The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, also known as the CBLDF, released its IRS form 990 to the public for the year 2016. It shows its financial record for 2016.
In 2016, the CBLDF generated $897,256.00 in revenue. That seems like a lot of money, but in 2015, the year prior, it generated $1,007,002.
Where did the CBLDF spend its money in 2016? It spent $296,069 in salaries. Charles Brownstein, the CBLDF’s Executive Director, the fund’s highest paid employee, was paid $124,994 in 2016. It doesn’t state on the IRS 990 what any other employee earned
The CBLDF spent $389,312 on program expenses. That’s the purpose of the organization. It’s the reason the organization is tax exempt. It does not pay taxes. Money donated to the CBLDF can be claimed as a deduction when filing taxes. Essentially, the CBLDF spent $389,312 defending the free speech of the comic book community. That’s 43.38 percent of total revenue. The means if you donated $100 to the CBLDF, $43.38 of your $100 went to defending the free speech of comic books.
In 2016, the CBLDF spent $156,750 on management and general expenses and it spent $246,356 on fundraising. Historically, the CBLDF spends a lot of money on fundraising. In years past, it often spent more money on fundraising than it spent on program expenses.
It will be interesting to see in future CBLDF tax documents if revenue decreases as revenue decreases in the comic book industry.