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Posts Tagged ‘How Well Do You Know Your United States (and its Balance Sheets)

“NATIONAL” Nonprofits? (Centers, Initiatives, etc.) in the USA? No Such Thing. US Treasury’s CAFR explains ‘ENTITY’… [Yesterday’s (Jan. 30, 2022) post, second half]

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(Revised/minor updates in early February, tags added Feb. 4).

This post is, literally, the second (bottom) half of the one I published yesterday, which was about 10,600 words, mostly text not images.   Let’s call this half — well, I just did:

“NATIONAL” Nonprofits? (Centers, Initiatives, etc.) in the USA? No Such Thing. US Treasury’s CAFR explains ‘ENTITY’… [Yesterday’s (Jan. 30, 2022) post, second half]. case-sensitive short-link ends “-dvu”

The one I published yesterday:
“National Nonprofit:  True or False? Wishful Thinking or Flat-Out Deception for USA-Legal domiciled Entities? […publ.Jan.30, 2022] case-sensitive short-link ends “-dgS”

PREVIEW (about 3,000 words).  I have some points to make!

Reading CAFRs (Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, compiled by governments) at any level help a person comprehend the concept of what is and is not an “entity” and governments’ usage of the word “entity.”

Many nonprofit entities use the word “national” as part of their business name.  That name doesn’t make it magically “national” in any sense of the word.  So many things called “National” are intended to mislead domestic and foreign (i.e., not USA) populations, when such things are even “entities.”

The label “national” is also applied across a number of websites or campaigns masquerading (by implication if not direct claim) as “entities” but which aren’t.  These will also have the word “national” in their names– that is, there will be initial caps followed by a few more adjectives and, if you’re lucky, a noun of some indefinite sort:  center, initiative, coalition, campaign, or almost anything else.

There’s a difference between categories of existence as some entity (government or non-government, i.e., private) and assigned or registered names of entities.

(Quick post-publication update from the world of Twitter:)

Within just two days of publishing this post (and the one before it) on this topic, I saw another website featuring “protective mothers” groups claiming an international coalition along with this one:  “NationalSafeParents.org” At least two of the sponsors, judging by the logos, I know as organizations (for many years now); another promoting it is (so far as I can tell) another NONentity at a university center, another is a survivor Mom selling High-Conflict and (in general) AFCC policies, so is a second one (which I’d previously looked at, seeing its activity onTwitter).

Others seem to represent the names (and some, a nonprofit or campaign associated with) murdered young children — great for curb appeal (a little late for the children…) — but that doesn’t make the “*.org” national, any of the associated nonprofits or for-profit businesses associated national, or representative of all mothers in this condition.  It’s a sales pitch, typical for that particular group of individuals (some organizations have been around longer than others), and I noticed the website is also TELLING  us what to do — sample Tweets, what laws to promote — after all, it’s about dire situations, the words “National” “Coalition” have implications, and who could be against “safe parents” although, in the context, it seems that safe CHILDREN is more the focus.

Not posted here, but I did click on every logo listed (some, not for the first time) for the overview…IF you make a practice of looking up entities and finding (USA) what legal domicile (subsidiary to this country) each one IS or as it may be (and was for one of these) WAS registered in, per the IRS, this gives a point of comparison with the surface claims to be national, a true coalition, representing as many parents as it says it is, and, possibly why such an agenda.  NationalSafeParents.org was being promoted (on Twitter), which doesn’t surprise me at all, by the non-entity (so far as I can tell), “National Family Violence Law Center,” which (click Donate to follow through) is in fact, George Washington University in Washington, D.C., ℅ Joan Meier.  For now, it’s a non-entity.

This new (2022) website and the collection (“coalition”) of logos on it so far (two more were just added) deserves a separate post. I already Tweeted out a quick Buyer Beware, however.

Though I’ve been saying these things for years, it seems my posts are timely, and I’m glad to have them to point to, and classic examples of exactly what I’m protesting.  How timely! (“More later…”)  I tweeted out an alert.  //LGH Feb. 2, 2022.

