Charity Watch Watch

Open Questions for Daniel Borochoff

1. Why is the content on your web site so weak?

The 3 biggest competitors of CharityWatch are notably missing from your super helpful links page. Perhaps that’s because Daniel Borochoff was excluded from the circle of trust by the other three “watchdogs”. As it says in the story, these “three groups did not invite CharityWatch, a watchdog that rates charities exclusively on their financial performance, to join the overhead campaign.”
Makes one question whether a sincere attempt to be helpful was even being made.
Note the six big links to state charity regulator sites.
Six out of fifty states is pretty lame for a charity that has raked in $4,246,827.00 in tax free income in the last 10 years.

AIP’s Tax Free Income
2002 $354,317.00
2003 $355,989.00
2004 $360,567.00
2005 $384,435.00
2006 $436,354.00
2007 $460,466.00
2008 $455,271.00
2009 $479,074.00
2010 $483,257.00
2011 $477,097.00
TOTAL $4,246,827.00

It looks like a high school kid did the research, but surely if one pays the $50.00 required “donation” to get into the “Members Only” content it would get better, right? If you believe that, you will be sorely disappointed. We know we were.


2. How do you justify your attacks on non-profit executive pay when you line your pockets with a six figure salary off the backs of donors and the US tax payer?

IRS 990 records for CharityWatch reveal that in 2011, Mr. Borochoff earned more than $152,809.00.

Additional benefits brought his total income to more than $1.3 million over 10 years.


This means that a whopping 30% of the entire CharityWatch budget went directly to Mr. Borochoff.


3. Why do I have to “donate” $50 to see your ratings?

CharityWatch requires that one become a member in order to receive a copy of its watchdog report. Oh, incidentally, the only way to become a member is by making a $50.00 “donation” to CharityWatch. Since when is a non-profit allowed to demand donations in exchange for organizational content? If one must pay to get something in return, that’s called a purchase. So can CharityWatch call it a donation? Only in the sense that if you call it a donation, it’s tax deductible for the donor. Plus, your company does not have to pay taxes on it.

4. Why is your board of directors so small?

It makes it look like you have little, if any, oversight from anyone.

5. Why do you only have 279 followers on Twitter?

The local dog pound has 4,783.

On second thought, this is a silly question. After reading your Tweets it is obvious that your content drives them away.

They make you sound like a bitter little man with something to prove.


6. Why is the name of your organization so deceiving?

Calling your small charity the American Institute of Philanthropy does lend it an aura of gravitas. But doesn’t it seem a bit grandiose for the tax-exempt one man band you are running? Your self-appointed watchdog “INSTITUTE” is minor league, and less than one would expect.


7. Why are you so arrogant and dismissive of other charities which follow the rules more stringently than you?

In your response to this story at the Chronicle of Philanthropy, you wrote:

“How can DMA still be reviewing its member when serious abuses at Quadriga and its client Disabled Veterans National Foundation have been going on for years […]”.

If indeed “serious abuses…have been going for years,” does it necessarily follow that the DMA (Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation) could not possibly still be reviewing the scenario?

This presumes that “serious abuses” have in fact taken place. This is a large leap to make in a country which prides itself on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.

Your web site states, “A CNN investigation inspired by (a) CharityWatch article Millions in Future Donations to Vets Charity…”

So you are the instigator of the current media feeding frenzy that is hurting every charity out there.

How inspiring. People don’t remember the names of the 50 worst charities in the US, but your activities do increase their skepticism and reluctance to give to all charities.

It sounds like you are proud to be acting as a self-appointed vigilante.

What gives you and CNN the right to publicly slander charities and the people who work for them? The first amendment, you say? You would be right – however, your speech is commercial in nature and thus more restricted, as you are paid very well to speak.

Your unreasonable criticism of the DMA isolates you further in a small community, one which has already marginalized your influence.


8. How do you justify listing Parking as “program services”?

You accounted for $2,611 in parking fees as program services in 2012. Amazing.

Here is additional public information found in CharityWatch’s 2010 990 filing:

Total Revenue: $498,691

Total salaries: $332,194 (66.6% of total revenue)

Daniel Borochoff’s salary: $147,977 (29.6% of total revenue)

Savings and temporary cash investments: $847,075. This is interesting in light of the fact that you regularly hand out “F” ratings to charities with savings because they “have a heck of a lot of money they’re not spending“.

Your 2012 IRS 990 form shows $77,415.00 in accrued vacation liability. How much of that is yours, Mr. Borochoff?


9. Why did WIKIPEDIA ban you?

It’s extremely rare for a Wikipedia user to get blocked from adding or editing page content. Yet apparently they blocked you for lack of neutrality, as well as inappropriate self-promotion of both your organization and yourself.


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