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LOOK BEYOND THE LOGO! AND IF A NONPROFIT IS NAMED in the NEWS, OR EVEN HINTED AT IN THE NEWS, LOOK IT UP!

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Post Title:  LOOK BEYOND THE LOGO! AND IF A NONPROFIT IS NAMED in the NEWS, OR EVEN HINTED AT IN THE NEWS, LOOK IT UP! (Short-link ends “-99m.”)  Post started July 16, 2018… July 31, 2018, I was on-line and on-blog again for the first time in a week, picking up three posts in the pipeline (in draft status). Further work on this draft Aug. 21… published August 29, 2018, updated post-publication* same-day and Aug. 30.

  • *(Added a short section on Weithorn & Ehrmann Family Foundation + charitable tax specialist lawyer Stanley S. Weithorn (1924-2015) to complete brief drill-downs on Tides.org supporting foundations as recorded on Tides Organizations’ consolidated annual financial statements YE2014-2015)
  • The post is now about 8,300 words including all image captions and (as I recall) just one table. It has plenty of pictures, but if you know the routine, typically those are screen shots of tax returns or other fine print from quotations of websites or new articles, sometimes annotated.

Before getting into it, know that this post was last edited, as of Aug. 21, three weeks ago (Aug. 1) including some additions.   Since Aug. 21, I was (besides being busy) deciding whether to split it in half, leaving just one substantial “drill-down” in each half. It’s one post which may feel like it has two or three distinct sections.

Some of my additions take time to clarify differences between my geological point of reference for “Drill-Down” versus a related but different point of reference (usage), computers: websites designed to lead readers into pre-fabricated drill-downs for the purpose of, generally, sales, or selling a concept for which public funds may be required.

Geological drillings are often but not exclusively for the ultimate purpose of profit (whether for mineral, oil, gas, or water). I use the phrase #DotheDrillDown often on Twitter thinking of the material , geological term, and want to clarify that when I say “DoTheDrillDown” it’s not for people to “click and read what I’ve prepared for you to read so you won’t have to work for the information” but for people to develop the habit of exploring themselves – personally engage with –  certain untapped reservoirs of valuable information from disparate (seemingly unrelated) sources — and let what’s found there speak to them about the surrounding contexts and connections.

And to become more aware of when they are being coached what not to think about by people and groups whose purposes, “brands” (public image) and agenda depend heavily on most of the masses  never having a cognitive curiosity about the importance of accounting: following the money, and where the dots ought to connect from one entity’s balance sheet to another, but the path to follow that connection is littered with broken and missing links.

Know also that this post has substantial but not only overlapping material from a post published August 4, 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).  

“Substantial overlapping material” means mostly about the Silicon Valley Community Fund, its organizers and just some of their related organizations and organizations’ grantees, or as I call it on Twitter, “#FamousFaceBookFounders and their LLCs.” A more complete report would mean drill-down on 16 or 17 “related organizations,” more of the subcontractors besides ICONIQ Capital, and so forth.  I’ve done far more than is posted here.

Vocabulary “Drill” – same words, different applications.

In saying “drill-down,” I’m using a geological idea, but as in geology, things are also moving sideways.. there’s a flow; no single core sample tells the whole story.  Descriptions from the field of geology, including Indiana Geological & Water Survey (“IGS”), show basic concepts I’ve borrowed.

When it comes to data far below the surface,  first there’s the digging it out, then there’s the recording, if that information is to be at all useful. This differs from (I just saw) another common usage, meaning “pre-pared” for public consumption computer viewing, i.e., Business-Intelligence (“BI”) usage.

Geological and water surveys of course (say some of the excerpts below, on the IGS images) now use computers and electronics to record the measurements after physically drilling.  Unfortunately, for the types of things I record and (as possible) measure on this blog, I know of no software program or automated process of taking readings.

However, I have made it, through habit, and almost “automatic” routine check as a human being, remembering which items to look for, and keeping my eyes out for any “anomalies” (using correlation) and other peripheral information on an entity or on its leadership (board, or executive officers’) which might help increase a historical perception of its change, and the field’s changes, over time.

Google search results, “Drill-Down, geology” were far fewer than those referring to computers, without the word “geology.” Here’s one from AustralianMinesAtlas.gov.au…

I believe this was from the Cambridge Dictionary… “many websites have some form of hyperlink navigation as you drill down…”

Both involve getting to more in-depth information than the surface, but a key difference is one is not a guided tour.

I’m saying, we have to break new ground, it seems, in connecting disparate sources of information to obtain, mentally and at least SOME of it retained in our memory, a landscape involving financial concepts as tied to the public use (and accountability for) our tax receipts, and translate the PR, the degree of spin (whether from public or private, or both together entities) into a vocabulary which cuts across the divide enough to compare — similar, different.  Big, or small.  Characteristics of the corporations and (by association) those running them, etc.

https://igws.indiana.edu/OilGas/drilling.cfm

Vocab Drill Down (Geo) from IndianaU (Bloomington) IGS (two images only) ~~~ SShots 2018Aug22 Wed @2.07.19 PM

References: All illustrations except those of the old drilling rig, the cross section, and the road cut are from:Baker, Ron; 1979; A Primer of Oilwell Drilling; The University of Texas at Austin; Austin, Texas

Vocab Drill Down (Geo, see LOOK BEYOND THE LOGO post) from IndianaU (Bloomington) IGS (two images only) 2018Aug22 Wed @2.09.03 PM


This “drill-down” process (speaking of applying the geological concepts to searching for information in key places, taking core samples and then recording the measurements somehow) differs from the “BI” (Business Intelligence) concept of “Drill-Down and Drill Through(<==please read the short description; a link at bottom of the page also leads to a clickable, alpha, vocabulary list; it’s a “BI Encyclopedia”) which refers to preparing the data & (I guess) “html” to direct the reader to such information at the easy click of a mouse — as a well-designed website might.

