Archive for the ‘Disease charities’ Category

Give the people at Komen a piece of your mind . . .

February 2, 2012

as they seem to have lost their own.  Komen’s decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood at the behest of an anti-choice Board member reminds us how ready the right wing is to sacrifice women’s health for political gain.

There’s a petition to sign if you want to want to make your voice heard.  If you’ve been a Komen supporter and you now de-fund the organization, your voice will be heard even louder.

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The Nonprofiteer has been wondering what to write about . . .

February 1, 2012

but she’d really have preferred not to have this as an inspiration.  There is no excuse for the decision of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, until now a respected source of information and funding in the fight against breast cancer, to defund Planned Parenthood‘s program of providing breast exams to poor women.

In fact, the decision doesn’t even make sense–unless you consider that a recent addition to the Board of Komen is an anti-choice ex-politician from Georgia.  As another commentator has wisely noted, Planned Parenthood will survive this latest injury–the Nonprofiteer’s determination to support the agency has just been redoubled, and probably her gift will be, too–but Komen may not.

Please join the Nonprofiteer in notifying Komen of your distress at its decision to let irrelevant politics endanger the lives and health of poor women, and of your decision to redirect to Planned Parenthood any support you may have been giving to Komen.

Beyond “Will not!” “Will so!”

October 27, 2011

Kudos to the Nonprofiteer’s nonprofit consulting colleagues Campbell and Co. for sponsoring a study by the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy to determine the impact on giving of increased marginal tax rates and a cap the charitable-giving deduction.  While some of us have been arguing that both of these moves toward social justice should be supported by the nonprofit community, and others have been arguing that the world will come to an end if every penny of tax savings isn’t afforded to the generous rich, these institutions decided to look for the facts.

The facts–as elegantly stated in a Congressional Research Service study that came to the same conclusion–are these:

The estimated effects of the cap and other elements of the budget package depend on whether the proposals are compared with the current tax rates of 33% and 35% or the rates scheduled for 2011, 36% and 39.6%. Compared with current rules, estimated effects are between one-half a percent and 1% decline in charitable giving . . . . When compared with tax rate provisions in 2011, charitable deductions are estimated to fall by about 1.5% if only the cap is considered, but if income effects from the entire budget package are included contributions actually rise 2.5%.  The relatively modest effects of the proposal arise because (1) the effect of caps on the subsidy value is limited, (2) only a fraction (about 16%) of charitable giving is affected, and (3) because evidence suggests that behavioral responses to changes in subsidies are relatively small.

(Emphasis the Nonprofiteer’s.)  To paraphrase: the tax subsidy isn’t much reduced; that small reduction doesn’t affect 84% of charitable giving; and, in fact, charitable giving isn’t all that tied to tax benefit.

So whether we take the IUPUI findings that charitable giving is likely to decline modestly if these tax reforms are enacted, or the CRS findings that it might actually go up, we should realize that everyone who’s hyperventilating about the impact of these changes on their poor struggling private school, museum or hospital should just take a deep breath.   Given that the reforms will support many of the social programs, environmental protections, educational institutions and health care options the nonprofits themselves seek to provide, it’s about time for the community to stop whining and agree to pony up.

On Wisconsin! Part II*

August 9, 2011

Boy, this guy is the gift that just keeps on giving:  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, not content to interfere with the provision of public services by destroying public-sector unions, has now decided to refuse to sign off on nonprofit grant applications to the Federal government that might “lead to ongoing programs that would need money from state taxpayers later.”   The first wave of grant applications deprived of the state’s endorsement would have supported health services, including programs to reduce binge drinking, an unhealthy activity in which Wisconsin leads the nation.

The hard Right has long argued that government services were unnecessary because nonprofits could step into the breach.  This claim was always nonsense; but at least its exponents didn’t also take on themselves the task of interfering with the charities’ overwhelmed attempts to do so.  Wisconsinites will pay the same Federal taxes whether or not the state receives Federal grants to support its nonprofit sector.  So clearly the point is not to shelter the state’s citizens from confiscatory taxes but to punish people who need help.   Governor Walker’s ideology apparently requires not just that people in need of assistance seek private charity but that private charity be deprived of the means of assisting them.

