Pop music star Sting is an original co-founder of the charity organization, Rainforest Foundation. The organization was formed in 1989 to combat the disappearance of international rainforests (big surprise). After a review by the watchdog Charity Navigator, it turns out Sting has some improving to do.
The Rainforest Foundation is ranked as one of the worst charities in the whole world. A brief examination of donations-to-expenditures will show why. The Carnegie Hall charity concert in 2006 put on by Rainforest collected some $2,156,989. Of that total, only $887,374 made it to the charity’s programs. The 41% efficiency of this example is a fairly consistent statistic for the stumbling organization.
So where is most of the money going? Savings. The organization is literally banking the majority of the millions it collects. Oh but there’s more.
The Rainforest Foundation holds charity concerts annually; in 2006 they sold tickets between $100-600. Meanwhile, the charity told the IRS that the tickets had a fair market value of only $45. This allowed the audience to claim the tickets as donations/gifts on taxes. The IRS is investigating this as we speak.
I find it amazing how many Hollywood people get caught up in these fad-charities. The list of contributors includes Robert DiNero, Tom Hanks, Ron Perelman, ect. Musical contributors include Lenny Cravitz, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow and Billy Joel to name a few (there’s also Will Ferrel but he’s comedy). I doubt these guys have any idea where their money goes (they probably just donate to feel good).
One of the 3 original founders, Belgian photographer Jean Pierre Dutilleux, left the charity in the early 90’s. Dutilleux has been criticizing the organization since then, saying it could even be worse than what we do know.
I have always been critical of charity organizations for making profit and not helping as much as they claim, but this is crazy…
~Not Albert Spear