Lady Gaga’s Charitable Foundation Donated Less Than One Percent Of Its Earnings In 2012

forbesgaga-(1)Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation may sound great in theory, but it doesn’t look great on paper, according to BTWF’s latest federal tax report, which reveals most of the charity’s donations were pissed away on lawyers, publicity, and “other” in 2012.

According to the breakdown published exclusively by Showbiz 411, the Born This Way Foundation took in nearly $2.6 million in 2012 (it claimed $2.1 million in net assets) and only donated a measly $5,000 on “grants to organizations or individuals.” That’s less than 1 percent.

Gawker’s Rich Juzwiak provides a thorough breakdown of what, exactly, BTWF did beyond the scope of monetary donations that year. Aside from donating $5,000 in pocket change, the Foundation sponsored the Born Brave Tour Bus, described as a “roving tailgate party,” launched a line of “empowered” office supplies at Office Depot, and inspired Mother Monster herself to tweet half naked photos of herself to raise awareness for teenage eating disorders.

Here’s the full rundown of where BTWF’s funds ended up in 2012, conveniently laid out at Gawker:

$300,000 in strategic consulting

$62,836 on stage productions

$50,000 on social media

$50,000 on event coordination

$406,552 on legal

$150,000 on philanthropic consulting

$60,000 on research

$58,768 on publicity fees

$78,000 on travel

$72,000 on salaries

$808,661 on “other”

$5,000 on grants to organizations or individuals

It’s important to note that BTWF never officially claimed to provide a bulk of its donations for charitable grants, but it’s even more important to note that it spent $50,000 on “social media.” How the hell does one spend $50,000 on social media? Or $808,661 on “other,” for that matter? What even is “other”? Pepto-Bismol in bulk?

But we guess there’s some sort of silver lining. Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman suspects most of BTWF’s donations came from Lady Gaga’s earnings (there’s no detailed list of contributors) and on top of that, she officially made a $10,000 donation to pay expenses.

Seems like a lot of trouble to go through just to donate $5,000 to a worthy cause.

Last night, Gaga’s mother, BTWF president Cynthia Germanotta, released a statement reaffirming that BTWF’s mission is not to provide grants:

“There is quite a bit of inaccurate information out there right now that misinterprets the essential mission and critical work of a very special organization that was founded several years ago by Stefani Germanotta, whom you all know as Lady Gaga. First and foremost, we are an organization that conducts our charitable activity directly, and we fund our own work. We are not a grant-maker that funds the work of other charities, and were never intended to be.”

Cool story, mom.

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  • Apparatus

    I am a big fan of Lady Gaga’s MUSIC (not necessarily her fictional back story or public image) but it’s hard to deny that this is the LAST thing she needed after this year.


    • ARTPOP became an ARTFLOP as sales bombed compared to BORN THIS WAY

    • She hasn’t had one hit single off this album that’s been out for months and months

    • She publicly parted ways with her manager after years of successful collaboration together

    • She has only released one video from ARTPOP so far and had to shelf the “Do What U Want” video

    • She complained about how bad 2013 was for her and how she was betrayed and let her fans down and proclaimed 2014 as the time you’d REALLY see ARTPOP launch

    • Her artRave tour is not selling well in the US with many dates still not sold out after being on sale for months

    • She’s gotten into public feuds with the likes of Perez Hilton and Kelly Osbourne

    NOW…her “charity” to help all her “little monsters” has been exposed as the blind publicity stunt it always was.

    BUT DON’T FEEL TOO BAD FOR HER. She’s still worth $200 million…even though she goes around constantly talking about how she hates money and puts all of it back into her music for her fans. Okay?

    Oh and lets not forget about the sealed court documents involving the lawsuit against her by a former assistant that she claimed if ever got out to the public would irreversibly damage her career.

  • Miss Understood

    This doesn’t look suspicious at all to me. It is totally normal for an organization to spend $50,000 on something like social media. Somebody has to do the social media, it may be someone’s full-time job.

