Friday, June 21, 2024

Exclusive: amFAR AIDS Foundation Cut 2022 Grants to Hospitals, Patients, Researchers by 46%, But Salaries Rose, CEO Paid $600K


On Thursday, am FAR will have its annual self promotion gala in Cannes. The glittery party at the Hotel du Cap costs a fortune, but attracts models, Eurotrash, and a few actors waiting for their movies to open at the festival.

amFAR has been mired in controversy for years, but the aforementioned gaudy gown gang loves it, and attends their shindigs all over the world.

This year, Cher is performing (she doesn’t come cheap) and Demi Moore will be on hand for the first time. Sharon Stone, former long time auctioneer and cheerleader who raised millions, is gone. She knows these people and she’s done.

amFAR is a financial free-for-all. According to their Form 990 for 2022, salaries edged up again as spending on donations and grants fell a whopping 46%. Their CEO, Kevin Frost, makes about $600,000 a year. (Thirteen execs divide up $3 million, including TWO PR people!)

It’s not like they didn’t have the money to spend on actual AIDS patients, services, treatments, or research. Total revenue was around $44 million, up from $28 million the previous year. But all their other expenses — except for the giving part — rose substantially. They closed the 2022 season with $3.5 million less than 2021 in net assets or funds. Total assets were off by $700,000.

Back to Cher, will be preceded on stage by Nick Jonas and Jess Glynne (?), etc: In 2022, amFAR says it spent over $2 million on entertainment. (For comparison, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar party spent $94,000 on entertainment in 2022.) The performers that year were Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, and Charli XCX. amFAR spent another almost $5 million on the 2022 Cannes party listed under “direct expenses.”

With eight different parties — including Cannes — amFAR’s events budget was $14 million in the red when they filed in 2022.

Does anyone care? Apparently not. amFAR is like the Met Ball or Global Citizen. As long as celebrities come, donors don’t care what’s going on. It’s unimportant to the super rich who dress up in Versace, or Dior, or Prada. They’ll get to hear Cher sing “Believe.” That’s all that matters.

I’m not in Cannes this year, so I will miss all the amFAR-marked chauffeur driven cars parading around the Croisette. I guess they come under “entertainment” or “Direct expenses,” too!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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