Lord, I still can’t over Lady Gaga’s busted wig game at the Oscars. SMH. She has money! She should be able to afford a quality lace-front. Anyway, speaking on money and Gaga and how she spends that money… you know how Gaga formed the Born This Way Foundation several years ago? The foundation seemed to be formed as some kind of anti-bullying, pro-LGBT advocacy group, but the mission always seemed convoluted, and it seemed more like a vanity project/cracked-out delusion more than anything else. And as it turns out, The Born This Way Foundation is basically a scam, a front for Gaga to fund her travels and her huge staff. From Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411:
Don’t get me wrong: I like Lady Gaga and her parents. But celebrities probably shouldn’t start charitable foundations. Now the latest federal tax report is in for Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation, and it’s not good news. Despite spending $348,000 in 2012 on their outreach bus tour, the Born this Way Foundation otherwise managed to fritter away around $1.5 million on legal fees, publicity, and a website.
The foundation, which lists Gaga’s lovely mom, Cynthia Germanotta, as president, had a lot of expenses in 2012 that had nothing to do with helping anyone. They spent $300,000 on “Strategic Consulting (web, digital),” $62,836 on “Stage Productions (Harvard, LA, UN),” $50,000 on “Social Media,” and another almost $50,000 on “Event Coordination.” What?
Born this Way also spent: $808,661 on “other”; $406,552 on “Legal”; $150,000 on “Philanthropic Consulting”; $60,000 on “research”; 58,768 on “Publicity fees”; $78,000 on “travel”. They spent $72,000 on salaries– presumably for running the Born this Way bus, although that episode had its own expense line.
Under ‘grants to organizations or individuals”: $ 5000. Five thousand dollars.
They claimed net assets of $2.1 million. Donations came to $2.6 million, up from $1.4 million in 2011. But there’s no detailed listing of contributors or donations. I suspect most of the money came from Lady Gaga’s earnings. Where it went, and why it went there, is a mystery still.
On top of that, it looks like Lady Gaga loaned Born this Way over $10,000 to pay expenses. Meantime, it’s unclear that anyone was really helped by the Born this Way Foundation other than lawyers, consultants, publicists and travel agents. Gaga would have been better served just writing a check to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. It would have done more good, and quickly.
[From Showbiz 411]
$300,000 on web and digital? More than $400,000 on LEGAL?! WTF? But settle down, little monsters, because Cynthia Germanotta (Gaga’s mom) and Marc Brackett (“Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence”) have written a HuffPo essay about the foundation’s mission and how this tax filing is pretty much on target with what they were always trying to do:
It is important for us to set the record straight regarding Born This Way Foundation’s mission and how the organization allocates its funds. There is quite a bit of inaccurate information out there right now that misinterprets the essential mission and critical work of a very special organization that was founded several years ago by Stefani Germanotta, whom you all know as Lady Gaga.
First and foremost, we are an organization that conducts our charitable activity directly, and we fund our own work. We are not a grant-maker that funds the work of other charities, and were never intended to be.
Our activity has included The Born Brave Bus Tour, which has travelled to 23 communities, interacting with more than 19,000 young people and raising awareness to the tune of more than 300 million media impressions. The foundation’s messages of kindness and bravery have touched more than half a million online users via our website, which includes the Bravest Map Ever and the Play Brave Game, as well as social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook — which on a peak week can hit 50 million individual users.
Lady Gaga founded Born This Way Foundation to foster a more accepting society for our young people. She covered all of the start-up costs for the organization with her own money and uses her celebrity to constantly advocate on behalf of tolerance, individualism and kindness. Moreover, Born This Way Foundation’s work has focused heavily on providing information on empowerment through its website, raising awareness of the importance of being kind to others through public relations and social media, bringing messages about individuality and bravery to communities around the country via the Born Brave Bus Tour and multiple events.
Every dollar spent across these categories, including the legal fees towards the safe and effective implementation of each initiative, directly serves Born This Way Foundation’s core mission of empowering youth. And we are having a profound impact in just a very short period of time.
Each of these initiatives was funded via monies detailed on the 2012 Form 990. And a true examination of this form, not to mention a clear understanding of the differences between a grant-making organization and one that carries out its work directly would have made this a non-story.
What I’m getting is that their mission was never to “make grants” or “give money the needy.” The foundation’s mission – if you read between the lines – is to fund Lady Gaga and her staff to travel around and have Gaga make self-absorbed speeches about how she helps the LGBT community, all while wearing a crazy outfit. And if Gaga is the only one funding her foundation, so be it. That just means she’s spending her own money on this vanity project. But it was my understanding that Gaga raked in some significant cash from her fans too? And did those donations come with the understanding that the foundation is just an extension of Gaga’s ego and narcissism? Here’s the part that kills my soul a little: “raising awareness to the tune of more than 300 million media impressions.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Photos courtesy of WENN.
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Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation wasted $1.5 million: is it fraud?