!Update – Open Letter to HAF!

Courtesy of the Honorable John Chiv, we have reproduced (below) Mr. Pat Cleary’s half-assed response to our initial letter asking just what the hell is going on at HAF.

Good news is, HAF and Cleary remembered how to respond to questions from the public! Bad news is: They don’t know how to count.

That applies both to their inability to figure out their overhead for managing donated funds is way out of proportion with norm for community foundations in California, and also that they kinda must have miscounted the number of questions we asked. They deigned to answer about half of our questions.

Will let you know if we hear from any readers who get more in depth responses to the letters they sent in, or if Cleary, HAF and Co. will stick with their Avoidance 101 tactics. Pretttty smooth, Mr. Cleary. Smooth indeed.

And hey, now we know that we’ve got his attention – let’s hit him with some more stuff! More on that soon to come.



And here is Cleary’s response, again, reproduced from John Chiv Words Worth

Patrick Cleary responds to recent questions raised about Humboldt Area Foundation

I just received this email from Mr. Patrick Cleary. I want to thank him for responding in this public format.

Dear John,

I wanted to respond to the questions you raised in your blog. I have attached a letter for you to share on your page, which is also below.

I  ask that you contact me directly if you have any questions about Humboldt Area Foundation.  Despite what has been said elsewhere, we always return phone calls and emails (though it may sometimes take a day or two).  We are committed to serving our community in a forthright and clear manner.  As I know you take pride in your journalism, I  hope that you will check with us in the future before writing about HAF in order to have a balanced perspective.

Thank you.

Patrick Cleary

Executive Director

Humboldt Area Foundation

The letter Mr. Cleary sent me:

Dear Mr. Chiv,

In response to your recent blog post, I am happy to answer the questions contained within regarding Humboldt Area Foundation.

1)      What is the total administrative cost of operating the Humboldt Area Foundation? How does that cost compare to the amount of money given back to the community?

According to our most recent audited financial statements, which are available on our website, our total administrative expenses for the fiscal year ending June 2015 were $1,186,497, which includes our development and investment expenses. This represents 17% of total expenses, and compares to over $3.6 million in grants distributed in addition to our programmatic activites. This also reflects the costs for the investment and management of over 700 donor funds totaling over $100 million  .

2)      How many people are employed by the Humboldt Area Foundation? How many of those employee positions are grant-funded?

Current employment at Humboldt Area Foundation is 31, of which 11 are grant-funded. The grant-funded positions include seven people who work for True North Organizing Network and  some of the staff at our Wild Rivers Community Foundation affiliate in Del Norte.

3)      How much money does Humboldt Area Foundation commit to operating the True North Organizing Network? What is the source of the funding given to True North? How many people are employed by True North Organizing Network?

True North is funded principally by grants from The California Endowment as part of their Building Healthy Communities initiative.  Additional funding comes from Marguerite Casey Foundation, The Bush Foundation, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and direct donations from individuals.  Humboldt Area Foundation has contributed a total of $10,000 from its discretionary fund. HAF receives overhead reimbursement for its role as fiscal sponsor of True North which helps to defray our administrative expenses. As mentioned above, seven people work for True North. True North is a community-led organization which is nonpartisan and endorses no political parties or candidates

4)      Why was the decision to appoint long-term HAF Board of Directors member Terry Supahan as the director of True North made? Is Mr. Supahan still a member of the Board of Directors?

The search for the Director of True North was a national search process during which Mr. Terry Supahan applied. He was the unanimous choice of the search committee based upon his extensive experience and knowledge of the region.   His application was vetted by the Humboldt Area Foundation’s Board Executive Committee.  Mr. Supahan resigned as an HAF board member in September 2015 and was hired to start at True North on October 1, 2015.

Our annual audited statements, tax returns and grants list are readily available for the public to access on our website www.hafoundation.org. All donors are provided with regular financial statements detailing all uses of their funds as well as investment returns. I am happy to answer questions about Humboldt Area Foundation to anyone; however, it is HAF policy to not respond to anonymous internet posts.


Patrick Cleary

Executive Director

Anddd…our original post this week.

Community Open Letter to HAF: Humboldt wants answers!

Well folks, it’s been a long-time coming. You’ve stuck with us, and for that, we sincerely thank you.

Now, let’s all get together and do something that all of Humboldt will thank you for, also.

Just as we said last week, we’ve got a humdinger of an open letter for Humboldt Area Foundation set and ready to go. We just mailed our copy out to HAF today, straight to the desk of Mr. Patrick Cleary.

And here is the letter:

Open Letter to the Humboldt Area Foundation Community

Of course, we can’t take full credit. Last week, we asked for input from THC’s awesome readers about the kinds of questions they wanted us to ask HAF. Boy, you folks did not disappoint us! Thanks for your comments and emails – each and every one was appreciated.

Now, like we said, our copy to Mr. Cleary is in the mail. But we aren’t stopping there. Tomorrow morning, we’re sending it out all over the place. To every local media outlet we can think of. To every current and former HAF Board member and staff member we can find. To any and all local politicians, foundation directors, and school superintendents.

But just as importantly, we want to send it out to you, too. You see, the most important part of all of this is for Cleary to hear just how upset the Humboldt community is with his stewardship of the once-unimpeachable HAF – and we want him to hear it loudly. Let us give Cleary and Co. a veritable flood of these letters so he finally gets the point!

Want us to directly send you a hard copy for you to sign and send along? Let us know at thc@thclive.net, or in the comments below.

Want a copy of the PDF document so you can print out a bunch of copies and distribute it amongst your disgruntled friends? Let us know by sending an email to thc@thclive.net, and we will do so.

Or you can just go ahead on click on the link below for the same PDF copy, for your reading and downloading pleasure:

Open Letter to the Humboldt Area Foundation

Let’s put our heads together on this one, Humboldt, and send Cleary and HAF a loud, resounding message: we will not tolerate HAF’s proud history being exploited for the benefit of Cleary and Co.’s political agenda any longer.


The Humboldt Consequential

And remember, get those letters in to HAF! The address for HAF is:

363 Indianola Road

Bayside, CA 95524

…and Patrick Cleary’s email address is patrickc@hafoundation, if you’d like to send it that way.

If you help us out and let us know, we’d be happy to send along one of the spiffy new THC stickers we’re expecting from Santa!

Are you new to THC and want to read more about how Patrick Cleary is bringing shame to the HAF? Check out all the THC articles (in chronological order) on HAF below!









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1 Response to !Update – Open Letter to HAF!

  1. DJ says:

    I have to say… I just really don’t give a shit about any of this


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