fear; one in Climate the other in Insurance. That 55:45 split I would say is to mislead the Feds. The numbers given like in Al Capone organizations are fake; the real book and the real numbers are hidden away out of site of the Feds, or else the Feds are being payed off to look the other way.

    Al Capone never made a dime from his organizations either … hardy har har. And he strutted around Chicago like he owned it … which he did at the time.

    So the real investigation will need to be done by Treasury. Sadly it is likely that Gore has leverage on Treasury, IRS and Department of Justice.

    So his racketeering will be … ignored, for a price. But each year the ‘price’ goes up! So we will have to see how long Al Gore’s ‘Ponzi Scheme’ can maintain sustainability.

    Bubble bubble baby. ;)

  33. Their accounting is all messed up. They have two separate accounts titled ‘other expenses’, one of which is almost 3 million?

    Further; bad debt of 2 million? Okay, you might have a bad account when you sell something and record an a/r, but if someone doesn’t honor a pledge then it’s not really revenue in the first place. Unlike a normal business you reverse the revenue entry, not record bad debt. If its not that, but actual bad debt, then who did they loan the money to? Why are they in the business of writing loans?

    And what in creation is ‘occupancy expense’? Most companies would record a ‘rent expense’ but I’m not sure what they are referring to by the term ‘occupancy’.

    My thoughts.

  34. davidmhoffer says:
    November 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

    “Conservative Reform Alliance Party of Canada” or CRAP.
    ——————————
    They are running the country now ;)
    @Willis. Interesting post.

  35. Payroll taxes in this case most likely mean social security and medicare payments by the company, and does not represent what comes out of the paycheck of employees. So 5.4% is in line with their accounting. Medicare is 1.45% of total salaries. Social security for the past two years is 4.2% of all salaries up to $110,000 for each. So I see this as no issue.

  36. I just read on the Internet that Al Gore discovered the Higgs Boson in a bag of Fritos. There is no end to this man’s work.

  37. Occupancy is a common category header for Rent, nothing unusual there.

    What also strikes me is the Lobbying expense is only $13,408 while for this organization I would expect it to be higher than that. Perhaps that is what the $2.2M Other Expense below it really is. As noted above there are two Other Expenses which probably means they are in different parts of the financial statements.

    That leads me to believe the Lobbying and Other Expenses are in the same section. And Other is something similar to Lobbying.

  38. Adrian;
    DaveMHoffer says:
    ‘They spent $547K on “info technology”?’
    That is just that year, With the depreciation of $428,292 and the fact they are renting, I would guess they spent a lot more in the past?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Technology has about a 3 to 5 year life cycle. So as a rule of thumb, if they spent $500K in a single year on info technology, then they’ve probably got about $1.5 to $2.5 million in gear lying around. That is WAY out of proportion for the size of the organization (and I’m assuming technical expertise is an operating expense and so should not be part of the figure).

    I’m not saying this is what happened in this case, but I am familiar with an incident some years ago in which a charitable organization was buying computer technology from a corner retailer at about 3 times what it was actually worth. The corner retailer of course turned out to be owned by the brother of the organization’s chairman. They also had some “bad debt” in that they’d lent a large sum of money to another organization which folded right afterward. That organization turned out to have a single person in it, and you guessed it… chairman’s sister. Since it was a “loan” she didn’t declare it as income….

    Once you have large sums of money flowing through these organizations, there is very little oversight (why would you need oversight of an organization swaddled in the cloak of morality?) and plenty of ways to sneak the money out the back door into the pockets of family and friends.

  39. Seems 3.4M of there money went to Glover Park Group. From WIKI>>>

    “The Glover Park Group was founded in June 2001 by Michael Feldman, Carter Eskew, Joe Lockhart and Chip Smith. The company was named after the Glover Park area of Washington, D.C., where its first offices were located.[11] Prior to forming The Glover Park Group, the founders had served as officials in the Clinton White House and on the presidential campaign of former vice president Al Gore.”

    Scratching backs i see.

  40. Well the greenbacks were the only green involved here. Must really suck for the enviro-bandits that the dollar is devaluing so fast in the face of obamanomics. Hope they all buy gold, makes it hurt more when better thieves come a knocking.