And let’s be clear about the legal antecedents of what’s going on here.  Groups of citizens of a single state are being deprived of access to something available to all other citizens of the United States—just as groups of citizens of the states of the Old Confederacy were once deprived of the vote.   Then, “states’ rights” was a buzz-phrase meaning “the opportunity to mistreat black people without interference from those durned Feds.”   Now, in Governor Walker’s view, the phrase is even more expansive, meaning “the opportunity to mistreat unhealthy and/or poor  people of every color to make the point that those durned Feds have no right to interfere.”   Anyone who’s enthusiastic about the states’ rights claims in the governors’ lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act should check out Wisconsin for a foretaste of what states’ rights really mean to the rights of states’ citizens.

The good news is, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 made clear that states’ rights are trumped by citizens’ right to vote.  Thus—and despite many recent efforts to enact barriers to that right-there’s a reasonable chance that Governor Walker will lose his legislative majority in the next few weeks, whereupon the appropriate state-federal balance can be restored.

Or, should I say, the Constitution can be restored.

——————

On Wisconsin! Part I appears here.

An appraising stare down the gift horse’s gullet

August 31, 2010

Jane Mayer’s excellent piece in this past week’s New Yorker about the brothers Koch, oil billionaires who’ve donated hundreds of millions to nonprofits promoting right-wing causes, finally clarified for the Nonprofiteer her unease at Bill Gates’s campaign to persuade billionaires to donate half their estates to charity.  It’s not a question of who has or hasn’t taken the pledge, though that’s an entertaining parlor game.  Nor is it the fact that the generosity of extremely wealthy people may not be what the rest of us have in mind when we hear the word “charity.”  (The Kochs’ “charity,” for instance, is a term of art encompassing donations to all kinds of institutions, predominantly think-tanks churning out rationales for the economic interests of wealthy people and front groups to make it appear that defending those economic interests is the political will of the non-wealthy majority.)

What’s troubling about the billionaires’ pledge remains so even when the receiving causes are unexceptionable.  Gates, for instance, has very generously underwritten substantial efforts by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  Good for him, and for the world.

But.

Even the best-intentioned best-directed private donations are a way for moneyed people to work their will on the public, while the rest of us have nothing but the vote.  And when the level of contributions is discussed in fractions of $1B, it’s no longer charity within a democracy: it’s benevolent dictatorship.

Maybe our country should be giving less to treat AIDS et al and more to eradicate infant and maternal mortality through the UN Population Fund; maybe not.  That’s a decision to be made by the people of the United States, through our government.  It’s really not a decision for a single person.

Why not?  Well, for starters, the “single person” in question is a billionaire, and thus always a man.  That means almost by definition that the highest levels of charitable giving will overlook women, though we constitute more than a majority of the population.  And if that’s the case—if society’s needs are met by individual whim instead of collective decisions about the greatest good for the greatest number—then what, actually, is left of self-government?

Of course, billionaires have plenty of assistance in the task of allowing economic power to trump political will.  The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, holding that corporations are “persons” with First Amendment rights violated by limits on their campaign spending, already put the nation quite a way down that road.  But somehow it’s worse when something that sounds so benign—“half my estate to charity, because I’ve been so fortunate”—actually translates as “I set the agenda for the future of this country, because I’ve been so fortunate.”

What we really want from billionaires is for them to pay a lot more in income taxes: say, the 87% of taxable income paid in 1954,  or even the 70% paid at the start of the 1980s.  And then we as a group can decide where our group’s money goes.  All contribute, all decide.

And what we really want from billionaires’ heirs is for them to pay the 77% estate tax rate in effect in 1941, or even the 70% estate tax rate in effect in 1976.   (And let’s not hear any nonsense about “death taxes.”  The dead aren’t the ones paying.)  Why shouldn’t people who get money by inheritance have to pay taxes on it, just like people who get it by working?

Merely to ask that question is to answer it: no democratic society decides that people who don’t work should be privileged over those who do.  Societies like that are called “aristocracies,” and all those so-called Constitutional Originalists running around hijacking elections by screaming about excessive taxation should take a moment to remember that our Constitution was designed precisely to interfere with the establishment of a government by inheritance.

The Constitution prohibits not once but twice the granting of any title of nobility; but the Framers didn’t rest there.  They fought to cripple and ultimately abolish entail and primogeniture, the primary devices by which English law kept family fortunes together.  Why?  Because they realized that, if you’re founding a republic, it’s really not a good idea to let money keep piling up generation after generation in the same few pairs of hands.

Self-governing societies can’t operate on noblesse oblige, and societies that do aren’t truly self-governing.  As Dr. Franklin said, “A republic—if you can keep it.”

Are you a tax-exempt charity? Sure about that?

