Starvoice • 02.17.12

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

David Geffen turns 69 on Tuesday. The out record executive and film producer has been among the richest Americans according to Forbes magazine having an estimated net worth of $4 billion and some change. He was recently awarded the President’s Merit award for his contributions to the music industry at this month’s 53rd Grammy Awards.

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THIS WEEK

Mercury in Pisces now semi-sextile to Venus in Aries suggests one of those old screwball comedies where mad impulses and misunderstandings lead to love and happiness. Charm and humor will conquer all.

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AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Don’t be afraid of arguments. New angles of discussion open your mind to intriguing new ideas. A little shock adds extra value. The trick is to accept challenges more than you offer them.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Being garrulous, will open doors. Some you may want to shut again in a hurry. Still the good outweighs the bad. Listen more than you talk, but speak up and you’ll hear something important.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Use any disagreement as a test of your diplomatic skills. The voices in your head are offering advice, not orders. Think before acting but don’t worry, you’re not crazy.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Make social commitments as tentative as you can. Your friends want your company and social occasions areadvantageous, but you might be even better off quietly with a few well-chosen pals.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Don’t let social temptations distract you from your career. Use them to network. Be attentive to moves behind the scenes and disappointments that could prove to be blessings in disguise.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Engage confusing new ideas. Clarity will come. Intellectual and aesthetic challenges bring opportunities to advance professionally and socially. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or experts to help.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Your sexual allure opens erotic treasures or Pandora’s box. Sublimation can help your career. Dangers lurk at indulgence. Use foresight and look for opportunities outside the bedroom.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
A long phase in your life begins where relationships are more complicated. Impulses open hidden depths and new communications with your lover. Mixed signals are part of the process.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Your efforts to help are easily seen as aggressive meddling. Ask first if your suggestions would be welcome. Attending to your own tasks is usually the better way to set an example.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
As strong as your feelings are steel yourself to welcome constructive criticism as an opportunity to improve. Real friends are not flatterers, but tell the truth.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Uncovering family treasures helps you realize how much you have to offer in your work. Talking with family elders? Pay special attention to the family’s health history.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Check and double-check your facts very carefully. Right or wrong, you are also likely to anger people in charge. Take it slow and easy; be diplomatic.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Donations: Glass half empty or half full?

A recent study shows that donations from individuals dropped in ’09, ’10. But numbers may be up for ’11

Geffen.David

David Geffen

Lisa Keen  |  Keen News Service
lisakeen@me.com

How well the LGBT groups are doing financially may well depend on whether one sees a glass as “half empty” or “half full,” but a report, released Tuesday, Dec. 6, by an independent think tank, certainly provides some facts to ponder.

Fewer than 3 percent of LGBT adults make contributions to national LGBT organizations, and the number of individuals giving to LGBT groups dropped 12 percent between 2009 and 2010, a trend that has been in play for the past five years.

The nation’s 40 largest and most important LGBT groups increased their combined revenue (cash and in-kind) by 1 percent between 2009 and 2010 from $163 million to $164 million, and they spent all but $4.6 million of that.

But the top 10 anti-gay groups spent “almost three times as much” as the 40 “major” pro-LGBT groups in 2010.

On average, national LGBT groups spend about 79 percent of their revenue on programs, 10 percent on management and administration, and 11 percent on fundraising.

While there are many harsh realities there, the Movement Advancement Project, an independent think tank devoted to studying how best to marshal the LGBT movement’s resources to “speed advancement of equality for LGBT people,” thinks the movement may be at a “turning point” financially.

“While [LGBT organizations] continued to cut expenses in 2010, organizations saw a slight increase in 2010 revenue, and are projecting expense budget increases for 2011,” said MAP in its 2011 National LGBT Movement Report.

“This,” said MAP, “suggests the LGBT movement may be at a turning point, or at least stabilizing, after seeing large drops in expenses and revenue over the last three years, mostly related to the economic downturn.”

MAP concluded that the “downward trend” in expenditures by the groups, a trend “precipitated by the economic downturn, may be at or nearing an end.”

The evidence, it said, is the fact that national LGBT groups’ projected expense budgets are 13 percent higher this year than last while their debt is smaller.

The report also reflects what economists and politicos have been discussing for a long time about the trend of wealth accumulating among corporations and a few individuals.

The average LGBT group, said MAP, receives 45 percent of its revenue from its 10 largest contributors. At the same time, organizations are increasingly getting their revenue from “corporations, bequests, in-kind contributions, fundraising events and other sources of income.”

