Charity gap: Toronto AIDS committee rakes in loads of dough, but spends little serving clientele


John Kennedy writes at Now:

It’s glamorous, it’s star-studded and it’s one of the premier social events of the year in Toronto. No wonder so many people are willing to spend big bucks at Fashion Cares. But it’s a safe bet that most of the revellers at this Saturday’s (May 31) casino-themed gala haven’t got a clue just how little of their money will end up being spent on HIV/AIDS-related programs and services once the last blackjack hand has folded and the designer outfits have been put away. At least 50 per cent of the money raised at Fashion Cares goes to cover the cost of staging the event, and the rest ends up in the coffers of an AIDS organization with one of the worst spending records in the country.

Between April 1, 1999, and March 31, 2002, the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), which puts on Fashion Cares, raked in $13.6 million but spent just 38 per cent of total revenues, $5.3 million, on programs and services – a little less than the organization spent on fundraising. (ACT also gave $717,030 to various AIDS charities in Toronto in the same period.) To put it another way – as a total percentage of expenditures – the organization spent only 36 per cent of all its money on charitable works in 2001-2002 according to audited financial statements and its Annual Information Returns filed with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA).

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