Sunday, December 11, 2016

ASAN's latest 990: A precarious financial situation?

Recently the premier neurodiversity organization The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a 501(c) charitable organization, made public their latest (2015) 990 form.  Again, Ari Ne'eman increased his annual salary to nearly $90,000 a year in 2015 as can be seen by this page from the form below:

This is an approximately 6% pay raise from his 2014 salary which for Mr. Ne'eman is far more modest than his other increases.  In 2012 he increased his 2011 salary from $40,000 to $65,000, a 62% increase.  One of ASAN's numerous talking points has been the criticism of the high salaries that executives from autism speaks receive.  However, in 2012, Ne'eman's $71,000 salary was approximately twenty times higher than Autism Speaks' chief executive officer's $400,000 salary in ratio.

It would seem that the Autistic Self Advocacy Network was more fiscally responsible in 2015 than in previous years. However, looking at their tax form gives a clearer picture:

We see that while Ne'eman's salary had a slight increase, his organization's revenues had an approximately $150,000 dollar decrease from 2014's from about $765,000 to just under $618,000. In addition to Ne'eman, they apparently have other salaried employees and increased their employee compensation from about $270,000 in 2014 to about $365,000, a nearly $100,000 increase while their revenue dropped by $150,000.  Their form also shows that in 2015 they spent nearly $78,000 more than they took in in revenue.

I admit that I'm not an accountant or any kind of tax expert.  Perhaps there's something in the forms that I'm not reading correctly.  However, it would seem from a perusal of their statement that if this trend keeps up over a period of years this organization could become bankrupt at some point.  Though they still are in the black as far as their total assets are concerned.

Ari Ne'eman has announced that he will step down as president of ASAN and still serve on the board while his colleague Julia Bascom will take over as president of ASAN.  The timing of this may have been a coincidence, however, Gadfly has speculated that Ne'eman was counting on an appointment to a high fallutin' disabilities post in a Hillary Clinton administration.  In response to Donald Trump, Ne'eman has stated, "I don't work with fascists."  This means that if he keeps his promise, he would decline the same post in Donald Trump's new administration when they start January 20.  It should also mean that Samantha Crane or whoever else holds ASAN's seat on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee should resign as soon as Trump is Inaugurated.  Somehow I don't think that's going to happen.

Perhaps there's another reason for his stepping down as president.  Maybe he didn't want to be in charge of a sinking ship. 

12 comments:

John Best said...

Trump should hire me so I can lock up all of these Neuronitwits for fraud.

jonathan said...

I think you'd have to get congress to change the laws governing 501(c)'s first. Though what ASAN has done might not be terribly ethical, as far as I know it's not illegal.

John Best said...

They're deliberately lying about autism. That's all the Neuronitwits have ever done. That's fraud.

Will said...

Many charities are frauds that do little to help and ASAN reminds me of that uncle Tom rapper and greedy sell out Wyclef Jean and his Haitian Charity misusing most of the donated money. The many self advocacy groups for so called "developmentally disabled" persons are frauds and Regional center stooges.

Anonymous said...

They don't know how much suffering they condone. I can't believe it.

AndreaJ said...

The key is how much they spent on actually helping people. Johnathan, what did the document say about how much was spent on their programs?

jonathan said...

@AndreaJ they spend very little on actual programs. About half their overhead goes to salaries, a huge portion of it goes to rents and other overhead. They spend a small amount of money on promoting rights and their message which probably means going to autism speaks walks and harassing people. They spend a little bit of money claiming that they are helping to improve access to medical care for persons on the spectrum and they got a three year grant for it last year, but it is a small percentage of their budget. Very little of it goes for anything that could even be construed as benefiting persons on the spectrum

jonathan said...

Oh yeah, i guess they also spend a considerable amount lobbying congress which I suppose some could claim is indirectly helping people, but I don't buy that

AndreaJ said...

I've actually done the math. Ari's salary + the salary of the other staff equals around 455000. 618000 - 45500 equals 163000. So, if not counting the other expenses, they are using only 16% of their funds to actually helping people. Invisible Children - who is alleged to have only spent 30% of their funds on charity work at one point - had a larger portion of money set aside to helping people than ASAN. Yes, Invisible Children earned more money, but a good charity can find a way to stretch out their dollars.

Also don't get why Ari keeps increasing his salary. It's not like he's living in an expensive town. Last time I checked, there are Wal-Marts and $1,000 apartments in Washington D.C.. Did his parents not teach him good money skills? If he's spending a good portion of the money to protesting Autism Speaks around the country, then maybe he should travel less and use the money into actually helping people.

jonathan said...

I agree, but I don't think ASAN is actually interested in helping people and their behavior is par for the course for the neurodiversity movement.

Anonymous said...

Ne'eman received $155,502 in 2015 for being the chair of the National Council on Disability, so he is in a lot of hurt if he expected to work for Clinton.

AndreaJ said...

He made 156,000 dollars, yet still demanded to take in a ninety thousand dollar salary from ASAN! That makes it even worse!