The Fund For Philanthropy

Practices of Company That Manages Charities for Athletes Criticized

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May 14

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Chicago Tribune News
May 2, 2014

A company that manages charities for pro athletes has received flak for its business and compensation practices, says the Chicago Tribune.

In less than a decade, Jeff Ginn’s for-profit charity-management firm, Prolanthropy, has developed an impressive portfolio of pro athlete charities, now managing 21 nonprofits in 24 states. Prolanthropy oversees accounting, public relations, fundraising, and more.

The article states that some of the charities it manages have not registered with state authorities, and records indicate Prolanthropy was not always registered to raise money in states where charities sought funds. Additionally, at least two of the charities claimed to be federally tax-exempt before they were recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Prolanthropy is also paid a percentage of a charity’s revenue, a compensation model some nonprofit experts find questionable.

Mr. Ginn disagrees that his firm should be registered as a fundraiser or that it should be paid a flat fee and not a percentage of revenue. Fundraising, he maintains, is just one of many services his company performs.

“Because of our experience, staffing, and contacts, Prolanthropy is able to provide an entire staff to each of our clients at a fraction of the cost of what it would cost the foundations to hire such a staff independently—something that most of them simply could not afford to do,” he wrote in an email to The Tribune. “This, in turn, allows the foundations to have a greater impact in their communities.”