Unfortunately, many government websites facing the consumers (i.e., us) within the USA don’t mention that our country doesn’t do “national” nonprofits or corporations.  Many government websites also inconsistently “mix-and-match” terminology discouraging public identification of what types of organizations (or non-entities, i.e., projects perhaps of some other organization) are meant.

This post leads you to and guides through** how a recent U.S. Treasury CAFR report defines “entity.” (and, much more…).  That section is in the bottom part of this post (below a clear separator):

**by specifying which parts, linking and quoting or summarizing the U.S. Treasury’s explanation of, at this point, the difference in usage between “entity” and “agency” in context (“entity” is a broader term) and listing so many of them by example as to  get the concept.  There are “entities” within “entities” in this case.

Something similar (but not identical) can happen within the nonprofit sphere; for example one Schedule attached to some IRS Forms 990 (for tax-exempt organizations which must file), is Schedule R — Related Organizations and Unrelated Businesses” and asking for these to be identified by categories:”Disregarded, Tax-exempt, Taxable as a partnership, or Taxable as a corporation or trust (Click and scroll down (or go straight to the bottom and scroll up, probably faster) through after Parts I-XII of any tax return (except abbreviated Forms 990EZ), through its “Schedules” to Schedule R and read the sub-headings given.  This example came up  (BiPartisan Policy Center, Inc, FY2019 Tax Return; it’s mentioned below the section on CAFRs on this post).

(“What’s a CAFR?”  Still unsure what that refers to?) Investopedia summarizes, but I disagree (extremely) based on having read enough CAFRs, with one of its summary statements — governments aren’t into hoarding assets.  Oh, really?  I certainly agree with this (second paragraph) — “shouldn’t we be making sure they’re making good use of our money?” and other parts explaining who files CAFRs, and that their MD&A section (and notes) are “important analysis tools.”

Navigating Government and Nonprofit Financials,” by Jonas Elmerajji, Updated July 27, 2021, Reviewed by Andy Smith).

Governments and nonprofits take our tax and contribution money to provide valuable services—shouldn’t we be making sure that they’re making good use of our money?

Governmental Reporting

Each year, every governmental organization in the U.S. and Canada puts out a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). While the formats and contents can vary, these reports present the financial statements of the governmental entity, as well as important analysis tools like the management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) and the notes to the financial statements. CAFRs are done according to GAAP and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) regulations. (See also: What You Need To Know About Financial Statements and Footnotes: Start Reading The Fine Print.)

Too bad one sentence refers to governmental “organizations” and the next, “governmental entity.”  I think the phrase should be “government entity.”  It’s either government, or it’s not.  If it’s “government” that’s not “governmental” — “sort of” government.  Investopedia articles are intended for a general understanding..

CAFRs often present financial information for individual funds (or at least significant funds) as well as governmentwide financial statements that show the position of the government as a whole…. The MD&A is a very useful portion of the CAFR that gives quite a bit of insight into the decisions made by your government’s decision makers. Typically, the MD&A has quite a bit more content than the managerial discussions found in the annual reports of business organizations.

Besides entities called “National” , there are also many “Centers, Initiatives, (etc.)” within registered entities (within governments and, often, universities, or at times, within some other non-profit entity) which aren’t “entities” (‘things,” or distinctly separate from where they are “housed”) at all, but those behind them and involved want the rest of us to think they are.  Many times I’ll find out simply looking for the entity and finding there was (or is) none — the name or label refers instead to some project of another organization (or, government unit).

In the United States, such labeling — “National  [ABC] for/on [Cause XYZ]”  isn’t illegal, just mis-leading and deceptive. It ought to be a ‘red flag’ every single time you see it, unless referring to the federal government itself. It’s a ruse… It’s mimicryit’s evidence of (someone’s) posing like something it is not.  This word “National” serves to help undeserving entities or non-entities (small or large, powerfully connected or not at all powerfully connected) encroach on other turf, like an invasive species, until the original ones are crowded out, or suppressed JUST enough to keep feeding the parasites.  The “turf” it’s encroaching on is representative government as designated by not just local state constitutions (as to the USA), but under the national one also.  It’s an attempt at nationalizing things which belong under state, NOT national, control.