  41. clipe says:
    November 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Full-time staff #101
    Avg. Compensation $74,727
    Top 10 Staff Salary Range
    $350k + 0
    $300k – $350k 0
    $250k – $300k 1
    $200k – $250k 0
    $160k – $200k 0
    $120k – $160k 3
    $80k – $120k 6
    $40k – $80k 0
    < $40k 0

    My math is fuzzy (quit school at 12 years old) but $74,727 x101 -1,500,000 /91 = $66K average salary for the 90%?

  42. clipe says:
    November 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I assumed top-end salary for the top ten [snipping snippers] naturally.

  43. The history is informative http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=7562
    “On July 12, 2011, ACP and the Climate Project merged to form a new entity: the Climate Reality Project.”

    From http://www.opensecrets.org/usearch/index.php?q=Climate+Reality+Project&cx=010677907462955562473%3Anlldkv0jvam&cof=FORID%3A11&searchButt_clean.x=0&searchButt_clean.y=0

    The only political donation was –
    Simarano, Victoria BOULDER,CO 80305 Climate Reality Project 10/13/2012 $1,000 Obama, Barack

    Just $1,000?

  44. • Al Gore is not very good at running a non-profit, and….

    People who want to succeed in their cause should have nothing to do with Al ‘Brothers Grimm’ Bore.

    June 24, 2011 – The Failure of Al Gore: Part One – Walter Russell Mead
    Gore has the Midas touch in reverse; objects of great value (Nobel prizes, Oscars) turn dull and leaden at his touch. Few celebrity cause leaders have had more or better publicity than Gore has had for his climate advocacy. Hailed by the world press, lionized by the entertainment community and the Global Assemblage of the Great and the Good as incarnated in the Nobel Peace Prize committee, he has nevertheless seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next. The most recent, failed global climate meeting passed almost unnoticed last week in Bonn; the world has turned its eyes away from the expiring anguish of the Copenhagen agenda.

    The state of the global green movement is shambolic. The Kyoto Protocol is withering on the vine; it will almost certainly die with no successor in place.

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/06/24/the-failure-of-al-gore-part-one/

    Would you believe a man who said he was convinced about man made catastrophic warming then goes ahead and buy a second home with six fireplaces? Would you believe a man who talks about CAGW and has the C02 footprint of King Kong? Would you believe a man whose family became rich off big oil? Would you believe a liar????

  45. Quick issue with the analysis of administrative vs. project-costs:
    The stated purpose of the organization is Climate PR. I think advertising should then count towards projects rather than administrative costs. I think the final result even after adjusting for this is still pretty disgusting, but it is important to be fair.

  46. In Canada payoll tax is the employer contribution to unemployment insurance, workers compensation and government pension plan. Employee contributions and tax withheld are charged to the employee salary. The US should be similar.

  47. And we know they go very low budget on science itself with the Bill Nye fiasco and the burning doll project by the brainwashed youth.

  48. Al Gore does not need pay. He has given the proceeds of his book to charity.
    Is he a saint?
    Maybe, maybe not.
    But what must be factored in is that he is making way more money from Generation Investment Management, LLP, than he might be from being a competitively compensated $250K leader of a non-profit.

    Back to basics. If an enterprise is big enough, or has the potential to be big enough, the high level positions will demand high dollars. It will demand what the market will bear.

    If you want to set a “reasonable” salary for a non-profit you hardly know, then you have crossed the line and you are a communist.

  49. “The Alliance’s single purpose is to ignite public action to solve the climate crisis.”

    However, as the flabbily heroic sergant Colon says, in an inspired fiery dragon-defying moment in Terry Pratchett’s “Guards! Guards!”:
    “THE PEOPLE UNITED SHALL NEVER BE IGNITED!”

  50. Considering the sly resonance of the CRP name, and the total Clinton Admin connections of the major players, I have to wonder if the whole thing is really the Committee to Re-elect President Gore. He undoubtedly believes (with some justification!) that he was actually elected in 2000 .. so Re-elect is not fanciful.

  51. I especially liked this paragraph on the Guidestar site:

    The Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, is charged with educating the public about the science and solutions of climate change. Their work includes mainstream outreach, like Incontinent Truth…

  52. ConfusedPhoton says:
    November 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Willis
    “CREEP”
    Strangely enough every time I see Al Gore I think of Richard Nixon – perhaps it is just me
    _____________________________
    You are insulting Richard Nixon.

