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Posts Tagged ‘Tax-exempt sector

The Availability and Reliability of On-Line Databases (Private or Public) is a Major  Obstacle to Accountability | Footnotes to “Censorship by Omission” Page [Publ. June 3, 2018].

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Post title:  The Availability and Reliability of On-Line Databases (Private or Public) is a Major  Obstacle to Accountability | Footnotes to “Censorship by Omission” Page [Publ. June 3, 2018]. It has a case-sensitive shortlink ending “-8ZF” and, for a change, is short.

Well (after another day’s work…), not including its own “footnotes.”  Total as published now is actually 8,515 words.  It’ll be short again if I split it in half later.  Main extensions — commentary on two billion-dollar trusts outside the USA, one in London, the other in Kuwait, with annotated images from them.  The Wellcome Trust (London) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (Kuwait).  The “Wellcome Trust” for decades (1955 – 1993) had as part of its pharmaceutical enterprise, Burroughs Wellcome Fund (at Research Triangle Park, NC) and obviously intricately connected to US biomedical and other research, and NIH sponsorship to go with it, as well as with board members on some of the largest tax-exempt entities (which I search in this blog, sorting by “Total Assets”) IN the USA as well.  So, I think those last-day additions are worthwhile…

https://wellcome.ac.uk (“We want to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas thrive.”)  ArabFund.org is a regional financial institution and “embodiment of joint Arab action” (agreement established 1968).

…Achieving Arab integration and consolidating cooperation among the Member countries is the main objective of the Arab Fund. Priority is therefore given to financing joint Arab projects of particular importance and specifically to those projects that increase the interdependence of Arab countries. Hence the emphasis on contributing to projects involving the interconnection of electrical power, transportation and communications. The Arab Fund also pays close attention to social development and reducing poverty by financing projects covering health care, education, drinking water, rural development, and social welfare.


The Arab Fund, being an Arab institution, is focused on Arab issues and concerns. In this regard it pays special attention to the least developed Arab countries such as providing support to the Palestinian people in the occupied territories through financing a program of projects in different sectors. It provides grants to support educational institutions, universities and professional and social associations. The Arab Fund has also supported a number of Arab countries in countering the effects of natural disasters and wars…

Click to enlarge or visit website. For example, “History of Wellcome” with key terms relating to drug development in the USA, and various suffixes (Ltd, Foundation, Trust, plc) associated with it over time. Also visit their Board of Governors

Click to enlarge, or visit website. See also nearby quote (FamilyCourtMatters, published June 6, 2018)

This post goes with a certain Page which matches the top post on this blog dealing with the topic of historic censorship of major issues affecting family courts — censorship specifically by organizations, professionals, and self-described initiatives or movements to fix or reform them.

Next image just shows where on the originating page it came from. As you can see I switched the parts of the title (placing “Footnotes to…” after “The Availability and Reliability of…”).

[This image is simply to locate where on originating Page my “The Availability of.. | Footnotes” post fits in..]

I feel I should further qualify the use of “censorship” in the underlying Page’s title.  There’s a difference between leaders and followers… but followers in the current scenario can’t afford to be passive on their own learning curve and should “look before they leap,” including before going public with their stories in association with specific groups with a specific agenda they may not know about.  … In other words, followers, rebloggers, re-tweeters, free-sociomedia activists who are also litigants with shocking or devastating custody cases, don’t be exploited for the drama by others. Know where you stand in the mix, and that your testimony, your experiences should not be publicized as part of a package deal which may or may not be the best “deal” (reform agenda) available.

IT SEEMS (“FYI”) Most (self-appointed) family court reform leaders, whether individual professionals, or leaders of organizations featuring individual professionals active within the family courts, are not, in fact, members of the classes they advocate for.  Because that’s obvious, this leadership needs to maintain a “stable” of mothers, fathers, and/or aged-out kids to tell moving personal narratives, around which each organization’s particular agenda and sound-bytes for system change can be promoted.

The emotionally moving, tragic or disturbing anecdotal, individual-case stories (true or not) are the “hook.” Those telling on them already have been hooked and in effect function as bait — worms wriggling to catch larger fish (systems change for faster-flowing funding streams).

The “protective-parent” “arguing against parental alienation” tactics (a subset of the larger whole) family-court-reform leaders (especially as associated with nonprofits, conferences, or some, even law school clinics) tend to be publicists, practicing (expert witness or other) psychologists, or lawyers, or even ex-judges sometimes involved professionally in the field.   Individual mothers, especially, with custody-fiasco stories should resist being exploited by anyone for press coverage status and hoping that enough of it will produce effective improvements.

