Clinton holds a torch for Points of Light

Since we tagged the Points of Light Foundation as a cozy trysting place for big Republican donors and Fortune 500 CEOs ("Points of Lite," Jan./Feb. 1992), Congress and the Clinton administration have continued to fund the private, nonprofit organization that supports approximately 450 volunteer agencies throughout the country. Points of Light spent $6.5 million of its $9.6 million total 1993 operating expenses on salaries, professional service fees, and travel and conferences, compared with just $1.1 million donated primarily to volunteer centers. In fact, the amounts expended on salaries and professional service fees each increased by $600,000 from 1992 to 1993, and travel and conferences jumped $450,000. On the other hand, total grant money rose by less than $100,000. Spokesperson Barbara Lohman attributes the increases to staff growth (some 65 people are on the payroll, not all based at the Washington, D.C., headquarters), the "costs of developing and printing training materials, and training people." The foundation is working hard, COO and Executive Vice President Robert Goodwin claims, to dispel the notion "that we are somehow a captive of the Bush presidency or the White House." Points of Light's 1994 budget is $11 million, roughly half of which is federally funded. It seems to us like a good place to cut budgetary fat. Bill, are you listening?