by Russell Wilson the charity, which operates as the Why Not You Foundation, is under intense financial scrutiny. According to a survey conducted by USA Today As nonprofits founded by Walter Payton Man of the Year winners, the Why Not You Foundation may not be making the most of its resources.
In 2020 and 2021, Wilson’s charity said it spent a total of $600,000 on charitable activities, according to federal tax records. That amounts to 24.3 cents of every dollar, and that pales in comparison to the $1.1 million the Why Not You Foundation has spent on employee salaries and benefits.
“Millions of dollars of funds raised by the Why Not You Foundation flow through our partners who can deliver that money more directly to where it’s needed,” Why Not You Foundation chief financial officer Scott Pickett wrote in a statement. at USA Today. “These funds were raised, in large part, through the work of the foundation, but you wouldn’t see all of those dollars in the foundation’s tax records.”
There are also concerns that the Why Not You Foundation pays out a disproportionate amount to top employees compared to the money it brings in and directs to charity. Most notably, three employees received a combined $1.9 million.
In 2021, Chief Strategy Officer Ryan Tarpley was paid $222,500 and Executive Director Carly Young was paid $176,000. Pickett was also paid $60,000 for working 15 hours a week.
Wilson’s attorney and sports agent Mark Rodgers, who negotiated their contracts, defended the deals and said all of those employees were paid based on the value they brought to the organization.
“I think they were paid appropriately based on their talent, their experience and the knowledge they brought to us,” Rodgers said.
The Why Not You Foundation was founded by Wilson and his wife, pop star Cierra, in 2014 with the aim of lifting people out of poverty through education. Among the goals stated on the foundation’s website, “The foundation supports student access to equal educational opportunity, child health, and food security initiatives. Its mission is to provide young people of today with the skills and opportunities to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
In 2022, after Wilson was traded to the Broncos, the Why Not You Foundation partnered with Amazon Fresh and Safeway, as well as several children’s hospitals and healthcare organizations in Colorado and Washington to raise funds. to support education and health initiatives in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest.
Throughout his career, Wilson has worked extensively with organizations like Seattle Children’s Hospital, earning him the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. outstanding questions about the Why Not You. Foundation finances.