Because it’s so easy and now commonplace to replicate, ‘clone” or just set up nonprofits, it’s become logistically impossible to track all of them without extreme specialization.  However, they do tend to organize around the “host” functions of governments and can be seen mimicking and feeding off such government sources.

This post begins listing some of my prior published posts naming a series of non-profit entities (mostly) which call themselves National and how they collaborate to form the background, kind of “shadow” government while maintaining private tax-exempt status making their (collective) influence/s harder to discern, and the money much harder to follow.

Some of these are so confident about themselves they self-selected into “The Big Seven“: Wikipedia lists them but says little about them.

I blogged them in July, 2017, (a major deep-dive drill-down on several).  That post is a good background for this one;  background information includes display of many images — both the entities’ self-descriptions, and annotated/captioned screenshots of tax returns. That my blog was so close to top of the Google search results on this phrase might tell you it’s not discussed often enough.

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Budgets Aren’t Balance Sheets! and other Basic (USA)Facts about Billionaires’ Philanthropic Behaviors, Such as of 2014-retired Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer + His Wife Connie [Aug. 4, 2018]

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I started to weave some of this information into a different post, anticipating writing further on it.

However, after about a days’ hunt for two (STILL not found yet) EIN#s connected with the famous philanthropists mentioned in the title, and after reading the tax returns / shabby filing habits of one of the no doubt much smaller ones also associated (referring to the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation — Steven Ballmer also owns the Los Angeles Clippers), I felt it better to sequester this topic onto its own post.

Too bad, because, understood better, it adds weight to the original argument — most headlines involved nonprofits at SOME level, and we’d be better off as a whole, when they come up, to look them up!

Anyhow:  My post title:

Budgets Aren’t Balance Sheets! and other Basic (USA)Facts about Billionaires’ Philanthropic Behaviors, Such as of 2014-retired Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer + His Wife Connie [July, 2018] (short-link ends “-982”).  Started mid-July, published Aug. 4, 2018, at about 9,000 words (tags added later).  It comes from the middle of Two Plaintiffs’ Counsel Nonprofits for Class Action Lawsuit (℅ Center for Investigative Reporting article) (Short-link ends “-95X,” published 7/31/2018).

CLICK IMAGE TO READ!  Good Ventures (Public, ℅ SVCF) Form 990, FY2016 Sched L acknowledging ICONIQ Capital’s “Interested Person” status through 35% owner, Divesh Makan (viewed 8/4/2018)

The post title could also reference, and I do include for comparison, two other philanthropic couples, both with close ties to Facebook and a multi-billion-dollar Silicon Valley Community Foundation (“SVCF”) formed by merger to reach $1 billion assets only in 2006.

Besides Zuckerberg’s apparent direct involvement in (funding) SVCF and with Iconiq Capital’s Divesh Makan (discussed below) from before Facebook went public, these two couples also headed two of SVCF’s many “related tax-exempt organizations” formed since 2006 (samples below).  However, the Chan-Zuckerberg related organization dissolved itself in 2016 into multiple other “CZI” branded LLCs (Delaware entities) while more “CZI” branded nonprofits were then started up (again, shown below).

CLICK IMAGE TO READ! Good Ventures (Public, ℅ SVCF) Form 990, FY2016 Sched O showing entwined relationships (viewed 8/4/2018)

So husband-and wife couples Priscilla Chan & Mark Zuckerberg (Startup: Education + the more recent Chan Zuckerberg Initiative) and Dustin Moskovitz & Cari Tuna, have overlapping mutual foundation interests. Zuckerberg and Moskovitz were Facebook co-founders, and one major mutual foundation in common is the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in Santa Clara County, (SF Bay Area) California.

