Lady Gaga Responds to Criticism Over Her Foundation’s Charitable Donations
By Shannon Carlin
Just one day after a journalist questioned the actual philanthropic reach of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Mother Monster sprang into action in hopes to defend not only her charity’s reputation, but her own.
In a post on her social networking site, Little Monsters, Gaga explained that her and her mom are “deeply passionate” about the Born This Way Foundation, which looks to “foster a more accepting society for our young people.”
“We believe in advocating empowerment and creating a safe space for kids to go who feel helpless. Suicide Prevention, Compassion, Inspiring Bravery. This is our mission,” she wrote. “We do not raise money and allocate the funds to other charities for them to do the work. We do the work.”
She continued, “We formed a brand new, up-to-date with all the newest research and best doctors in the country approach to youth wellness. My mom is on the ground with the kids, so am I, the whole Born Brave Team is.”
Gaga then asked her fans to check out an article that her mother, Cynthia Germanotta wrote for the Huffington Post to learn more about the foundation and its work.
In Germanotta’s article, which was published last night (March 12), she begins by saying, “It is important for us to set the record straight regarding Born This Way Foundation’s mission and how the organization allocates its funds. There is quite a bit of inaccurate information out there right now that misinterprets the essential mission and critical work of a very special organization that was founded several years ago by Stefani Germanotta, whom you all know as Lady Gaga.”
Germanotta, who is the co-founder and president of the foundation, explains in the piece that the organization funds its own work and conducts its charitable activity directly. “We are not a grant-maker that funds the work of other charities, and were never intended to be,” she writes.
Germanotta breaks down the work that the Born This Way Foundation has done, noting last year’s Born Brave Bus Tour, which she says travelled to 23 communities and interacted with more than 19,000 young people. She also talks about the foundation’s global reach via Facebook and Twitter, along with their own website, which according to her, hits 50 million individual users on a good week.
“Lady Gaga founded Born This Way Foundation to foster a more accepting society for our young people,” Germanotta writes. “She covered all of the start-up costs for the organization with her own money and uses her celebrity to constantly advocate on behalf of tolerance, individualism and kindness.”
Yesterday, Showbiz 411 revealed that according to the foundation’s tax records, out of the $2.1 million in net assets, the foundation spent just a mere $5,000 on actual grants and charity donations. But Germanotta says that “every dollar spent across these categories, including the legal fees towards the safe and effective implementation of each initiative, directly serves Born This Way Foundation’s core mission of empowering youth.”
According to her, all of these initiatives she’s laid out were funded by monies detailed on the 2012 Form 990 and if the reporter did his research would have revealed this.
“A true examination of this form,” she wrote. “Not to mention a clear understanding of the differences between a grant-making organization and one that carries out its work directly would have made this a non-story.”