Back in November, I wrote about how little of the money raised by Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s personal charity made it to good works. This was after he alluded to the nonprofit, Fam 1st First Family Foundation, during one of his begrudging press availabilities.
As it turns out, he’s not the only Seahawks star with a personal nonprofit. All-Pro cornerback, injured player and new parent Richard Sherman has one, too. And unlike the Berkeley-educated Lynch, who doesn’t like to talk much to the media about anything substantive, the articulate Stanford-educated Sherman talks often about his desire to be a role model and better society.
But Sherman’s charity has one thing in common with Lynch’s. According to the latest filings, not much of the money has gone for its stated purpose.
Sherman’s foundation is immodestly called Blanket Coverage The Richard Sherman Family Foundation. It was founded in early 2013 with this written mission: “to provide students in low income communities with school supplies and clothing so they can more adequately achieve their goals.”
According to the foundation’s IRS 990 tax return and Washington State charity filing (the online summary is here) for the year ending December 31, 2013, the latest available, Blanket Coverage raised $133,904 in contributions and a tiny amount of interest. The stated amount that went out in grants to underprivileged youth: $32,471, or less than a quarter of what came in. At year’s end, most of the money generated was unspent and presumably sitting in a bank account. It’s unclear from the paperwork how much, if any, came from Sherman himself, who reportedly is in the middle of a four-year deal worth $56 million.
Now, Blanket Coverage, which lists an office address in across-Puget-Sound Poulsbo, Wash., is a start-up, and 2013 wasn’t even a full year of operation. Official Washington State records say the foundation was incorporated on March 22, 2013, so the numbers might be skewed a bit, or Blanket Coverage is saving for something big or even to create an endowment. But the percentage going to charity was roughly the same as that at Lynch’s charity, which is several years older.
According to its tax return, Blanket Coverage’s board consisted of Sherman; his brother and business manager, Branton Sherman; and John Kenney, a lawyer. Last week, before SuperBowl XLIX, I put some questions about the filings in an email to the foundation sent through the Richard Sherman website, where Blanket Coverage is prominently displayed.
I haven’t heard anything back–somewhat understandable given my small-fry status and all the big stuff going on around the Sherman household. But I will update this post if I do. After all, we all know the highly intelligent Sherman–whom I once in this New To Seattle space called “the most honest man in Seattle by a wide margin“–likes to opine.
Looking at the state sight for 2015 the “charity” now has over 800k on hand but only donated slightly over 33k. Its expenses were a little over 330k. Only 9% of the expenses went to the stated cause. Now I’m no expert on charities but when 89% of expenses goes to other than the stated cause it throws a red flag for me that someone is taking income and making a personal profit from a nonprofit org. To me that is just disgusting if it is true.
Sounds like a little education envy? Perhaps a better understanding of how the “New” charities work, and how they choose who and when to distribute funds might be of more importance at this early stage!
The post points out the charity is a start-up, without even a full year under its belt. I would welcome more information about choices in making grants, but such detail wasn’t in the paperwork and my query was not answered. Education envy? I always envy well-educated individuals.
Awesome story, Bill!