1. Looking at athletes’ charities:
I was at a dinner last week in which the featured speaker was New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter spent much of the time talking about Turn 2, the foundation he and his family established soon after he joined the Yankees. It sponsors programs intended, as its mission statement explains, to get kids in impoverished communities “to turn away from drugs and alcohol and ‘Turn2’ healthy lifestyles.” There was also a video about the charity’s work and the hands-on involvement of Jeter, his parents and his sister.
It was impressive, and the foundation’s latest publicly available tax return (for 2010) supports that first impression. A relatively modest charity with about $3.4 million in assets, Turn 2 used those assets to spend about $200,000 more than the $2.3 million it received from investment income and contributions. The biggest contribution was almost $600,000 from Jeter; the rest came from donors such as Gatorade, Nike and the Yankees. The money went to support a wide variety of after-school and summer sports clinics and other youth programs in New York, Tampa (where Jeter has a home and the Yankees train) and Kalamazoo, Michigan (where Jeter’s family lives).
Jeter, his sister and their parents draw no salaries, and the highest salary, $101,000, goes to a non-relative listed as the foundation’s full-time president.
On the other hand, there’s his teammate Alex Rodriguez’s AROD Family Foundation. It has a flashy website but has not filed a tax return since 2006. That tax return listed just $400,000 in income, $368,000 of which was from one fundraising event. Only $35,000 came from contributors, who were not listed.
A-Rod’s foundation paid out a mere $5,090 in grants and contributions — $5,000 to a Miami scholarship fund and $90 to a Miami little league.