Cannes– rather the Hotel duCap in Antibes–braces again for the annual amFAR AIDS party on Thursday night. For the third year in a row, amFAR is snubbing their most recognized cheerleader celebrity, actress Sharon Stone. After years of being the face of amFAR fundraising, Stone has been systematically shut out by the most recent regime of the party-loving charity.
amFAR is not the biggest AIDS charity by any means. They’re just the most self-congratulatory. The Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is actually worth more than twice as much– $120 million, according to their most recent tax filing. Glaser doesn’t throw parties all over the world, pay a party planner nearly $600,000 a year to arrange for celebrities (as amFAR does), or pay a CEO $600,000 (as amFAR does).
amFAR’s total assets, recorded in their 2015 tax filing (which covers 2014-15), were just around $53 million. But they know how to have a good time. Their CEO, Kevin Frost, was paid a startling $607,167 in 2015. Frost makes twice as much as the next highest paid amFAR staffer. Not bad. Total compensation of top execs came to $2.5 million. A baker’s dozen of execs make six figure salaries.
Total donations to amFar dropped in 2015 from the previous year by over $1 million. Nevertheless, everyone– including outside contractors– got raises.
amFAR gives a lot of money to hospitals and research centers, certainly. But they’re not always successful. In 2014-15 they gave $550,000 to the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Port St Lucie, Florida. Then the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute promptly went out of business. amFAR invested a similar amount in the Institute a year earlier.
And what about these snazzy events you read about? Well, in total amFAR said on their 2015 tax filing that their events finished in the red– negative $10.2 million. The Cannes event in 2015 incurred about $5 million in direct expenses including entertainment, rental fees at the Hotel DuCap, and “other direct expenses” of about $2.5 million. They know how to live it up, too. One of amFAR’s biggest expenses listed for 2015 was travel: a smidge over $1 million. In Cannes, amFAR is known for shuttling staff and celebs around in private cars.
Tickets to tomorrow night’s gala help pay for all this stuff. The tickets are very expensive (unless you’re a celebrity, in which case they’re free).