Open Forum: Focus on the Family: Benefactor to Exodus Ex-Gays?
I have often expressed my personal opinion that Exodus relies upon Focus on the Family as its primary “benefactor.” Specifically, I contend that Focus spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on Love Won Out events, billboards, political ads, and press releases that prominently spotlight Exodus leaders making antigay political speeches and supporting other activists’ false claims about the origins of sexual orientation and the nature and likelihood of “change.”
I have reasoned that the fortune spent by Focus on the marketing of Exodus would, if it were publicly disclosed, amount to a very large percentage of Exodus’ own annual budget.
In 2005, Exodus claimed total revenue of $808,000, according to its IRS 990 form (via GuideStar) — not much money for an organization that was staffed by 11-20 people in spacious offices in Orlando, Florida. Exodus’ fundraising expense for 2005 is given as just $37,351 — $16,700 of that was spent on Exodus’ monthly Impact newsletter, and just $7,913 was spent on compensation, salaries and wages related to fundraising.
Exodus’ fundraising operation was weak, and its overall budget in 2005 was certainly not sufficient to employ an experienced lobbyist in the near future.
Yet in recent months, Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin notes, Exodus hired a lobbyist from Focus on the Family. Amanda Banks not only served Focus as a lobbyist, but her political consultancy continues to list Focus on the Family at the top of its list of clients and employers, even while she is formally employed by Exodus with unknown compensation.
So I repeat my contention: The financials at Exodus don’t quite add up. With little apparent fundraising, Exodus receives in the neighborhood of $800,000 per year. Exodus manages a staff and office space that could easily cost twice Exodus’ annual budget. The hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by Focus on the Family to market Exodus are withheld by Exodus from its public financial records.
I reiterate my open invitation to Exodus to become financially transparent — to inform the public of the amounts and sources of the marketing services and speaking fees, enjoyed by Exodus and its officers, employees, and consultants, that do not appear in Exodus’ public filings.
Meanwhile, I invite you, readers, to come forward with any documented information about direct and indirect Exodus revenues or expenses that, until now, have been hidden from public view.
They worry so much about homosexuality and yet they’re committing organizational incest.
I forgot to mention in my post that Focus on the Family employees have controlled the Exodus board chairmanship for nearly a decade.
First, John Paulk, and now, Mike Haley.
Quid pro quo, as I see it — Exodus gives Focus power in exchange for money and marketing.
And in return, Exodus gives Focus cover for their anti-gay agenda.
I also wonder how Exodus small staff deals with the alleged 400,000 calls they get annually from people inquiring about the group’s services.
According to Time Magazine, Exodus has 12 employees, including Chambers – which means that each staff member would have to field 33,333 calls per year. If you divide this call burden by a five-day workweek, each employee would have to take 128 calls per day. Of course, this does even count calls the staff would have to take from reporters, telemarketers and delivery people. We all know that Thomas and Chambers are not answering the phone (nor Banks). So, they are either fudging the facts, or use an expensive call center – which makes the group’s budget seem even more subsidized by Focus or another mystery Sugar Daddy.