Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Finally today - Re: Amy Sterling Casil

Amy Sterling Casil
Amy Sterling Casil
Amy Sterling Casil is one of those self-promoting poseurs that drive me nuts. She is much better at getting ink than I am having been quoted in several media outlets regarding SPLC's offshore investments:
“I’ve never known a U.S.-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,” said Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California based nonprofit consulting firm.
That firm consists of Amy Sterling Casil. She lists a senior citizen and an SEO consultant as employees. SEO consultant? I am pretty certain that they are just window dressing. According to her profile on the site:
Ms. Casil has a master’s degree from Chapman University in Orange, CA, and bachelor’s degrees in art and literature from Scripps College in Claremont, CA. She is a former non-profit executive and a professional writer who has published 25 books, including fiction and non-fiction, along with hundreds of articles and short stories. She’s also served on a number of boards of directors as both member and officer and has been involved with public and private partnerships, economic, and housing development efforts for a number of years.
That master's degree is an MFA which she edited out. She hasn't worked for a non-profit in six years. She claims on LinkedIn to have worked for a small nonprofit that currently has a net asset value of about $6 thousand and employs 27 people. Casil is also adjunct faculty at a community college. She does have a page at Amazon and has designed jigsaw puzzles as well. I cannot write science fiction and I sure as hell cannot design jigsaw puzzles. Nor would I be much of a college professor. I will get back to those board memberships shortly.

So I wrote to Ms. Casil, expressing my frustration with her declaration, pointing out that many nonprofits including Christian service organizations have offshore investments. I also pointed out that there is no evidence whatsoever that SPLC has foreign bank accounts (in point of fact they do not).

The reply
I am a former Kellogg United Way board member trainer and was a board member of a number of legitimate nonprofit organizations. I founded my career on ethics, not sophistry.

Maybe you should go back to "reading school" since your examples do not apply to the "Southern Poverty Law Center" or what I said.
I thought that my comments were right on target. Prestigious nonprofits have offshore investments. Furthermore, I maintain a copy of the IRS Business Master File (the text wild card in MySQL is a percentage sign. "David%Hart" will return David Hart, David Cary Hart, David C. Hart, etc.:

MariaDB [BMF]> select * from biz where name like '%kellogg%united way%'; Empty set (2.69 sec)

MariaDB [BMF]> select * from biz where name like '%united way%kellogg%'; Empty set (2.74 sec)

MariaDB [BMF]> select * from biz where name like '%united way%' and city="kellogg"; Empty set (2.67 sec)

Neither her website nor linked-in profile list any of her board memberships. Were I aiming at consulting to nonprofits I would probably highlight those. On her Amazon page she once authored a book on why banks fail. What on earth does this woman know about the financial sector? There is one review and it is not kind. As I said, Ms. Casil is a poseur.

One more thing caught my eye in her original quote. A reference to “civil rights or social services.” Nonprofits are not classified as such. There is a very precise taxonomy called the NTEE code. The NTEE is even in the IRS master file. As long as she mentioned it, United Way is T700 where “T” is “Public, Societal Benefit.” So I did a search on “T” organizations sorted by assets descending. National Philanthropic Trust stood out and it has (taxable) unrelated business income and foreign investment accounts per part V of the 990. Furthermore, in addition to those marked as international they have nearly $200 million invested in hedge funds. Most, of those are based in the Cayman Islands.

As I searched through larger organizations what I discovered is that almost every nonprofit with a decent-sized endowment has offshore investments. Universities like USC and Harvard have a boatload. Some are detailed and some require a 990-T to get the detail. Knights of Columbus is a hedge fund investor. The Catholic Church? Probably. Who knows?

I cannot write science fiction or design jigsaw puzzles and I would be a crappy college instructor. However, in the for-profit world as a COO I have been responsible for as many as 500 employees. As a nonprofit CEO, 200. If someone attacks SPLC I take it personally. Aside from relationships with some very fine people, SPLC is one of the LGBT community's strongest allies. They do more good for us than HRC (in my humble opinion).

My second email to Ms. Casil has gone unanswered. I was my usual charming self -;)

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