The Ridiculous Amount of Money Spent on Travel for the Family Research Council

Yesterday I wrote a piece about the Family Research Council and their call against the hate crime legislation.  I mentioned briefly a bit about how much money that group gets in donations and how much it spends on salaries for its board members and other staff.  I also mentioned that they spent over a million dollars in travel, just in 2005.  You can see the details here.

I did some quick calculations on this:

If you over-estimate the cost of an economy class ticket from Washington D.C. to San Francisco (not the the FRC would be flying to S.F. very often) to be $600.00, the million dollars would buy about 1666 plane tickets! If flying shorter distances, then the number of tickets goes up by quite a bit. Is is possible for them to really spend a million on travel in 2005???  So they take in $10 million, spend $40 percent of that on salaries and now they spend 10% of their total budget just on travel!


They have about 5 people on the board and list 5 consultants plus 13 officers, directors, trustees and key employees (some of which are not paid salaries) and I’m not sure how many other employees they have, but this seems like an outrageous use of donation money. Talk about greed and misuse of non-profit funds…

They also spent over $700,000 on ‘professional fundraising fees’ and spent over $100,000 to their ‘event planner’ (which is part of the salary total above).  I wonder who that money went to?  There goes nearly another 10%.

Here is a breakdown:

They take in $10 million

They spend 4 million in salaries

They spend 1 million on travel

They spend around 700,000 on professional fund-raising fees.

That comes to nearly 6 million, or 60% of their budget lining their own pockets and traveling around the country (I presume). 

I also noticed that in 2003 the FRC gave a grant of $130,000 to a group in Michigan called the Citizens for Protection of Marriage, 111 E. Allegan #200, Lansing MI 48933.  This group was run by Marlene Elwell, the woman who tried to help Pat Robertson become president, the tried to help Pat Buchanan become president, and who is now "the Deputy Director of Coalitions, as well as the National Director of the Americans of Faith coalition" for John McCain’s run for president (let’s hope he has as much luck becoming president as Robertson and Buchanan!!!).  This ‘grant’ was given by the FRC to pass the anti-gay marriage law in Michigan, which was subsequently passed.  However, what is suspicious is that this Citizens for Protection of Marriage, as far as I can tell, did not start up until Jan 2004.  I’ll be taking a closer look at this soon.


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