Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Something Stinks in Kentucky

A reader sent me a link to some information on the Bluegrass Institute. It made me smile thinking back to my own exchanges with BIPPS' Richard Ines, Jim Waters, and David Adams in 2008. (I was so new to them, I referred to them as BGI at the time.) Here, here, here, here, oh and, don't forget this one.

This from StinkTanks.org:

This from the Bridge Project:
Bluegrass Institute
The contributions documented in Conservative Transparency are based on a review of publicly available filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as state-level data from a variety of sources. Please contact us for more information.
Funder Amount Year

Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $5200.00 2011
Donors Capital Fund $15000.00 2011
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $35000.00 2011
The Roe Foundation $15000.00 2011
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $15000.00 2011
The Roe Foundation $20000.00 2010
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $25000.00 2010
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $10000.00 2010
Donors Capital Fund $115000.00 2010
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $25000.00 2009
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $15000.00 2009
The Roe Foundation $20000.00 2009
Donors Capital Fund $230000.00 2009
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $10000.00 2008
Donors Capital Fund $220000.00 2008
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $25000.00 2008
Castle Rock Foundation $15000.00 2008
The Roe Foundation $20000.00 2008
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $5000.00 2007
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $25000.00 2007
The Roe Foundation $15000.00 2007
Donors Capital Fund $50000.00 2007
JM Foundation $20000.00 2006
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $25000.00 2006
The Roe Foundation $15000.00 2006
Donors Capital Fund $50000.00 2005
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $25000.00 2005
The Roe Foundation $10000.00 2005
JM Foundation $15000.00 2004
The Roe Foundation $10000.00 2004

I wrote this piece for KSN&C back in 2008 (with facts, but in the style of a typical BIPPS hatchet job).

Inefficient Operation Wastes Donor's Money at BIPPS
In a shocking development that is sure to rattle the foundations of freedom-minded Kentuckians everywhere, a lone investigator has uncovered substantial evidence of financial inefficiency and waste at the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions based in Bowling Green.

According to the Institute's IRS Form 990, total revenue in 2007 was $332,534. But since the group's inception, circa 2005, BIPPS fundraising has accounted for as much as 24% of its total funding.

Outrageous! That means the group spends about a quarter of its money soliciting people for more money! This is a really big deal, one that has implications for future BIPPS donors and even the group's survival, given the current economy.

To make matters worse, it was revealed that only 32.1% of BIPPS funding ended up going toward the "program services" BIPPS tells its donors it will deliver, while another $106,277 or 31.9% of BIPPS funds were spent on "management and general expenses."

Whadyaknow. A libertarian jobs program!

In reaction to press reports of outlandish non-purposeful spending by some non-profits, researchers at the Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS)/ Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University explored issues of nonprofit fundraising and administrative cost
reporting. They found that,
"The percentage of total expenses going to program costs is the most common measure of nonprofit organizational efficiency. Focus group research has found that donors expect worthy organizations to have low fundraising and administrative costs. Consequently, nonprofits frequently tout their low overhead ratios in their mailings to the donors. Most striking, the federal government's Combined Federal Campaign, which raised nearly $250 million for nonprofits in 2003, requires that participating organizations certify that their combined fundraising and administrative costs constitute no more than 25 percent of the organizations' total revenues."
Combined fundraising and administrative costs at the Bluegrass Institute, however, exceed 50%, a level of inefficiency not seen in the public school system since the removal of the highly localized Trustee System, where an almost complete lack of government regulation led to the misuse of untold thousands of Kentucky taxpayer dollars in the early 20th century.
If the astounding inefficiencies discovered at BIPPS is any indication of the level of operational efficiency we can expect from other privately-operated groups, then the public should move cautiously before offering privately-operated school choice options - and then, only if ethical and financial safeguards are in place to prevent profit from becoming the reason to open a school in Kentucky.
By 2011, BIPPS' most recent available IRS Form 990, Rick Loghry of Lexington was listed as principal officer. Total Revenue stood at $329,547 (down from $400,402 in 2010) with Total Expenses of $466,950. How they love to go on and on over the public sector's inability to run a business, but it turns out that BIPPS can't operate within its means. They overspent in 2011 by $137,403. Perhaps if they hadn't spent $102,103 of donated program funds on fundraising, they would not have been so far over budget.The total program service expenses of $245,357 when added to the money they spend trying to raise more money comes to $347,460. BIPPS is still little more than a libertarian jobs program for a few independent contractors!

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