“Of particular concern,” said the MAP report, “contributions from individual donors dropped sharply (a 14 percent drop, or $9.3 million) between 2009 and 2010. This revenue drop was mostly offset by revenue increases from corporations (41 percent increase, or $1.8 million), bequests (30 percent increase, or $1.6 million), fundraising events (6 percent increase, or $1.1 million) and other income (126 percent increase, or $3.2 million).”

MAP made its analysis using financial data from 40 LGBT groups, 27 of which had annual budgets of more than $1 million, and 13 additional organizations whose missions are considered “critical” to the LGBT movement.

The groups included such well-known national organizations as the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, as well as state groups, including MassEquality, the Empire State Pride Agenda and Equality California.

MAP Executive Director Ineke Mushovic said MAP used audited financial data for each group. Where an organization, such as the Human Rights Campaign, has a tax-deductible entity 501(c)(3), a non-tax-deductible entity 501(c)(4), and/or a political action committee, MAP combined the data and showed it all under one group name.

Mushovic said MAP agreed with participants not to release financial data on individual groups.

But Mushovic said the top 10 groups, in terms of revenue, are Equality California; the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network; the Human Rights Campaign; Lambda Legal; the National Center for Lesbian Rights; Out & Equal; the Point Foundation; Senior Action in a Gay Environment and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

MAP said the 40 LGBT groups represent 71 percent of all money spent by LGBT advocacy groups. It calculated this by analyzing 990 forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service by LGBT groups reporting more than $25,000 in revenue.

The five-year-old MAP organization issued a report last August showing that the LGBT movement is making progress but is being dramatically outspent by its opponents. That report, too, noted that only 3.4 percent of LGBT people made a contribution to national LGBT groups in 2009.

The 2010 report noted that while 550 LGBT non-profit groups collected a total of $574 million in contributions during 2009, most of that money  ($299 million or 52 percent) went to providing health services and community center programs. About $192 million (33 percent) was spent on advocacy, and about $35 million (6 percent) on legal challenges.

Arts and recreation accounted for about $36 million (6 percent). Only $13 million (2 percent) is spent on public education.

The current study was funded by 14 foundations that provide funding to LGBT groups, including the foundations started by well-known gay philanthropists such as David Bohnett, David Geffen, Tim Gill, Jim Hormel and Jon Stryker.

© 2011 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 02.18.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

David Geffen turns 68 on Monday. The music impresario and co-founder of Dreamworks tends to keep a lower profile. But the power gay showed up for his own fete. Record exec Clive Davis honored Geffen and his work in the entertainment industry right before this year’s Grammys. Jane Fonda, Warren Beatty and Neil Young were among the big stars to attend.

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THIS WEEK

Socially we are facing a huge uprising over the next few years in the clash between structures of authority (Pluto in Capricorn) and individual freedom and integrity (Jupiter and Uranus in Aries). The sun in Pisces is bringing intuitive awareness to how we find healing through the crises ahead.

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AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Review your accounts carefully. Mistakes are very expensive, but locating them now solves problems or turn up hidden assets. Professional help can be worth the investment.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
Your birthday gifts are very enriching and generous, though not necessarily in the monetary sense. You have to let your friends challenge you if you’ll ever find out how valuable they really are.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
Your eye for opportunities is sharp, although your ego pushes you too far too quickly. Meditate on your success can serve the good of others. Then opportunities will be even greater.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Don’t be afraid to speak up. You will find you are wrong and need to reevaluate things. Clearing things up now is advantageous than if you dummy up to look smart only to stumble later.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Friends building  your reputation will make you out to be nastier than you are, but that edgy cachet serves you well. Stretch to fit it andide this wave of confidence socially and professionally.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Career opportunities put strain on your relationship. Listen to your partner, assume responsibility for adapting and be open to new ideas. Imagination and compassion can save the day.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Be empathetic and persuasive about sexual equality, even in the workplace. Sympathizing is more effective than argument. Being effective makes you feel sexy, and when you feel it you get it.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Your eagerness to try new fun and games with your partner could get real kinky, but are you two on the same track? Listen carefully and be accommodating. You’ll be happily surprised.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Resolve household problems. Remember you and your partner (or roommate) are not opponents but need to solve the situation cooperatively. Giving in a little can get you a lot.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Your eagerness for results causes friction and accidents. Relax. Look at the situation as a creative challenge. Be open to new ideas as you think other people should be to yours.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Reevaluate any investments you have. Property is best in the long run, but moving too quickly on that isrisky. Exploring your family background and cultural roots turn up hidden strengths.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
Talking with relatives makes lots of people crazy. Somewhere in there, you see both the secret and the source of your deepest integrity, whether those come from your family or despite it.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 18, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas