The results are in, folks! Thankfully, for this cycle of voting, the predictions could be counted on.
Turns out that Humboldt’s residents thinks that HAF, and any organizations that fall under the HAF umbrella, should stay out of politics. What’s even better? It wasn’t even close!
By a margin of 87% No votes to 13% Yes votes, Humboldt agrees that HAF’s generously donated money shouldn’t be used for any sort of political endeavor. (Also, a big thank you to all for getting out the vote: we didn’t think that Humboldt’s Mr. Beefcake voter numbers would ever be topped, but you all have done it again. Huzzah!)
Of course, as we all know, the popular vote is not a guaranteed winner these days. Will Pat Cleary and his cohorts at HAF and True North Organizing Network actually heed Humboldt’s opinions and stop their political meddling? Sorry to say, but probably not. It’s difficult to listen to the will of the people and your conscience when you’re pushing a political agenda down people’s throats. Those things tend to get in the way.
Should you see a decided lack of action from the overseer of our area’s most misleading “community organization,” you can give him a call at 707-442-2993 or write him at: 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524.
Be forewarned, he never responded to any of the letters we sent him.
But instead of writing letters or phoning, you could do something that might actually get HAF’s, True North’s, and Pat Cleary’s attention: take your money elsewhere.
THC has gone on at length about the ridiculous way HAF takes money off the top from the donations it receives. You can read about it in more depth in this THC article: Humboldt Area Foundation: Padding their pockets and padding the polls
But we’ll also recap for you: For every dollar that HAF distributes in grants, it uses $.89 in operational fees. In 2012, that number was even higher: $1.32 in administrative costs for every dollar granted. They have more employees in their “Community Strategies” a.k.a. political scheming division than they do in their actual grant-making department. There are over 40 employees, when most comparable organizations in California have about 3. Pat Cleary pays himself over $30,000 a year more than most directors of similar organizations make (so much for the wage gap behind the Redwood Curtain, right?)
Those are just a few of the glaring financial red flags at HAF, but even just these beg the question: why are we trusting them with our money anyways? Say, for example, you want to give your money to the Boys & Girls Club, or to the Arcata Forest Fund, or whatever: do you realize that the vast majority of your gift isn’t actually making it to the desired organization?
HAF’s operating costs are around 34%, which means that out of your $100 donation, only $66 of it gets over to help the trees or the kids or whatever. Not only is HAF taking nearly 1/3 of every donation to fund its own pet projects and pay Pat Cleary’s salary, but they’re then turning around and using it for their own ends. It’s maddening.
So you tell us, Humboldt: where else would money donated to charity be better spent?