Washington owner Dan Snyder once created a foundation to help Native Americans (or, if you’re a cynic, to deflect criticism of his refusal to change the name of his team).
Any work that foundation has done has apparently stopped.
According to records obtained by Tom Schad of USA Today, Snyder’s Original Americans Foundation distributed no money in grants or donations to Native American causes during the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 2019 — the latest data available.
Snyder created the foundation in 2014, saying it was time to focus on actions rather than words, and said the nonprofit organization would “provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities.”
In the first year, the foundation donated nearly $3.7 million to Native American causes. That dropped to $1.6 million the following year, then $650,000 and $303,000 in ensuing years before going dark last year.
That decline means that for the last two years, they’ve spent more money on their own staff than any Native American causes.
Ohio State accounting professor Brian Mittendorf, an expert in non-profit accounting, said those numbers suggest a foundation that’s “just kind of hovering out there.”
“They’ve shifted away from providing grants to charities that are engaged in these areas. They’ve, in fact, shifted to a level of zero,” Mittendor said. “I guess the big question you would say is: What is it they’re doing instead? And it’s largely paying salaries. How that translates to the charitable outcomes is unclear.”
A team spokesman replied to questions by saying they had directed more money to Native American causes than any other professional sports team since 2014. But according to those records, none of it has happened lately.