Transparency of Financial Information
M K Ramadoss
May 20, 2020
Bro. Barbara Hebert
Theosophical Society in America
Dear Bro. Hebert:
I would like to share some thoughts about transparency regarding TSA money matters.
When public money is involved, transparency helps the leaders and organizations. This was demonstrated by Annie Besant who had first hand experience of the need for meticulous transparency in monetary dealings.
It was this credibility that helped her to attract donors and during her presidency and she expanded Adyar Estate from 11 Acres to 256 Acres.
It was a single donor who funded Leadbeater Chambers. It was a single donor who funded Damodar Gardens. It was a single donor who funded Olcott Gardens where our President’s Residence – Olcott Bungalow stands. All donors knew about the personal financial integrity of Besant.
Organizations are pre-disposed to keep secret the compensation of top officials and significant spending. The founding fathers of United States knew the power of transparency and that is why the Government operates transparently at all levels. That is why we all know the salaries of all Government Officials, President Trump downwards.
Non Profit Tax exempt organizations used to keep their financial matters, especially compensation related secret. Published financial statements do not disclosed key compensation and expense information.
Since taxpayer money funds tax exempt organizations, US Congress wanted public oversight on their financial operations. To bring transparency, organizational documents and annual tax returns were put in the public domain. Pervasiveness of Internet made it easy for the public to access these documents. So key financial data is now transparently accessible by the public.
Today, public can access information such as – Foundation & Trust donations, compensation details of Officers (current and former), major expenses paid to independent contractors etc.
Bringing transparency to financial information of TSA cannot but help future fund raising. It would be a good idea to disclose some of the key info such as –
--- Salaries of Officers and highly paid employees. (Members can see for themselves how these office holders are sacrificing since they may be able to make lot more money outside)
--- Major significant expenses such as accounting fees
--- Major donations such as from Kern Trust and Cleveland Lodge
Other significant incoming money such as the PPP loan.
I am just sharing my thoughts in the hope that it would help TSA. I am sure members would welcome more transparency.
M K Ramadoss
TS Member – San Antonio
Digital Reporter – Theosophy News
Cc: Theosophy News