  53. The total spend for lobbying was $374,593, from section II.B, page 20.
    The $13,408 is just expenses, the remainder is staff hours that performed lobbying.

  54. “Al Gore is the Chairman of the Board of the CRP. He serves without a salary, although I assume that they pay his expenses if he is fronting for the company.”

    I have known one of the people who spoke during Al’s 24 hour side show for more than 20 years. That person told me a few months ago, “They had done everything Al Gore asked them to do. He has never done anything they had asked him to do.” When requested to come for a national celebration of all things climatic (thinking they would get support for their impoverished country) Big Al demanded $250,000 as a speaking fee, more than 1000 times the local monthly wage. It was of course not negotiable. They were never able to raise the money.

    But Al does just fine, thank you very much.

  55. So let’s see:

    Contributions, prior year – 15,704,709
    Contributions, this year – 14,653,192

    So there was a 1,051,517 DROP in contributions.

    Seems to have found another source, though.

    Other revenue, prior year – 62,631
    Other revenue, this year – 1,659,060

    So that increase in “other revenue” (1,596,429) just about makes up for the loss in contributions (-1,051,517).

    Now I do understand the purpose of a “non-profit” – but da*m, to have a 2 year loss of 35,927,766?

    When was the last year their “non-profit” actually made a profit?

    Just think – if everyone who “viewed” this years “gore-a-thon” had just donated one dollar – they’d STILL be in the red.

  56. So if someone backed out of a pledge, I assume it would be written off as a “Bad Debt”. That seems the most likely explanation.

    Willis, it does not work that way. I have been on the board of directors of a non profit and you don’t book that as a debt, it is revenue and if someone does not make good on a pledge, it simply reduces revenue.

  57. Stephen says:
    November 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Quick issue with the analysis of administrative vs. project-costs:
    The stated purpose of the organization is Climate PR. I think advertising should then count towards projects rather than administrative costs. I think the final result even after adjusting for this is still pretty disgusting, but it is important to be fair.

    I have no problem with that. I was assuming that the advertising was for fund-raising, but you are correct that it might have just been ads that were flogging their ideas to the polloi.

    Regards,

    w.

  58. David Ross says:
    November 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I especially liked this paragraph on the Guidestar site:

    The Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, is charged with educating the public about the science and solutions of climate change. Their work includes mainstream outreach, like Incontinent Truth…

    David, that’s a hilarious find. I couldn’t believe it actually says “Incontinent Truth”, I’m naturally skeptical, but sure enough, you can read it here

    w.

  59. What is the CO2 foot print of 7 officers earning 1.5 million jointly? I guess they have big houses, big pools and big cars and big travel plans for the annual hols.

  60. To be fair, calling him “Chairman Gore” is nowhere near as funny as if they’d called him “President Gore”.

  61. I should imagine you would see the same thing for one of those nutty religious cults, where the ‘chosen few’ milk their devotees. The top guys don’t get salaries, they just get provided with whatever they want – and that means everything.

    Much of the alarmist movement can be justifiably described as being a cult – if it looks like a cult, if it sounds like a cult, if it acts like a cult………………….then it is a cult.

  62. Maybe it was a typing error and should have read “The DOUBLY Incontinent Truth”
    Certainly would match the acronym “CRAP”.

  63. At last something about CAGW makes sense to me! An Incontinent Truth led to a pile of CR*P.
    So who’s going to pay to clean up Al Gore’s mess?

  64. Under what category would the “subscription” for Ustream fall under?

    Just curious, because unless you’ve got the “unlimited” plan they could charge you anywhere from 20 to 50 cents per “excess” viewer hour (how many viewers watch your stream and for how long)

    Just imagine – if 16 million viewers watched for the entire 24 hours, they’d rack up an impressive 384,000,000 viewer hours. At the lowest published price of 20 cents per VH, that could be worth around $76,800,000.

    Then again, if all 16 million spent 3.5 minutes each (the average according to Alexa), then they only had about 933,333 viewer hours (worth around $186,666.60).

    So whoever had the bright idea of running up the viewer count to 16 million may have actually COST them money (it all depends how long each “view” was).

  65. Willis

    I did a little financial analysis of my own.

    On current financial trends this organization should soon hit its own fiscal cliff.

