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Report: Josh Beckett charity one of many giving less than expected

February 27, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Josh Beckett's foundation donated just 37 cents on the dollar, according to a report by the Boston Globe.
Josh Beckett's foundation donated just 37 cents on the dollar, according… (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty…)

Listen, would you know how to best run a nonprofit foundation? I wouldn’t have a clue. Ditto, it seems, with plenty of professional athletes.

Of course, if you were to run a serious charity, chances are you might investigate how to best direct it and maximize its giving potential.

Alas, an investigation by the Boston Globe into more than 150 Internal Revenue Service filings by 50 nonprofits operated by professional athletes showed that nearly half gave less than the accepted percentage of their income to the actual charities.

Nonprofit experts said that the minimum accepted giving percentage for charities is 65% to 75%.

Chief among the athletes falling considerably short of that in the Globe report was Dodgers right-handed pitcher Josh Beckett, whose foundation donated just 37 cents on the dollar.

The report said many athletes run expensive events like celebrity golf tournaments that have large overhead. Beckett’s charitable main event is his annual “Beckett’s Bowl.”

But Beckett looked like Robin Hood compared with the percentage of income that some athletes’ foundations gave away. Patriots receiver Deion Branch gave out just 28% and Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin only 17%.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s foundation, however, blew them all away, somehow handing out just 1% of proceeds to charity during its first year of operation in 2006. It then ceased submitting mandatory financial reports to the IRS and was stripped of its tax-exempt status.

There are some athletes that do exceptionally well: 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (91%), Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (87%), swimmer Michael Phelps (75%) and former quarterback Steve Young (75%).

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