NFL: Nonprofit Football League

26 September 2013


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Some mid-week reading as we go into the beginning of the season. Seems like the mainstream media can’t seem to stop picking on the poor NFL these days. More articles are coming out on the NFL’s nonprofit designation as well as the fact that they pay for as little as they possibly can when it comes to… well, just about everything. From refusal to accept responsibility in paying their retired players their earned disability and pension benefits to taxes to publicly-financed stadiums that the teams rent for peanuts while reaping all the rewards from ticket, food, parking and merchandise sales, the Nonprofit Football League manages to generate a $10 billion-a-year revenue stream that would make the Fortune 500 if it weren’t for their nonprofit status.

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Charity Begins at Home

18 February 2013

Like the old saying goes, “Charity Begins at Home.” Americans are among the most generous people in the world. Recently, a list was published that actually listed some of the top nonprofits in America and the compensation that their respective CEO’s collected for leading those organizations. It was an eye-opener to see that the CEO’s of certain so-called nonprofits were paid in the millions annually, while others only collected token salaries more in line with their charitable missions. For example, the former head of the Boy Scouts of America was paid over $1 million while the COO of the American Cancer Society almost made $1 million last year. In contrast, the head of the Salvation Army took home a relatively paltry $130,000.
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Here’s a snapshot from Charity Watch showing some of their Top 25 Nonprofit CEO Salaries:
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Nonprofit Salaries
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The top salary on this list from 2012 was $2 million+ to Peter Cordeiro who heads the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. You can view the rest of the chart by clicking HERE.
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And how much closer to home than Roger Goodell and the NFL? It’s only becoming more widely known that the NFL operates as a 501 (c) 6 nonprofit, with all the special benefits that a nonprofit enjoys. And keep in mind that many years ago, they also received an antitrust exemption from Congress.
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This breaking story was just too good not to post and follow. As many of us already know, the NFL and its owners have taken advantage of any and every opportunity to rake in the money. Whether it’s by not paying people (from denying retired players their earned benefits to all of their Super Bowl half-time acts to perform for free) or just good old-fashioned tax evasion, they continue to exploit every single loophole to make sure not one dollar goes to anyone else. So it was no shock to see this detailed article on the recent disclosure that the NFL is… A CHARITY! An official nonprofit charity actually written into Federal Law that makes them completely exempt from Federal taxes! Are we even surprised?
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New York Times logo

The New York Times – along with several blogs and sports writers elsewhere – published a great piece on Monday about the need for full disclosure of NFL salaries. The article also underscores the level of lobbying that the non-profit NFL has undertaken in recent years to avoid having to disclose such juicy information. We suppose it’s another having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too situation (but then again, Gene Upshaw would just say, “Let ‘em eat cake!”).

After years of enjoying antitrust protection, the NFL is finally getting called on their unique protection from close scrutiny. We’d love to know just how many free tickets have been given out to our Congressmen and Senators over the years…

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