    1. During 2010, net assets declined from $16.0M to $6.7M.
    2. In 2010, expenses exceeded revenues by $9.3M, a big improvement on the loss of the previous year of $26.6M.
    3. Revenues in 2008 were $87.5M, in 2010 these had fallen to $14.7M.
    4. Why could a charitable organization have bad debts of $2.0M? Someone has been lending money, where he/she should not have been lending money. In most organizations, this would be grounds for dismissal, but in climate jamboree organizations, it is obviously different.

  66. What’s the similarity between Chairman Mao and Chairman Gore? One’s dead and the other one doesn’t know anything about climate either.

  67. Two things:
    If you had ever pondered why Bill Clinton was not convicted after being impeached, neither the democrats or the Republicans were willing to turn the office over to algore’s hands.
    Second, how long before the lack of warming will be credited to having ‘raised awareness’ on the part of the warmers? At the moment it does not appear that legislation will be there to give credit so they will have to fall back on some claim of success.Government programs never fail, afterall, they are always just ‘inadequately funded’.

  68. “Dennis Ray Wingo says:
    November 24, 2012 at 11:18 am
    Two additional things look funky. Why does this organization have over $2 million in bad debts in one year?

    Also, for the size of the total payroll, over $8.5 million, their payroll tax number of $466k is absurdly low.

    the bad debt thing may be some statuatory accounting loophole that lets businesses deduct expenses without itemizing. Then again, maybe they’re selling algore books and t-shirts to a buncha lowlifes writing hot checks.
    If you assume that the bennies of $900k are the FICA type stuff and the $466k is the FIT, then you’ve got a 20% of payroll for the staff which seems not too unreasonable for a buncha cheapskates hiring people at minimum wage, part time salaries, and no health insurance. The officers are probably being paid without payroll deductions because they probably draw income from a number of places and pay quarterly withholding – assuming they aren’t scamming the IRS.
    Paying an accounting company $30k a year for what is likely a rather small business should be enough to keep the financial paperwork legit. After all, it does seem that they have plenty of OPM (other people’s money) given to them to keep things afloat, including what looks like $3m of grants, some of which might be from the gov…
    Ah, some of the bad debt may also be from unsold tickets that vanished into the pockets of employees shortly before the events.

  69. Go Home says:
    November 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Payroll taxes in this case most likely mean social security and medicare payments by the company, and does not represent what comes out of the paycheck of employees. So 5.4% is in line with their accounting. Medicare is 1.45% of total salaries. Social security for the past two years is 4.2% of all salaries up to $110,000 for each. So I see this as no issue.
    ____________________________________________
    According to guidstar it is for
    Fiscal Year Starting: Jan 1, 2010
    Fiscal Year Ending: Dec 31, 2010

    First They do not pay FUTA. From the IRS:

    …Most employers pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax. Only employers pay FUTA tax. Do not collect or deduct FUTA tax from your employees’ wages. The FUTA tax applies to the first $7,000 you pay to each employee during a calendar year

    For tax-exempt organizations . . .
    Religious, educational, scientific, charitable, and other organizations described in section 501(c)(3) and exempt from tax under section 501(a) are not subject to FUTA tax and do not have to file Form 940.

    Salaries Officers, $1,387,906
    Salaries Staff, $7,251,182
    Salaries Total $ 8,639,088 X 1.45% =$125,267 that leaves $341,413 in SS taxes
    If you figure none of the staff is getting more than $110,000 a year, then SS on the staff salaries is
    $304,550 that leaves the officers paying $36,863
    4.2% of $110,000 a year is $4,620 per person or about 8 officers dividing up that $1,387,906 a year. That is an average salary of $173,488 for each officer if there are only 8. Nice job if you can find it.

    The board of directors is listed here

    There are 10 including Gore and not including the CEO. Whether they get compensation I do not know, nor do I know who the company officers are.

    This is the Traditional Nonprofit Organizational Structure There are seven officers including the CEO.

  70. Go Home says: @ November 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    “The Glover Park Group was founded in June 2001 by Michael Feldman…
    ____________________________________
    Nice find! It gets positively incestuous doesn’t it/ Amazing how the same names keep repeating.

  71. Billy says:
    November 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    In Canada payoll tax is the employer contribution… The US should be similar.
    _____________________________
    It is. But charities and churches do not pay unemployment tax.

