AARP Dirty Secrets - Part 3: Will the Real AARP Please Stand Up?
“AARP speaks with one voice—united by a common motto: ‘To serve, not be served.’” — AARP goals and motto, from the About AARP section of its website
ARRA News Service - While AARP claims to serve as a seniors’ advocacy organization, an analysis of its Form 990 filings with the Internal Revenue Service and those of their “related organizations” reveal a set of interlocking organizations whose ultimate activities and purpose are hidden like buried treasure:
• The tax filings reveal that there are at least seven “AARP” related organizations—four of which claim “non-profit” status. These “non-profit” organizations include AARP itself, which paid over $7 million in compensation to 18 individuals in 2008. Three other AARP organizations claim corporate or trust status—a real estate holding company, a marketing and research company, and an “AARP Insurance Plan” described as a “trust.”
• Several senior AARP executives receive salaries from other affiliates of the organization, including the AARP Foundation and the AARP Institute. For instance, AARP’s then-CEO William Novelli—who received at least $1 million in total compensation in 2008—is also included on the AARP Institute’s list of officers and highly compensated employees.
• The overlapping and potentially confusing relationships between senior executives at AARP, its Foundation, and its Institute raise questions on their own—namely, whether individuals are serving multiple masters by dividing their work and energies among various positions within the AARP conglomerate.
• Four individuals serve as officers and/or directors for AARP, its Foundation, and its Institute—and another three individuals serve as directors and/or officers of two of these three organizations. Most concerning, the entire AARP Institute’s board is comprised of these seven individuals employed elsewhere within the AARP Empire.
• Some may also be troubled by the apparent lack of full disclosure regarding these senior individuals’ compensation. For example, while Robin Talbert’s name appears on the AARP Foundation’s Form 990 filing, the form shows compensation from another AARP - related organization that is neither AARP nor the Institute.
• The Form 990 also reveals a transfer of funds from AARP to its Foundation of more than $21.6 under the stated purpose of “general support.” The AARP Foundation also received more than $10.1 million in “in-kind contributions” and $26.5 million in loan guarantees from AARP; the IRS filings do not disclose whether or what amounts the AARP Foundation paid in exchange for such loan guarantees. Many may question why more than $58 million—equal to nearly one quarter of all member dues received by AARP in 2008—is being diverted to another organization, and what purposes such a diversion is intended to achieve.
AARP Dirty Secrets - Part 1: Helping Seniors or Helping Itself
AARP Dirty Secrets - Part 2: AARP “Kickbacks” Fund Donations to Liberal Causes
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