So I asked IPTAY if they could provide a breakdown of their 21% overhead< as I decide what to do about my contributions. I am going to do all i can to maintain my giving level but I think it is fair to ask what is IPTAY also doing internally. There should be a detailed breakdown of all overhead expenses. Below is the the response I got. Pure boilerplate, canned answer. I cannot believe this is all the have to send out regarding this issue. It is insulting when so many of us have dug deep for over 50 years!! I will do all i can for the Clemson I care so much about but this corporate talking point stuff is a Clemson I no longer recognize.
" I sincerely appreciate your interest in our budget and how funds are spent.
IPTAY employs a staff of 36 professionals. As a 501(c)(3) organization, we are 100% self-supporting, meaning we have to raise all the dollars to support our organization. This includes compensation, employee benefit packages, travel for our gift officers to help in the securing of donor contributions, staffing and management of all donor parking in football and basketball (82 lots and 18,000 spaces to assign in football), printing and mailing our magazine- Orange The Experience - eight times per year to 17,000 donors, Management of the Block C Club (1200 members), Collegiate Club, Tiger Cats, and Cubs (12,000 members). In all, we serve 29,000 donor members.
IPTAY manages all premium seating in football- 95 suites and 1600 club seats, basketball- 440 club seats, and baseball- 150 field level seats.
In the past eight fiscal years, IPTAY has generated $437.5 million in support of all the areas that were listed in the email. Those dollars are generated through the annual fund, major gifts - pledges and cash, premium seating, and planned gifts (estate intentions).
Again, thank you so much for your support and interest in our operation. IPTAY is a strong organization because of people like you, and I hope that we can continue the dialogue in the future."
Maybe my nearly 40 years in big corp has me reoriented toward what you might call corp bs; but their response seems reasonable. My translation is that 21% overhead is not bad considering the diverse set of areas to be managed (e.g.: ticket allocations, suites, donor relations, magazine and other communication devices...).
However I believe you may be asking what cut backs are being made in these challenging time? I doubt a small organization like IPTAY would go public with details of such information, but its a fair question.
You got it.... yes how much of the pain are they sharing during this time. There is no doubt some fat they can trim, just like all of higher education where the administrative growth has been outrageous as tuition skyrockets.
Just common sense IPTAY donors will be more sympathetic to the situation if they feel like everyone is doing their part. I just want to see they are doing their part.
People who ask too many questions end up in shallow graves.
Seriously though, i would imagine they are probably as fiscally responsible or more so than most universities of the same size. However I believe your interest is definitely warranted. In a time where you have to monitor church finances and expenditures for fraud as close as you do school PTA funds, i would have no problem answering this question if I were them
Non profits generally spend between 10% and 35% on overhead. IPTAY is a little different than most in that there are benefits to be managed, as the response says,and that probably means they have to spend more.
Don't disagree, sometimes you do have to spend it to make it.
And the overhead maybe reasonable. Just put the data out there and let us see for ourselves. It may show that they are doing a good job with overhead. But when you send the "look at all we do" but don't show me how you do it I just get suspicious.
21% is reasonable. From what I have seen in the for profit sector, many organizations are upside down or top-heavy on their P&L. Too many bloated salaries, expensive assets, real estate, etc. 21% suggests to me they aren’t overpaying themselves or spending on non-value assets.
I am happy with the work IPTAY has done in the past. I have no reason to suspect IPTAY has been managed improperly and the 21% overhead seems reasonable. I'm going to keep supporting Clemson Football by continuing to give a modest amount to IPTAY every year.
Right now when money is in short supply and our Athletic Program is faced with a huge loss of revenue, I think it would be a terrible time to limit in any way the efforts of IPTAY to raise money from donors. I would not want them to spend less right now. I'd be in favor of them spending more.
There are 26 members of the IPTAY Board of Directors and you can find out who they are via google in about 2 seconds. I am a modest donor and I know more than a few of those people. Most of them have names I recognize. I trust them. I know a few of them have been concerned for years about the amount of money it takes to be a nationally prominent football program so I think they do watch the dollars. You probably know some of them too. Call'em up and talk to them.
If you want to personally OK how the money is spent, I think you can volunteer, do some work, and then have some input.
I think cutting the salaries or headcount of the people who are out beating the bushes for the money needed to keep out program afloat right now would really be a foolish move.
I know several board members very well. I asked one of them about it and they said just shoot Babb and email, so i did. Just a simple request... can you share what makes up the 21%, a breakdown.
Nobody is saying cut jobs, salaries,etc. but as "stockholders" it should be simple to send out a "prospectus". May be the data will say they do need to cut jobs, etc., maybe not. I don't know. What makes IPTAY any different than any other entity that is having to make tough decisions these days. Many in my office were set to get raises. It is not happening now and we are just hoping we don't have to lay off people. These are tough times and IPTAY may have to make some tough personal, spending decisions.
Again as stated above donors will be more sympathetic to the situation if they feel everyone is doing their part, i just want to see they are doing their part. If we are all having to tighten our belt to keep the donations coming it may not be too much to ask they do the same. The data should show this
I thought that was a very reasonable response. I don't like everything they do, but overall I think they do an outstanding job. Unlike many 501(c)(3)s, their main purpose is not taking in a lot of money in order to perpetuate their own existence. They are also not "issue based" and require keeping things stirred up all the time in order to get people to donate.