The family courts and family law (and/or “fixing” or reforming it) IS a field which MUST be better understood than it has been portrayed in “the press.”  (Whether on-line or print media).  There are economic considerations.  There are court-connected-corporation considerations too, which the average court-reform leadership on a nonprofit board is generally not too eager to encourage investigation into…  Such investigations (even simple “drill-downs” like I’ve been doing year after year) tend to uncover sponsors, backers, and alliances which sometimes reveal conflicts of interest and shed an entirely different light on the agenda (ultimate purposes).  Investigations also may reveal how very small (size of nonprofit) some of the most vocal promoters are, that is, assuming the tax returns are telling the truth.

Individual parents involved in the courts who remain unaware of these issue because no one raised them, and their on-line or other searches haven’t caused a “stumbling across them” yet, cannot be said to have engaged in censorship.  Then again, individuals’ “take-it-on-faith” and “accept-our-interpretation” without considering alternatives (the religious mindset, in a sense) is just unwise.  Following leaders without basic background-checks of AT LEAST (where a nonprofit is involved) the leaders’ nonprofit’s  self-descriptions as given to the IRS and any required Secretary of State (etc.) filings is minimum responsible behavior, even if one is oppressed and distressed by the present ongoing crises or emergencies a typical family law case may involve.

It’s also appropriate to look (I do this!) at friends-of-friends nonprofits speaking the same language.

The originating Page for this Post is:

My purpose here is just to raise certain issues and a few — certainly not comprehensive — examples of them.

When you see the above page title and sentence again, that’s where this post started.  Before then, I talk about the relevance of this topic, with some examples.

From common on-line discussions among concerned parents and in conversing with people concerned about justice and the family courts, or domestic violence, child abuse involving themselves and their children, over the years I’ve sensed, with just a few exceptions, little consciousness or awareness of the nonprofit sector AS a sector, or its mutual collaborations and governmental collaborations to direct our lives.  Names of individual entities will show up discussed along with their “causes” but few bring up objective discussions about the tax-exempt sector by definition affecting government.

This lack of sunlight facilitates private, unregulated and unmonitored development of alliances throughout the system or the presentation of “warring factions” when in fact the major divide seems to be less political persuasion, than functional niche on the public/private partnerships food chain.

I.e., in a quest for justice, if substantial cash flow is simply uncategorized and unseen, you can “forget it!” Justice, that is. That’s why I include more reminders here that as a whole, the “tax-exempt” sector is a historic and significantly powerful business sector, not just a few organizations with their respective causes.

I ran a printout of FY2015 Forms 990 and sorted them by assets (most billions to about 8.5 billion “Total Assets”).  Top results (Image #1 of 4 taken) included:  Harvard ($73B, billion dollars), Stanford and Yale and Princeton (in that order) and two “Bill and Melinda Gates” entities which, if combined, would’ve been the top of the list.  However, Harvard Management Private Equity Corp. (or so labeled) at $14B also shows up…  Second image:  MIT, Columbia, and so forth (Two thumbnail images shown here; larger ones and the other two, below, with captions).

Notice which types of entities are the largest shown (of those search results displayed). They fall into certain categories which tend to either include institutional endowments of universities, health corporations (benefit, i.e., pension, administrators), insurance companies (people pay up front), credit unions, and probably one donor-advised foundation (I think).  I was surprised that at $12 billion assets, even Ford Foundation wasn’t the largest. This tells us by TYPE of 990 or 990PF, 990-O filer, and generally speaking, where some of the largest (nonprofit only that is) assets are held — excluding of course ALL government entities, which by definition are not even on this database. Government entities are “on” there in the background — supporting scholarships to the universities, distributions for healthcare, federal grants to medical research institutions (etc.) as a sponsor (source of revenue TO nonprofits) and (did you know this?) also as ongoing direct recipients from nonprofits also. But because it’s a directory of charitable trusts (private-sector) naturally no names of government entities will show up as themselves. If you want to see one place they’re both shown together, look for “Bentley 500” (top assets infrastructure owners of the world.  But, that’s only “hard assets.”  I’ve posted it on this blog several times..)

The Forms 990 show this — direct grants to various government agencies to promote, pilot, or evaluate chosen projects. “How the heck” would these ever be consistently tracked?
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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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