Sooooo, like everyone else on the freakin' planet, it was inevitable that I got nominated for this whole "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" thingie by at least a half-dozen people .
Which is kinda crazy 'cuz if y'all knew me then you'd know that I'm not motivated at all by public humiliation, guilt, peer pressure, grandstanding, unquestioning acquiescence or chain-style obligatory emails.
Now, even though I would never, ever voluntarily film myself dumping a bucket of freezing-cold (not to mention precious) ice-water over my head and then post it on the innerwebz, I do think that this is an incredibly important cause which deserves as much exposure as possible.
But unlike the average lemming I decided to do some research before I blindly submitted my donation. That's when I discovered that the ALSA only directs about 7.71% of its budget to Research: I.E. finding a friggin' treatment.
So here's the thing: I need someone, anyone out there who has experience working with not-for-profit organizations to justify this to me because, at face value, this seems woefully low.
Even more baffling is the amount of money the group's administrators make:
Daniel M. Reznikov – Chief Financial Officer – $201,260.00
Steve Gibson – Chief Public Policy Officer – $182,862.00
Kimberly Maginnis - Chief of Care Services Officer – $160,646.00
Lance Slaughter - Chief Chapter Relations and Development Officer – $152,692.00
Michelle Keegan – Chief Development Officer – $178,744.00
John Applegate – Association Finance Officer – $118.726.00
David Moses – Director of Planned Giving – $112,509.00
Carrie Munk – Chief Communications and Marketing Officer – $142,875.00
Patrick Wildman – Director of Public Policy – $112,358.00
Kathi Kromer – Director of State Advocacy – $110,661.00
Now I'm not saying that these people don't do some great work, but do they honestly deserve a "one for you, one for me" kind of arrangement?
Sorry to be the bucket of ice water cast haphazardly upon this mindless viral phenomenon, but I've never been one to blindly follow groupthink without doing some research first. And, let me tell ya folks, what I discovered really has me scratching my head. In fact, based on their own tax returns, over half the money the ALSA takes in goes directly into the pockets of the people who run the thing.
Who knows, maybe this is the model for every single non-profit organization on the planet. Maybe the CEO's for the Cancer Society, the Alzheimer's Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation all drive sick rides, no pun intended. But even if that's the case, is is right? Maybe it's time to take a long hard look at the way these massive administrative bodies operate and start asking some tough questions.
Even after my research I went ahead and gave a donation anyway, preferring to think that the lion's share of my money will go directly to helping people with ALS, supporting their families and/or finding a cure for this terrible disease.
'Cuz even more daunting then the prospects of publicly embarrassing myself by dumping ice water on my head is the horrible thought that I just paid for some rich asshole's venti mocha cookie frappuccino.
EPIC RANT Leave it to acerbic comedian Bill Burr to sum up my thoughts on this whole thing. Not even slightly suitable for work, BTW.
VIRAL FAIL Yes, the videos are doing a great job increasing awareness for ALS but it seems to me that a lot of people are doing them for attention or to see their friends and family members humiliate themselves on-line.
THE "YOU HAD ONE JOB" FAIL And this is what I was afraid of...