We Heart Seattle provides very little insight into where their funds come from, how they are used, or as it recently came into question, why they aren’t.
At long last they’ve prepared tax returns for the two years they were delinquent, and you’d think they might be informative of where all of their money goes. However, reviewing them left us with more questions than it gave us answers.
We Heart Seattle booked nearly $300k in revenue in 2021 in the form of charitable contributions and possibly grants, and closed the year out with $200k in the bank. Their operating costs total just under $100k, $70k of which are logged simply as “program expenses” with no enumeration of what those are in the designated section.
What are they actually doing with all of that cash?
We’re not here to squawk at how this money may or may not have been spent. What we really want to know is why We Heart Seattle isn’t actively investing their surplus earnings into the cause they claim to represent. There are so many things they could do with that money that could make a tangible positive impact that might even stand a chance of giving us a reason to shut up. Failing that, it is common practice in the not for profit world for organizations with a budgetary surplus, to give the extra funds away in the form of grants or good-faith loans to to other orgs and individuals aligned with their cause and values.
They applied for and received a grant near the end of 2022 in the ballpark of $10k-$15k, which they purported to be using to fund their fancy catered dinner event at the Washington Athletic Club in January of this year.
Two thirds of their revenue is just sitting there, unspent! Why would they apply for grant money to pay for what equates to a schmoozing event above actually HELPING THE HOMELESS? JFC. Please excuse us while we roll our eyes so hard we’re levitating.
Why this looks bad for them
A well-known attribute of the ethos of mutual aid and the vast majority of those who willingly go into social work is to give to others in need if we have it to spare, which often equates to enduring a lot of financial hardship by cause of over-extending ourselves.
We’d give away our last dollar if we thought we could, which we will not defend as a way of life every person should follow by any stretch, but from this perspective, it really doesn’t help We Heart Seattle’s image to throw accusations around about who might be a profiteer for the homeless industrial complex when they’re sitting on a literal gold mine of charitable contributions by our standards.
This has never reeked more of a grift operation than it does right this very moment.