Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Latest IRS report shows DDDB fundraising down but cash on hand up; the larger question: can DDDB play a role in light of project proceeding?

Tax Returns Show Critics’ Financial Support Dropping asserts the pseudonymous (and AY-supporting) Net Income of the Nets Daily blog, and that's certainly one way to read the Form 990s filed by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn with the Internal Revenue Service.

Another way to read it is that, more than a year ago, cash on hand dipped dramatically after significant spending on court cases. Then the cash available stabilized, with a small increase, despite the economic downturn.

DDDB response

DDDB spokesman Daniel Goldstein commented on Nets Daily:
Net Income, if that is your real name, what’s your point? Say what you will about DDDB, and boy do you ever say what you will and then some, we have maintained a 6.5 year long fight against the largest publicly traded real estate firm in the USA funded solely on donations from the community. The fact that amounts went down in tandem with the global financial crisis, and the worst recession in a long time, is hardly interesting. All non-profits saw a slackening in fundraising during those years.

Hey, even your beloved Forest City Ratner saw a decrease in revenue.
The larger question, I'd suggest, is whether DDDB will, in the face of the seemingly inevitable progress--but not quite, given pending cases--of the project, continue to raise money and play a role, if not as a legal opponent, a watchdog of sorts.

Fundraising cycle

DDDB raised $366,163 in the year ending June 30 2007--the project was still facing approval in December 2006 and there was an enormous amount of publicity. The federal eminent domain case had just been mounted.

DDDB raised $293,952 in the year ending June 30, 2008 and $161,834 in the year ending June 30, 2009--signs of both the economic crunch and, likely, that that the official approval of the project and losses in court made fundraising tougher. (The legal efforts did not "peak" last year, as claimed by NetsDaily.)

Last April, I reported that, in the year ending June 30, 2008, DDDB had spent nearly $118,000 more than it took in, cutting deeply into its reserves, leaving net assets of $20,757.

The most recent report shows DDDB had $27,749 as of June 30, 2009.

Recent funding issues

DDDB representatives said last April that they had enough money to mount legal challenges and it looks like they did.

In October, after the reporting deadline, DDDB took in some $40,000 at its fifth Walk Don't Destroy walkathon. Also, the national publicity about the Atlantic Yards controversy generated some new donors.

DDDB, Goldstein said last night, has enough money to continue its remaining cases, "and we continue to raise money from the community."

Within the year, however, DDDB will have to reassess whether and how it can continue.

DDDB IRS Form 990 2009

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