    I’m no big fan or defender of hers but people are so ready to play gotcha and jump on this without knowing anything about how the foundation functions.

  • RomanHans

    @Apparatus: I’d hate to hear what bitch would say if he wasn’t a “big fan.”

  • Matthew Tharrett

    @Miss Understood: Who said anything about it being suspicious?

  • Desert Boy

    Looks like Lady Caca’s charity is as fake as her hair color.

  • RomanHans

    @Matthew Tharrett: Did you miss the words “Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation . . . doesn’t look great on paper”?

  • Matthew Tharrett

    @RomanHans: Of course I didn’t. I wrote them. Still not sure how that implies suspicion…

  • alterego1980

    @Matthew Tharrett: Are you kidding me? You are throwing shade all over this subjective blog post. You question the legitimacy of their spending on social media and miscellaneous items. And then this gem, “Seems like a lot of trouble to go through ‘just’ to donate $5,000 to a worthy cause”. You are casting doubt about the entire organization insinuating that BTWF takes in millions of dollars and “just donates $5,000”. This is trash writing meant to feed a Lady Gaga meat grinder. When you do this, there are plenty of people who don’t see the BS and your derogatory slant causes suspicion about BTWF. If you’re going to write it, you should at least own it and not b!tch out and deflect.

  • Matthew Tharrett

    @alterego1980: “insinuating that BTWF takes in millions of dollars and “just donates $5,000.?” Uh, that’s precisely what happened.

    “Suspicion” would imply some sort of wrongdoing. Your interpretation of what constitutes “shade” and implication that I somehow suggested there was wrongdoing is the only subjective thing here. You also seem to be the only one “bitching” about it.

  • rawrlee

    @Matthew Tharrett you are a Queerty gift from heaven I couldn’t have said it better myself. The problem with Queerty is that it always feeds the Lady Gaga meat grinder. It never post subjective stories about a great community ally without throwing some side shade. Clearly the person who writes the articles and operates the site is and always will be butthurt by Gaga.

    That said the foundation was never set up as a organization to donate money to individuals or to provide grants to people. It was set up to spread the message of love, unity, bravery and acceptance. Spreading a message requires a lot of funding towards things like social media and publicity. Like stated above 50k for social media is a reasonable salary for someone to do this full time (I majored in PR and have applied for many social media positions and that is standard).

    Anyone who donated to the cause knows that their money is going to fund a message not going to fund an individual. The cause isn’t like curing cancer there isnt a statistic of “trouble teens” that seek refuge and help. I would venture to say a lot of the “other” expenses went towards the Born Brave Bus that stopped in 23 cities and helped thousands of teens.

    Also the article in reference criticizes her for donating a majority of the money to the cause- but when a rapper spends his money on booze, bitches and cars hes a badass- when she spends her money to help spread a message shes an “attention whore” and “exploiting troubled teens” it is ridiculous.

    Have SOME journalistic integrity and present the whole story not half of it with your side shade it just makes you look like a bitter queen.

  • Matthew Tharrett

    @rawrlee: You’re all missing the point.

    I stated twice in this post that BTWF is not an organization that provides grants and even included a statement from the president of the organization asserting that fact. You have all assumed that I implied somewhere that BTWF is something else and is supposed to provide grants to organizations or individuals. I did not.

    This post actually doesn’t cite anything about “rappers spending money on booze, bitches and cars.” Again, this is some erroneous non-fact brought to the table by commenters willing to throw blind anonymous rage at any post or article they dislike. You accuse me of calling Gaga (and you actually quoted me, even though there’s no reference) an “attention whore” and ridiculous. I did not.

    You clearly state that “there isnt a statistic of ‘trouble teens’ that seek refuge and help” and in the next sentence, provide the very statistic you say does not exist: “the Born Brave Bus that stopped in 23 cities and helped thousands of teens.” And I’m being accused of being subjective?

    Please do tell me what “part of the story” is not presented here. Your contempt for my writing style doesn’t mean the facts are incorrect or that I’m not presenting them accurately.

