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Lady Gaga’s charitable mess

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Here's why it's not always a good idea to take celebrities at face value, especially when it involves money.

Lady Gaga's foundation is being criticized for making only one small donation.

Lady Gaga's foundation is being criticized for making only one small donation.

The 2012 federal tax form for Lady Gaga's foundation, Born This Way, shows a paltry $5,000 in donations and a staggering $1.85 million in expenses, including legal costs, travel, publicity and consulting fees.

While some of the expenses could be considered necessary for a new foundation, it's the amount that has sparked outrage. The tax form, available on the GuideStar website, shows $406,552 in legal fees, $72,752 in salaries, $150,000 in philanthropic consulting, $77,923 in travel and $808,661 in "other" expenses, detailed on Schedule O as mostly publicity, design, event development and social media and website production.

The foundation, begun in 2011, states on its website that the mission is to "foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated." It goes on to state that it is "dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world."

The foundation issued a statement to the New York Post defending its expenses. "Every dollar spent across these categories, including the legal fees towards the safe and effective implementation of each initiative, directly serves the Born This Way Foundation's core mission of empowering youth," the statement read.

No doubt Lady Gaga will have more to say on the subject, but whether the expenses are worthy or not, the publicity is a reminder to delve a little deeper before opening your wallet to any charity. Online resources such as GuideStar and Charity Navigator provide easy access to information.

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larry wolford
March 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm

This gag has had it's roots in nominal religion , and tax breaks for the Rich. It has had it's hoard of suckers for several decades now. To really feel good about yourself,give of your time and effort , not your money. That is real charity. It way is too easy to give money. The Con men/ladies have known this from the beginning.

Haywood Jablowme
March 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Fap Fap Fap Fap Fap Fap Fap Fap Fap, Ahhhhhhh

March 20, 2014 at 4:20 pm

What the heck is wrong with you people who are running her down, she hasn't even explained ye, don't be so judgmental! Lady Gaga has and will continue to help millions of people, she is a good person. Yes she is a wonderful person!!

March 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

You guys are idiots! What have you done in your life to help others? Hippocrites!!!

March 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Not every charity is created to "donate" money. They have a mission and they use donated money to complete this mission.

Learn the freakin difference. Not every charity is created to donate money.

March 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I have never heard any of her music, and don't have any plans to. I only know what I see on TV...and who in their right mind would give this imbecile money for ANYTHING?

March 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I'm involved in 2 charities who struggle for donations just to survive. One story like this hurts a lot of honest charities.
You can always call the charity and ask what percent of donations actually go to the cause and how much are administrative. Check Red Cross.
Gaga's charity sounds like it nothing more than a way to shelter her $$$$ Did it mention what they have actually DONE for the cause?

March 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hey a girl has to make a living...So she is a bimbo, and a crook, Where did this person come from? I think she is just plain nuts.... Frankley I'm an old fashion guy, Whats with this Lady Gaga....you've got to be kidding me ...Does she have a real name?

March 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Cat ,,,Read again....shows a paltry $5,000 in donations and a staggering $1.85 million in expenses, including legal costs, travel, publicity and consulting fees.

She got 5,000 in donations and she spent $1.85 million in expenses....what this is saying.....she is cheating IRS....it is a fake charity to scam tax deductions.....

March 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

yea but she is hot and performs in her underwear so that makes up for any wrong doing LOL