When I say “Drill Down,” I am talking about, as a consumer / outsider of information, takes more effort — it is locating and looking down, in more details, the relevant information that the websites often do NOT provide in drill-down or drill-through format either. I’m saying, learn to see what’s NOT been offered at the surface level, and take notes if/why it might not have been.  See what’s not there but likely to exist and can be tracked elsewhere.  Observe misdirection and distraction from the bedrock reality, for historic folds and fault lines (changes over time), for characteristics of that rock (bottom-line best description of the entity or entities operating in synche), and correct course in a search for understanding WHO IS IT?  as — trust me — often will be necessary!  

The BI web design Drill Down/Drill-Through purpose is driving revenues, or selling a cause.

Mine is, public-interest awareness of (across-the-board) both government and tax-exempt entities (so often working hand in hand with governments) frame their respective causes. The backdrop of audited financial statements + 990s (if found) + legal domicile registrations AND the organization’s various websites helps translate the truer activities.  The more personal effort into at least looking! the more patterns of a gap between presentation and reality surfaces.

[End of Vocabulary “Drill” section.  Next:]


From my handwritten notes last week, “Tides Orgs” list several supporting organizations.

“Supporting” vs. “Related” organizations. How it seems to work… who they are.

For example, not identical, but after looking closer, I noticed some similarities in between the Tides Organizations’ “supporting”  and SVCF’s “Related” organizations.  The “Tides Organizations” are also [mostly*] from Northern California (San Francisco Bay Area, not Silicon Valley — although these are less than a half day’s drive from each other).  [*One in NY.]

“Tides.org” represents several different organizations laterally (find and view their comprehensive audited financial statements (they are on the website), or for a taste of how presented, follow me on recent Twitter threads on #R4G (RightsForGirls.org, which is a fiscally sponsored project).

  • Beauchamp Charities
  • Rouhana Family Foundation
  • Harding Rock Fund
  • One Pacific Coast Foundation
  • The Underdog Fund
  • Weithorn & Ehrmann Families Fund.

Here’s where in the (Years ending Dec. 2014 & 2015) Tides Consolidated Financial Statements I found that.

Note: In reading any Financial Statements, always look at both the financial statements themselves (the pages mostly tables (columns + labeled rows) of numbers with totals of each column & section) see Table of Contents for specific name each statement is to take and what it shows) and for more insight on WHO is the organization and what those numbers represent, “Notes to The Financial Statements.”  The notes often explain things less than clear on the organization’s website and sometimes not even on their tax returns. This is even more important for government Comprehensive Audited Financial Reports or “CAFRs”…read the accompanying Notes too! (Look under Comptroller’s Offices for government entities, or just search for them on the website, or in general, naming the entity)…

This image is from Note 1 to Tides Organizations Consolidated Statements YE 2014 and 2015...

What “Tides Organizations” means for purposes of these financial statements is also shown on Note 1 (but not on this post).  Note, the statements are of consolidated operations, which would of course differ from what’s seen on individual Tides entity (I think there are about five of them) Forms 990.

“Tides Consolidated Statemts YsE Dec 2014, 2015 (shows supporting orgs + its Entities + some financials)|SHOW THIS!~~ SShots 2018Aug22 Wed..”

 

I had no idea (Before any drill-downs, that is) who the above organizations are, or what are their assets, but am looking now, repeating the list, but adding EIN#s if found, website if found, and whether or not the website connects people to that info and for some of them, a few images or other “specs” giving the general flavor of each.


Correction or Clarification (8/30): What the Financial Statements called “Supporting” organization, a tax return identifies under “Related”. There are many Tides Organizations, but I chose to look at “Tides Foundation” Form 990 because the supporting ones I’d already viewed cited that as the one they were “supporting.”  Notice the increasing total balances for Tides Foundation over just three years.  Most of that is simply increased donations.

Below that, see its Schedule D (FY 2014 chosen) showing how many Donor-Advised and (second column) “Other” Funds, and how much is held in or distributed from each type.

Form 990s results for Tides Foundation, EIN# 51-0198509, Total Assets shown FYs 2014-2015 showing major increase. (No column headers shown only because I used a name-search not EIN# search to locate it; other results inbetween these and the top of the table//LGH)

(174pp shown above for FY 2014 includes page after page of fine-print, basically illegible “grantees” which is unnecessary and is a statement of intent NOT to encourage closer scrutiny.  “Who gives a damn?” is the mentality…  The grants, over $100M worth, are also arranged in descending order by amount (not alpha) and probably have repetitions, i.e., if two grants of different amounts to the same organization, the entries would not be near each other.  ….
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Written by Let's Get Honest

August 29, 2018 at 1:35 pm

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