Moskovitz & Tuna’s variety of “Good Ventures” entities (one public (<==EIN#452757586, 2016 tax return), one private (<==EIN#461008520, 2015 tax return) foundation and an LLC) collectively report (2016) over $1B Assets (the LLC’s assets are unknown; LLCs don’t have to reveal their financials to the public). (Next 3-image gallery shows: 1) Total combined gross Assets from these two “Good Ventures” foundations (along with some others) in table form, and 2), 3) self-disclosure on multiple entities from the organization’s website.

GoodVentures.com the website was (still is, generally) initially confusing until I looked up the referenced organizations financials. That website doesn’t overtly feature “SVCF” but instead “GiveWell” and “Open Philanthropy Project,” which (like Startup: Education — and Good Ventures) seems to keep changing its format and, correspondingly, its reporting requirements, using one sound-byte (or trademark) for multiple organizations.  GiveWell it also turns out is a trade name (‘dba’) not an entity name.

The public “Good Ventures” foundation (℅ SVCF) has only 3 officers:  Cari Tuna, Dustin Moskovitz, and Divesh Makan, and the (highly paid) board / officers of related SVCF (as of tax return 2016).

There are investment managers in common among these various foundations and LLCs (ICONIQ Capital, Apercen Partners, Square Seven Management**) showing up: as “℅” on the addresses; as well-paid independent subcontractors (Form 990 Pt. VIIB); and/or as “(Form 990 Sched L) Interested-Person Transactions,” or (as in Good Ventures example imaged above) as might be reported on a tax return under Schedule O, “Supplemental Information”). … For the LLCs, searchable in California at BusinessSearch.sos.ca.gov, they show up as either listed “managers” and/or at the same street address + Suite#s entity addresses.

(**Square Seven Management LLC it says is managed by Iconiq Capital LLC, a Delaware Entity)

These networked billionaires work through networked foundations and similarly named LLCs to: move the money, pool the assets, and use common investment managers often, who invest alongside them and are paid fees and percentages of “AUM,” assets under management (presumably).

Who knows, perhaps that’s what ‘APERCEN” in “Apercen Partners” refers to – “A percen(t).”  (Just kidding…)

Investopedia 2/28/2016 article (Mark P. Cussen), “Are AUM Fees a Thing of the Past?” (Click image to enlarge or click through for article).

Search “AUM fees” for several results.  Here’s an interesting and quick-read one from March 28, 2018: “Why AUM-Based Fees Don’t Meet Fiduciary Standards” by Bert Whitehead of “Cambridge, Connection, Inc.  “Advisor Perspectives.”  Another from Guideline.com (What is an AUM Fee?), and from Investopedia that they may be going out of fashion: Are AUM Fees a Thing of the Past? by By Mark P. Cussen, CFP®, CMFC, AFC | February 12, 2016.  Notice these are all written by financial advisors of one kind or another, see all the initials after that last author (and nearby image)


The networked billionaires then advertise their own work on websites which post, typically, no identification (or minimal and not the most recent by far) of tax returns for specific foundations, or evidence of any LLC filings, or audited financial statements. Where would those audited financial statements be found?  While sometimes the California OAG may post audited financial reports under individual foundation’s “Details” page, for these (I’m reporting on herein) it doesn’t seem to.

The spider-like nature (multiple related organizations, with separate identities but apparently common SVCF management) and behavior of SVCF blurs the IRS’ definition (when movement of money is shown) of “supporting organization” (the “support” seems to be going in the opposite direction) and the concept of actual independent entities, when the independent entities simply delegate administration and management to the controlling one (here, SVCF), paying its board and/or employees handsomely for the fees, and retaining (both supporting and supported, i.e. SVCF, organizations) most assets while granting out (for several of these SVCF-managed related organizations) millions of dollars more in a given year than is taken in — some “budget” — knowing that their rich benefactors will either cough up some more, or close it down as part of an obviously pre-determined exit strategy.

Overall it seems to be more about the investments held by and funds moving between multiple nonprofits under common management (including some of the boards) than about the advertised projects.  Another reason I say, watch the Balance Sheets as much as if not more than the Budget.

