A nonprofit and tax-exempt charity started by Alex Rodriguez gave only 1 percent of proceeds to charity in 2006 and is perhaps the most egregious example of athlete-run charities that have fallen far short of what is considered standard for nonprofit organizations.
The Boston Globe examined records of 50 nonprofit charities started by athletes and found give “far less than the 65 to 75 cents” on the dollar “that nonprofit specialists say is an acceptable minimum.”
The report found Rodriguez’s foundation, A-Rod Family Foundation, only “gave 1 percent of proceeds to charity during its first year of operation in 2006, then stopped submitting mandatory financial reports to the IRS and was stripped of its tax-exempt status.”
The foundation’s website still says the A-Rod Family Foundation “is a non-profit organization dedicated to positively impacting families in distress by supporting programs focasing on improved quality of life, education and mental health.”
In 2006, the A-Rod Family Foundation raised $403,862, but IRS records revealed the “foundation gave $5,000 to Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund and $90 to a Little League Baseball club in Miami” and not much more to other groups.
Charities run by other athletes also received failing grades, though none were as egregious as Rodriguez’s.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin’s nonprofit, records found, raised $53,005 at golf event at a resort in Florida but spent “$46,879 staging the three-day event.”
Former Boston–and now Los Angeles Dodgers–pitcher Josh Beckett’s charity only donated 37 cents of every dollar received to charity even though one of his friends took in a $50,000 salary working for the organization.
The report found foundations started by Paul Pierce, Cam Neely, Vince Wilfork, Curt Schilling, and Ray Allen, though, were different, giving large portions of revenue to charitable causes.