  72. Seems like even the “project” portion is mostly about the proselytizing with a smaller portion ~ $4M to grants / warmist science. One great big PAC if you look at it objectively. Separately, where does Gore get his benefit here if not in salary? Does he or his other organizations get any of the grant or conference money? Travel? Do they buy carbon offsets from him and invest in his ventures? Speaking as a financial investigator, if you’re going to follow the Benjamins, it’s a long and dust-clouded trail. Maybe he’s just in it for the advertising benefit, but that would be a foolish assumption.

  73. “I got to reading about Al Gore today, and started wondering about his Climate Reality Project (CRP)….The official name of the CRP is the Alliance for Climate Protection.”

    Allow me to suggest a new acronym for this nefarious group: CRAP, as in the Climate Reality Alliance Project.

    • said, ” CRAP, as in the Climate Reality Alliance Project.” Now you are just picking on Thomas Crapper. Poor guy he invented one of the most important inventions ever and he names goes down the crapper.

  74. Dennis Ray Wingo asks: Why does (a charity) have over $2 million in bad debts in one year?

    The answer might go something like this: it makes a “loan” to someone or some group, not intending to ever see that loan repaid, and then it writes that loan off as a bad debt. This is the same technique that criminal groups use to launder their drug money and put it back “clean” in the pockets of their leadership.

    So yes, something smells here and maybe it calls for a tax audit.

  75. ironargonaut says:
    November 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

    you should take a look at how many corporate boards Al is a member of. These are paid positions.

    Well, you could start here

    Not all of board positions are paid positions. Gore takes no salary or compensation from CRP. However, as I noted above, I assume that CRP pay all his expenses when he is appearing on behalf of the organization. We do not know if this is so or if so, how much.

    w.

  76. A few more people have commented on the two million listed as a bad debt. Let me repost this from above:

    Further research shows that they list “Pledges and Grants Receivable” among their assets, with a value of thirteen million at the start of the year and $125k at the end of the year. So if someone backed out of a pledge, I assume it would be written off as a “Bad Debt”. That seems the most likely explanation.

    In standard accounting fashion, the CRP has listed the promises that people have made to them as an asset. There’s no problem with that. They are entered into the books on the day that the pledge or deferred grant is made. They are treated as income as of that date. Again, this is standard accounting practice.

    Normally, when the pledgers pay up, an entry is made in the books that shifts the asset from “Pledges” to “Cash”. But what if they don’t pay up?

    You need to post out that broken pledge to something. I see no reason not to post it out as a “Bad Debt” expense. You bring it into the books as income, you expense it out as a bad debt.

    It also looks like during the year they nearly zeroed out the opening balance of thirteen million in the “Pledges and Grants Receivable” account. It would make sense during that process to write off the bad pledge.

    Note that I have no evidence that this is the case. I am simply saying that this is both a likely and a reasonable explanation for such a two million dollar bad debt writeoff.

    w.

  77. It’s also fascinating to plug in search terms like Fenton Communications and follow the links to adbusters and back to Soros, who seems to be well and truly at the center of all. Obama is another one with dozens of linkages – perhaps the most networked politician of this age. Thank you to the poster of the Muckety machine – absolutely a wonderful resource.

  78. @Charles Gerard Nelson says:
    November 24, 2012 at 11:23 am
    “Just read an article stating that Hewlett Packard have written down their company value by $5 billion!!!”

    I work with HP software and have watched this company slowly being grossly miss-managed into the ground by incredibly incompetent upper management.

    To learn that they are on the cAGW band wagon explains allot.

  79. Note that I have no evidence that this is the case. I am simply saying that this is both a likely and a reasonable explanation for such a two million dollar bad debt writeoff.

    You cannot book possible future revenue that does not occur as a debt. Willis I am telling you that this is not the case with a non profit. Debts these days that are written off can be charged back to the debtor as income per IRS rules and a 1099 issued. You simply cannot do that with a pledge that is not fulfilled. This part bears more investigating.

  80. While I think every dime of this project is a waste, I think I can help you find your missing 5 million, Willis.

    Employees’ benefits and the employee portion of payroll taxes (FICA/Medi and FUTA) are allocated to the project in the same way as the wages are allocated. So, if John Doe earns 100K, directly to the project, his payroll tax and benefits are allocated to the project. This amounts to something less than $1,459,000 but certainly not less than 75% (based on the breakdown of employees and those who would limit out). Therefore, we have a minimum of 1,094,250.