Also complicating comparisons among multiple entities, even of public with private ones under common management or ownership:

Differences between public (990s) and private (990PF) filings (unofficial, deduced just through observation)…making cross-comparisons from the same wealth source harder for the average person, although the purpose of by law (Internal Revenue Code) making them public at all, one would think, is for the average person, “the public,” — not just potential donors — to understand how entities with tax-exempt privilege are in fact operating and what they are doing with that privileged status.

My comments refer to IRS Forms 990 since substantial revisions in 2008 only. I have spent more time looking at the more recent forms, although I often do go back before 2008 for specific entities.

  • PUBLIC 990-filing foundations have to categorize types of investments on their balance sheets (Part X, since the IRS Form 2008ff) and provide more detail on Schedule “D” to Part X for any amounts for Other Investments or “Other Assets,” but do not have to name which exact corporate/public-traded or other investments are held.   
  • Public foundations also in their grantmaking are to supply EIN#s for grantees
  • Public foundations by IRS form have to segregate domestic and foreign grants on different schedules (Schedule I, Schedule F) 
  • PRIVATE 990PF-filing foundationsremember, Good Ventures has one of each both formed about 2012 it says — do list how many shares of exactly which investments, and grouped by type, but do not (as I understand it/I may be wrong about that) have to categorize them on the tax return’s balance sheet statements as to type.  
  • PRIVATE (990PF-filing foundations) in listing their grants do not have to separate domestic (USA) and foreign (non-USA) grants — and some of these are granting out millions with very long lists.  They also are not required to provide EIN#s for any grantee, making fact-checking or follow-up harder; especially when grantees can and do tend to change their names, or if the name & address recorded on the 990PF do not match reality.
  • The PROBLEM: Together, this makes obtaining an overall view on any single enterprises’ (or individuals’) financial impact on specific projects. The information is dispersed, and it’s recorded in different reporting formats even when the money may be coming from the same source (i.e., same extraordinary personal wealth).
  • Movement / re-branding of business entities over time:
    • The project & organization “Open Philanthropy” at “GiveWell” (to which GoodVentures and others have been contributing) then morphed into “Open Philanthropy” (so far, I’ve located three types of entities:  LLC, 501©3 — barely funded — and 501©4 — startup funding about $55M!!). Some details below, see also list of “tags” for this post which name several of the entities.
    • GiveWell and Open Philanthropy bring up two more names (both young(ish) men, not a “couple”), Holden Karnofsky & Elie Hassenfeld, as well as the hedge fund investment management firm (Bridgewater Associates) where they met and came from.  More on this below the next aqua-highlit paragraph and “Open Philanthropy Action Fund” tax return table.
      • Not shown this post, but I’ve looked at several (at least five) of the largest donors GiveWell has been recommending and looked up their tax returns since this post was published Aug. 4, 2018.  I also did a chrono review of GiveWell (“The Clear Fund’s) tax returns as far back as 990finder provides. I wouldn’t give any of them a “C+” on transparency or reporting, and some (Imperial College Foundation, Atlanta GA) an “F” (just moving money to a well-endowed UK London,UK college).
      • Among the grantees, Harvard grads are “everywhere,” particularly at Evidence Action, which has a well-stated relationship with GiveWell as a sponsor, also with organization’s I’d run across and blogged separately associated with behavioral modification studies on the poor in developing countries. J-PAL and IPA (Innovations for Poverty Action). Search Alix Petersen Zwane for more insight.
      • Around 2011/2012, Cari Tuna shows up on the Board and GiveWell’s entity address goes cross-country (NY to SF), and funds start pouring in.
      • As I have said several times, “Harvard/Bain/Bridgespan” investment model in action.
    • Startup Education (of SVCF) morphed into Chan Zuckerberg (or “CZI”) initiatives, and so forth.  Several details (in image gallery format and described) below. See also list of “tags” for this post which name several of them.
The various websites always advertise how philanthropic and altruistic the causes are while, typically not showing the real picture behind the money movement, dispersal, and in general, obfuscation.

