The association’s website seemed to list only about $105,000 in scholarships and grants — despite the fact that the dinner sold “nearly” 2,700 seats, according to its website. Plus, the website thanked corporate donors who seemed to have chipped in additional cash.
With the dinner this weekend seemingly more amped than ever, I checked the association’s latest tax return — which, as it turns out, covers activities for the year 2012 that I speculated about two years ago.
Indeed, there was just exactly $105,000 in grants. Other association expenses were $155,000, meaning the organization spent more on its own management (rent, salary for a staffer, etc.) than on its charitable works. And that was before spending another $403,000 on the 2012 dinner, which took in $661,000.
Looking further into the gap between the dinner’s glitz and cost and the impact of those scholarships, and asking leaders of the association about all that was a good story idea two years ago. The more the dinner grows, the better it gets.