    I used to allocate Occupancy (Rents paid) by square footage to projects based on the usage of the square footage. We had warehouses and a war room, and relatively small administrative offices so we were very heavy on the project allocation. Based on the number of employees, I would expect the same situation for CRP. Probably a large amount of the $1,435,000 went to the projects. There are other methods.

    Depreciation is likely mostly of the equipment purchased for the project. It too would be allocated but you can expect it was mostly for project. $428,000. I would expect the equipment to be mostly computer equipment and vehicles. Likewise, insurance, $28,000, would be allocated to projects.

    I agree that the 2 million in bad debt is likely uncollected pledges. It would go to the project (matching) rather than overhead. We don’t know the total receivable or how old it is, so it’s hard to say if the allowance is high.

    So, there is your missing project money. The 2010 year 990 looked appropriate. For those who don’t understand the expenses exceeding the revenue, there is no balance sheet to show the total assets, liabilities and retained earnings. We also don’t know what the payables look like. If you start with 100 million and the expenses are 10 million more than the current year income, each year, you can carry on for at least 10 years. If the payables are growing and old, the expenses are still accrued and it slightly lengthens the time that a company can operate with poor cash flow. Hope this clarifies the situation. AG is still…. what he is…but his financials look okay. We need to be careful to stick to issues within the scope of our best area of experience.

  81. denniswingo says:
    November 25, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Note that I have no evidence that this is the case. I am simply saying that this is both a likely and a reasonable explanation for such a two million dollar bad debt writeoff.

    You cannot book possible future revenue that does not occur as a debt.

    Thanks, Dennis. A “bad debt” is future revenue that does not occur. Suppose I say I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today … so we have future revenue. Following standard accounting principles, you enter this into your books as income.

    Now, if I tell you I can’t pay my debt, it is “future revenue that does not occur” … and yet despite that, it would be recorded as a “bad debt” … because that’s what it is. The same is true about a pledge that is not made. A pledge is no different than any other debt—someone has made an agreement to pay money in the future. If it doesn’t get paid, I’d call it a bad debt.

    What else are you planning to call it?

    Debts these days that are written off can be charged back to the debtor as income per IRS rules and a 1099 issued. You simply cannot do that with a pledge that is not fulfilled.

    While that certainly may be true, the way that the intending donor (the one who made the pledge) treats the transaction (as income or as something else) or whether they are issued a 1099 (the US tax form for miscellaneous income) is relevant to the donor. As to whether a pledge that has not occurred gets a 1099 form, that would depend on how the donor has treated the pledge in their own books. If they have treated it as an expense, and then it does not occur, it would surely be charged back to the donor as inome.

    However, while that is important to the donor, it is not necessarily relevant to the NGO to whom the pledge has been made.

    Because whether the NGO issues a 1099 or not, the problem still remains. You’ve brought the pledge into the NGO books as income. If you are going to take it off the books, you need to post it back out as an expense … but what category of expense? I say “Bad Debts” is a reasonable category for that. What category would you put it in? Because at the end of the day, it is pretty irrelevant which account it goes into, you could have an expense account entitled “Unrealized Pledges” if that makes more sense to you.

    Finally, yes, I know you could just put a reversing entry into the books to reverse out the original income … but that’s generally frowned upon, at least by the auditors that I’ve dealt with.

    In any case, Dennis, the unrealized income needs to be posted out to some expense account or another. You seem to be opposed to posting it to a “Bad Debts” expense account … so what account do you think it should be posted to?

    w.

  82. Laurie says:
    November 26, 2012 at 12:00 am

    While I think every dime of this project is a waste, I think I can help you find your missing 5 million, Willis. …

    Thanks, Laurie, your ideas are likely spot on. Having played this game many times, I likely know the majority of the dodges used to transfer money from the “Overhead” column to the “Project” column … and you are very probably right that they have posted every conceivable penny into the project column using the methods you listed as well as others.

    My point was that under normal accounting, without any dodges, the numbers were bad … and that even with all of the juggling and all of the dodges, the CRP was still the worst of the five comparable NGOs chosen for analysis. They spend the most money on overheads, and the least money on the projects.

    w.

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