Last week I posted an alert about the American Tract Society, which received this low rating from Charity Navigator, the non-profit watchdog group. A very nice Pamela Friedman of the ATS disputes just about everything in my post. Maybe Pamela doesn’t know about her organization’s rating on CN, but she should make her argument to them, since this is the second alert we’ve gotten on ATS. In the meantime, my apologies to ATS president Dan Southern, whom I rebaptized as “Ron.” Here’s Pamela’s response:
You Can Do Well by Telling Your Readers the Facts
Important information regarding American Tract Society was inaccurately reported in Wick Allison’s blog published in FrontBurner on July 6th. Mr. Allison is correct in stating that ATS is located in Garland, was founded in 1825 in New York City, and is one of the nation’s oldest evangelical services. However, the remainder of the information is incorrect and without factual context. There is no one at ATS named Ron Southern, and Ron Southern is not the president of American Tract Society. If Mr. Allison is referring to Dan Southern, then once again Mr. Allison’s information is incorrect regarding the compensation ATS provides for its president. If Mr. Allison is referring to the $510,285 that is listed on line 25 of ATS Form 990 as reported to the U.S. government, this is not Dan Southern’s compensation. Rather as stated on Form 990 this amount represents “Compensation for Officers, Directors, etc.” and not any one individual’s compensation. In fact, 8 different individual’s compensation is represented in this number which on average would be less than $64,000 per person. Dan Southern’s name is not referenced with this line. Additionally, Mr. Allison’s math is incorrect where he references “out of every dollar donated,” because as reported on Form 990, the total of ATS’s donated funds for 2004 was not $2,241,923 as referenced in the blog, but rather $793,681.The remainder of revenues is derived from sales and miscellaneous income.
ATS does not have record of Mr. Allison’s request for its Form 990 which is available to the public by law, and is posted on ATS’s website at www.atstracts.org. In that someone else may have requested this information on his behalf, they have done Mr. Allison and his readers a disservice in presenting unconfirmed, inaccurate, and misleading information.
In light of this disservice, ATS would welcome Mr. Allison’s corrected statements with the factual numbers. Equally so, ATS wishes to be of service to Mr. Allison and his readers in any way possible including the sending of published tracts such as the popular titles of SuperMan, American Idol, and Breaking the DaVinci Code. In advance, ATS expresses its appreciation to Mr. Allison for this courtesy and consideration.