    Plain and simple: Facts from a federal tax report have been printed above. Nowhere in this post was it stated that Lady Gaga has a responsibility to donate BTWF funds to organizations or individuals.

  • rawrlee

    @Matthew Tharrett first of all when you presented the opposing side basically bashing the btwf you just presented it with no side comments. When you show the quote from her mother stating the btwf side of the story you have side comments like “cool story mom” which clearly shows your bias in the situation which is what I was referencing- and you did not present the whole quote from her mother which detailed in greater detail what the foundation specifically did over that year- so either you missed her whole statement or willfully left out her whole statement which is equally as bad- you presented a small portion of her side of the story which kind of shapes your articles bias and influence.

    Secondly to my statement about rappers and exploitation and attention whore I never said that was directly in your article I was referencing general statements that have been said since this article or news story broke.

    Now on to my “statistic” what I said is still true- with something like cancer or aids you can have a number figure of those effected by it- for people who are troubled you cant always put a number or statistic on that type of situation. Yes the Born Brave Bus did go to 23 cities thats a fact, yes over 19,000 teens showed up at the Born Brave Bus stops that is also a fact- but in general you cant assign a statistic value o troubled teens which the organization tried to help with the Born Brave Bus.

    Other examples of your attempt to throw shade was the Pepto comment which wasn’t in the original post and the “seems like a lot of trouble just to donate 5,000” so no you didn’t directly say they should be donating the money to individuals or as grants but you side commented all of it to make their spending look shameful or frivolous while not providing Cynthias full response. That is called shaping a story- that is called a lack of journalistic integrity- again I’m not shocked though anything Gaga does the articles on this site are slanted.

  • Matthew Tharrett

    @rawrlee: “so no you didn’t directly say they should be donating the money to individuals or as grants.”

    My work here is done.

  • Desert Boy

    @RomanHans: Roman Hans, Huh? A friend count is germane (or should I say ‘Germanotta?” to Lady Caca’s phony charity? If Mama Caca needs a job, she should run her daughter’s fan club and you should join.

  • SpunkyBunks

    Frankly, I think most charities are scams. They are nothing but fake storefronts that keep highly overpaid executives (scam artists) employed. Very little help actually goes to those that need it.

  • tardis

    Well, considering that the majority of this money comes from Gaga herself, the only person losing out here is Lady Gaga. She’s probably trusting the wrong people.

  • GregM.

    @Apparatus: @Apparatus: Actually her ArtRave tour American leg is 80% sold out, grossing $26 million,and it is only In June later this year. With the European sales, Arthur Fogel chairman of Live Nation, stated that they needed to add dates to the European leg.
    With regard to the Born this Way Foundation. Anyone with half a brain that read Cynthia’s statement, read through the expenses and have seen how the foundation operates will conclude that it is more and advocacy group to create awareness than a charitable group. For employing their own consultants, advisors and technicians to create such awareness these expenses are perfectly fine.

  • jasentylar

    @Matthew Tharrett: While you would like to take the stance that you wrote this article as an informative piece, everyone here including yourself knows that this was written to shame Gaga or bring to light something that would not be positive. The only people that should care about what the money was spent on is the ones who actually donated. I didn’t. So, I don’t give a fuck what they spent their money on. This article was pointless. It’s definitely not real news. You are entitled to your beliefs, just let them have merit if you’re going to be sharing this…do we call it literature?

  • DarkZephyr

    @Matthew Tharrett: I can’t help but wonder what IS the point of your article if its not meant to paint LadyGaGa as a shady person. You say that he is “missing the point” well I guess I missed it too. Can you explain it?

  • mpwaite

    As long she continues to throw her “signals and signs” She’ll be protected.

  • LarsNtherealboy

    Seems like you were trying to be “shady”, but failed miserably. You sound like one of those queens on ATRL.

  • MphsThomas

    what lucky organization received a 5k grant? looks like “other” real winner

Comments are closed.