The Christmas Season is generally seen as a time for giving. From all over, American people will open their hearts and wallets to give generously to those in need. Statistics show that not only does America give more money to the needy in total, Americans give more money proportionately than the rest of the world too. Something in our cultural DNA (I would argue our Judeo-Christian heritage) prompts us to give to those in need out of our own abundance.
An entire sector of the American workforce has been created simply to connect those of us who wish to give with those who need us to give.
Well, this Christmas season you may want to avoid one of those groups in particular. The Jane Fonda Foundation.
According to the Jane Fonda Foundation’s most recent tax return–filed last year and covering calendar year 2011–the organization’s cash, stock, and bond portfolio was valued at $798,133. The filing lists the 75-year-old actress as the foundation’s president and chairman of the board, and reports that she devotes 10 hours a week to the charitable group.
In the most recent tax return, Fonda’s foundation reported making no contributions or grants. Prior tax returns show that the organization, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, similarly made no payouts in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.
The Jane Fonda Foundation has nearly a million dollars in its accounts, but has not actually made any contributions over the last five recorded tax years (from 2007-2011). The only gift they gave in 2006 was $1000 to the Atlanta Obstetrics and Gynecology Society.
Apparently it is not legal for a private charity to go without actually giving to charity. The IRS requires private foundations like Fonda’s to give at least five percent of their holdings every year. According to their tax returns, Fonda’s foundation has a lot of explaining to do. This Christmas Season, give generously to those in need … but make sure you know who you’re giving your money to.
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