Running a charity based on bigotry is bad business

Running a charity based on bigotry is bad business 

  • The charity circuit is tiptoeing its way back to Mar-a-Lago. - Palm Beach Post 

Excerpt: The Palm Beach Habilitation Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute both will host events this winter at President Donald Trump’s private Palm Beach club, after they joined more than two dozen charities in 2017 in relocating their fundraisers to other venues following Trump’s controversial comments and policies. 

Just a year ago, nearly two dozen charities couldn’t leave Mar-a-Lago fast enough after Trump said there “were “very fine people” on both sides of August 2017 confrontations between neo-Nazis, white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Va. 

A public outcry ensued, and charities felt the backlash. On Twitter, some critics used the hashtag #DropMarALago in their calls to charities to abandon the club, which long has been an oasis for charities and their patrons during Palm Beach’s winter charity season. 

“It became a general feeling in Palm Beach that Mar-a-Lago and the Trump connection are toxic,” said a Palm Beach philanthropist at the time. 

The Palm Beach Habilitation Center of West Palm Beach was among the groups that moved events out of Trump’s club. 

“We want to keep the focus of the event on our mission, which is to help adults with physical or mental challenges live the best lives possible,” chief executive David Lin said at the time. 

That was then. Today, the organization says, there is a different reality. 

The annual luncheon did not do as well at The Breakers, where the event was moved, board member Glen Torcivia said earlier this month. 

“I don’t know if it was because of the venue or a backlash that we didn’t stay with Trump. Who knows?” Torcivia said. But the event turnout was lower, “and we made less money.” 

“Our job is to raise money for the clients we serve,” Torcivia said. “We’re going back to Mar-a-Lago.” 

Bottom Line: Over a year ago when all of this happened this is exactly what I said would happen. It’s what happens when you run an organization based on bigotry rather than sound business decisions. Organizations have been able to help fewer people because they brought in less money. Is that compassionate? Is that the right thing to do? How many of the bigots who intimidated these organizations were ever donors and participants to begin with? 

Each of those charities who pulled because of President Trump put politics and bigotry ahead of their organization and those they’re supposed to aid. Having spent nearly my entire adult life in talk radio I’ve seen and heard it all. Ask clients of mine how many times they’ve been pressured to drop the station, me, etc. It’s frankly part of the reason our sponsors are amazing. Lessor companies and organizations would have caved. 

Instead our sponsors like running a successful business and benefiting from listeners like you who patronize them. I’ve personally made a point not to donate time or resources to any of the charities that pulled and I’m sure I’m far from alone. If our advertisers behaved like these organizations, I wouldn’t be here talking to you right now. Bigotry and cowards don’t win. That’s the take away here. It’s also a reminder that many people who are running charities probably aren’t there for the right reasons and aren’t running the organizations as effectively as they should be run. 

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