Personally, I find it hypocritical and stunningly arrogant. Failure to disclose their own financials while collaborating with their own social niches to channel grants to nonprofits which then lecture the public at large about better management of public institutions [health, education, criminal justice, housing, civil rights, immigration, racial equity — you name it] and how to “improve” them in this fashion and through these strategies.  Look at enough tax returns and related websites, and the background picture comes into clearer focus.

It is the tax returns (and, where available, AUDITED financial statements, plus name-change records at the Secretary of State (or corresponding state-level business filing databases; in California it’s the Secretary of State, others, may be Dept. of Revenue or of Corporations), and not the literal self-descriptions in words and (of course) appealing, empathy-insiring photos which provide the better interpretation of what the organizations are doing. Even site-visits or personal acquaintance (i.e., experiential impressions) cannot override the vitality of financials in comprehending WHAT — at this level of sponsored projects, nonprofits, and grant-making foundations etc. — the rich have in mind for the poor, as opposed to for themselves.  
Do this while you can, because indicators are that some of these privately controlled foundations (or their projects) are spinning off into LLCs.  One example shown in detail below (SVCF’s Startup: Education into Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative LLC); likewise the Good Ventures’ featured “Open Philanthropy Project” and promotion of (another couple’s 2007-formed) “GiveWell” foundation (See GoodVentures.com or the 3-image gallery above to note) has spun off into, not its own, transparent, tax-return filing (for public information) 501©3, but instead another LLC.

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Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

August 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Posted in 1996 TANF PRWORA (cat. added 11/2011)

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My Challenge: Talk Sense, or become an OxyMORON (and Someone Else’s Dinner)

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This post was drafted  March 2014, and is posted June, 2014. Although it has some oddball illustrations — like the duckbilled platypus– and it references distraction techniques of cults (which, FYI, you’re in it), below  all that are some references you might want to bookmark re: FMS.Treasury.Gov (excerpt in 2nd box yellow with teal-green border.  This shows combined US government receipts & outlays, by source, in numbers and in a pie-chart, which is easier to remember.

Show your friends reading the morning newspapers about how broke we are. We who?

This is also 7,000 words, and has multiple formats.  [Insert Standard Copyeditor’s/Proofreaders’ Nightmare Disclaimer for anyone who’s expecting a proofread, copyedited vision of perfection.]

I am one person struggling with a free wordpress blog platform.  I compose what I’ve personally investigated and written up, including quotations and evidence from many different sources, and commentary on these, in a triple-view format; sometimes in “Text” (html) mode, others in “Visual” (the post editor).  Neither “Text” nor “Visual” mode bears ANY true resemblance to “Published” (or Preview) mode, either to paragraphing, or even to fonts (typestyles).

However, I do consistently deliver other goods that I know have helped some people not go “bonkers” (nuts) during their custody cases, get them out of trauma mode by giving some objective information (not standard predigested rhetoric) on these operations.

Anyone who doesn’t like this blog, or its format, can go find this information elsewhere [good luck with that…], or if he or she wants this information in a more polished format, hit the Donate button (on the sidebar) to help me overcome the technical (computer) issues through upgraded website, or, if that’s not within your ability range (or wish), consider signing the petition I’ve included on this post so I may do this myself, with my own resources, which the straightforward petition explains.    It can be signed anonymously, although city and state will display.

(Now would be a great time to sign or donate)

Or be patient and understand the purpose of this blog.  It’s not my attempt at an academic dissertation. I have my degrees already.    It’s about laying out some information as a NOTICE that this type of information exists.  And that people who have been badly traumatized can at least reduce their own confusion on cause-and-effect by becoming aware of this information; including WHO designed the family courts, and the programs to be run through them; and how.


Sometimes you just need other information to get your bearings. What’s more, it’s interesting and relevant to all of us where our taxes are being spent, and who’s running our courts.
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