WTF?! Kanye’s Charity Spends $500k – And Zero on Charity

The rapper's shuttered Kanye West Foundation is coming under scrutiny for heavy spending - with no charity efforts.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud


Recent reports are indicating that rap icon Kanye West's charity has been playing fast and loose with their funds, ultimately donating nothing whatsoever to any actual charitable causes.

The Daily reports that the Kanye West Foundation spent over half a million dollars in 2010, the majority on salaries and various expenses. According to its tax return, West's foundation made precisely $0 in contributions, gifts and grants. 

The numbers just don't add up. Nonprofit watchdog group Charity Navigator suggests that 15% of a charity's finance should be dedicated administration or overhead, and no more. The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance recommends an wider percentage of their total expenses on charitable activities – a 65% commitment of resources. 

A total of $339,829 of the organizations expenses was spent on salaries, wages and benefits. Another $111,250 was chalked up to "professional fees," $56,920 on vague "other expenses," and $48,385 on "travel, conferences and meetings." In other words, there's nothing charitable whatsoever about this "charity". 

West's charity was shut down in 2011 after posting consecutive losses. This isn't the first time the Kanye West Foundation has come under scrutiny for shady practices, either. The charity spent $553,826 in 2009, according to tax records, but of that amount, just $583 went toward charitable endeavors.

"The IRS would be very interested in those expenses," said former IRS Exempt Organizations Division director Marc Owens. "Sounds like they had a kind of a sloppy back office."

Photo: Johnny Firecloud