An analysis of charitable foundations set up by professional basketball players found that many of them spend only a fraction of their money on charitable activities.

The analysis, by the Salt Lake Tribune, looked at 89 personal foundations set up by National Basketball Association players, which often provide the athletes with substantial tax write-offs. The newspaper found that the charities together reported revenues of at least $31 million between 2005 and 2007, but spent only about 44 cents of each dollar raised on helping the needy.

"The average NBA player put just 51 cents of each dollar it spent toward charitable programs, well below the 65 cents most philanthropic watchdog groups view as acceptable," said the Tribune. "Tax records show budgets are quickly eaten up by poor planning and administrative costs."

Another major cost comes from the fundraising galas that many foundations hold to attract donors. Those lavish galas often fail to break even. Many of the foundation hire the athletes' relatives to oversee the funds, in violation of the law. Many also fail to remain in operation for very long.

However, the report did cite several player charities that have been successful at giving much of their money to worthwhile causes, including Deron Williams' Point of Hope Foundation and the Giving Back Fund, which manages foundations for Yao Ming, Carlos Boozer and other players.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access