The PPP Loans From Private Foundations – Nonprofit News

Photo credit: Alane Golden

December 16, 2020; National public radio, “Investigation”

If you saw someone drop money on the street, would you pick it up and consider yourself lucky, or would you catch it up and give it back? If you are one of the private foundations that got a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, you would leave it out and add it to the role that you had already safely hidden away.

According to an NPR study, no fewer than 120 private foundations were among the bodies that took capital from the SBA-supported fund. These loans were for amounts up to $ 600,000 or more. And since private foundations are usually set up by people with more than adequate funds (as opposed to public foundations, which are collections of funds), those foundations likely didn’t need the extra money.

However, not all private foundations look and act alike, as some serve as corporate foundations. For example, consider the Anverse Foundation, which had $ 114,152,741 in net worth in the last 990. Anverse received $ 611,300, which looks bad at first, but the foundation describes itself as building and operating three museums, all of which are operated in association with Georgia Museums, and two of which are affiliated with the Smithsonian. As we know, museums have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-related downturn. So the list may not be as shocking as it could be.

The list includes:

  • Anverse ($ 611,300)
  • Ben Bronz Foundation ($ 317,666)
  • Fred and Clara Eckert Children’s Foundation ($ 253,100)
  • Garfield Foundation ($ 167,157)
  • Interactivity Foundation ($ 283,010)
  • Joe W. and Dorothy D. Brown Foundation ($ 175,510)
  • King Private Foundation ($ 150,521)
  • Letters Foundation aka Sunshine Lady Humanitarian Grants Program ($ 268,800)
  • Mission Elevation Foundation ($ 277,320)
  • Niswonger Foundation ($ 200,529)
  • Orentreich Family Foundation ($ 13,100)
  • Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation ($ 154,800)
  • Piedmont Triad Charity Foundation ($ 150,900)
  • Richard Diebenkorn Foundation ($ 157,380)
  • Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation ($ 103,200)
  • Walt Disney Family Foundation ($ 146,700)
  • Willard G. Pierce and Jessie M. Pierce Foundation ($ 156,400)

For some, taking out a PPP loan was simply an alternative to the possible invasion of the asset base corpus. As an example, the Walt Disney Family Foundation could have reached out to one of its sponsors and affiliate funders for the money it thought could prevent layoffs, but it didn’t.

Kirsten Komoroske, executive director of the Walt Disney Family Foundation, which runs a museum that was closed during the pandemic, admitted the foundation is funded in part by the Walt and Lilly Disney Foundation, which has assets of $ 157 million , however, said that she did not. I don’t want to ask them for extra funding when the museum was closed.

“We want to be very careful how we use these resources,” said Komoroske. “It’s easy to sit here now and look back, but back then there was a lot of fear, confusion and uncertainty.”

At least one company has been asked to return the money as NPR exposed the loan. This is the Sunshine Lady Humanitarian Grants Program, a creation by Warren Buffett’s late sister Doris Buffett. This fund is intended to provide direct grants to people in need:

In an email to NPR, Tyra Sidberry, executive director of the Letters Foundation, said her budget is funded by Doris Buffett’s personal stock portfolio and “during the upheaval caused by the pandemic, these stocks have depreciated significantly”. As a result, Sidberry said, the foundation applied for the paycheck protection program to “protect personnel positions.”

This foundation plans to return the money, but Alan Cantor, a regular commentator on philanthropic practice, still thinks, “They have a problem accepting federal funds.

“I find it difficult to dig into the mindset of these people who are rich enough to set up private foundations and then too cheap to reach into their pockets to keep things going during difficult times,” says Cantor Accounts and make them available to their foundations to pay their employees. It’s just that very simple act of giving a little more in difficult times. ”- Ruth McCambridge


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