I’m not going to interview Invisible Children, in part because I’m a little busy at the moment. But if I did, here’s the questions I’d ask.
Meanwhile, check out these visible women — an incredible Congolese radio collective of bravery, determination and mix tapes.
1. You took in more than $10 million last year. Of that, $3.3 million appears to be sales from IC merchandise. After all of your expenses — including nearly $90,000 in salaries each for your two co-founders and your CEO — and less your liabilities, you are still sitting on more $6.5 million, according to your IRS 990 form.
How exactly do you qualify as a “non-profit”?
(Follow up: How exactly do you sell that many T-shirts?)
2. I’m assuming that the $2.8 million listed on your 990 as being spent overseas is going to the 11,000 war-affected people you say you’re helping. I’m wondering why you’re sitting on nearly twice as much money and what you intend to do with it. (Follow up: How much of that went into your video?)
3. You tell the IRS that: “The organization has developed programs Stateside that focus on advocacy and spreading the message to ‘do more than just watch.’ These initiatives include a biannual film tour, cross-platform media campaigns, and grassroots events.”
How exactly is this more than watching?
4. In that little box on the 990 where you’re supposed to list all of your key employees as well as your five top paid employees and their hours, I see that you only have three names, of men who reportedly work 55 hours a week. Would you consider me for the other apparent two vacancies for jobs with reasonable leisure time? With more than $414,000 in employee expenses, I assume your benefits package is sensational. And I would add a marked note of gender diversity to your lineup, though sadly we’d all still be very white.
5. I have seen from your video that you are aware of maps. So we can’t blame bad geography for this:
Are you aware that the LRA is not currently in Uganda? If not, why not?