August 18, 2010

While it’s not yet true that “Illinois Does A Few Adult Films To Make Ends Meet”, the state has begun to cast lascivious glances at its nonprofits.  Those property-tax exemptions look mighty comfortable.  Why don’t you push that  cushion over to my side of the bed? And with most interactions taking place behind closed doors, don’t expect a warning before the moment of truth arrives—or to be kissed while you’re getting screwed.

Unlike other localities re-evaluating nonprofit tax exemptions, Illinois has bypassed the legislative process, allowing county assessors and the Department of Revenue to take the initiative.  And this spring the Illinois Supreme Court decided that the state’s constitutional provision exempting charities from property taxes applied not to all nonprofits but only to genuine charities.

When the Court ruled that Provena Covenant Hospital didn’t merit a property tax exemption because it failed to provide adequate charity care, there was a brief frenzy of press speculation about the decision’s impact on hospitals—but hospitals only.  Rarely do the media connect the dots between the budget crises of state and local governments and their relationships with nonprofits, and then generally the focus is on the governments’ failure to pay nonprofits for contracts they’ve already performed.

But revocation of property tax exemptions poses an even bigger and longer-term threat than governments’ failure to pay.  And it’s a threat of which few nonprofit executives—let alone members of the public—are aware.

Two cases of denied exemption, one in nearly-bankrupt Chicago and the other in one of its suburban counties, are now working their way through the Illinois courts.  Each concerns a luxury retirement community, and either could break new ground by clarifying what qualifies as “charity” and how much of it a nonprofit has to provide.

The state legislature hasn’t specified a percentage of charitable services required to support continued property-tax exemption.  And though the Provena court ruled that the hospital’s practice of charging fees for nearly all patient care meant it could not be considered a charity, it too stopped short of prescribing when enough charity will be enough.

“The property-tax assessors out there are going to be aggressive, because they need you back on their rolls,” said Elaine Waterhouse Wilson, a partner at the Quarles & Brady law firm. “They’re going to make you come in and prove” charitable work.  Ms. Wilson said the charities that may be at risk “include organizations that are supported primarily by fees . . . . It was very clear [under the ruling] that you had to be giving things away rather than providing general charitable benefits,” she said.

It’s not a tragedy that people are asking whether Illinois nonprofits are worthy of favored tax treatment.  What would be a tragedy is if the challenge came as a complete shock, catching agencies unaware with the sudden need to prove their charitable nature.  Yet that’s what seems likely to happen.

Executives at several Chicago-area nonprofits seemed incredulous at the idea that Provena would be applied to them.  “We provide human services and all our activities are nonprofit,” said Karen  Singer, Executive Director of the Evanston/North Shore YWCA.  “So it’s not on my radar screen at the moment.  It probably should be, but there are only so many things I can think about.”  William Ratner, Executive Director of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, and Alvin Katz of Mayer Brown LLP, the attorney for Victory Gardens Theater and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, both expressed confidence that the organizations they represent are secure in their exemptions.  “They’ll keep going after the hospitals because it’s easy, and because that’s where the money is,” Mr. Ratner said.

But there’s also money in, or rather under, many other nonprofits.  The Chicago retirement development sits on prime Gold Coast real estate.  Can YMCAs in gentrifying neighborhoods withstand challenges to their exemptions when they look and feel—and charge—so much like for-profit health clubs?  Can settlement houses be considered charities if they get paid, by government or clients, for all the services they provide?  Can arts organizations be considered “charitable” just by offering art, or do they have to give out a certain number of free admissions?  (Churches and schools are immune from this calculus because the Illinois constitution separately exempts them; but the educational programs of arts groups aren’t considered “schools.”)

Perhaps the charities will organize and persuade the Illinois legislature to clarify the amount of “charity” necessary to retain tax exemption.  But Professor Phillip Hablutzel of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, co-author of the Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation Act, doubts it.  Though he predicted Illinois nonprofits other than hospitals will soon find themselves battling efforts to withdraw their exemptions, “In the twenty years I’ve been involved, there hasn’t been a coherent front among charities in facing the legislature.  It’s hard to get these people to make common cause–the museum people don’t see what they have in common with the churches.”  Nor, apparently, do many human services agencies or arts groups see what they have in common with the hospitals.

If and when a Provena-style loss of exemption hits another nonprofit, the impact on its operation will be substantial.  “In the current economy,” said Professor Hablutzel, “it would be hard to do fundraising for another one-third of your budget so the taxes could be paid.”

Maybe there’s something to be said for making adult films after all.

Dear Nonprofiteer, If an Executive Director puts her hand in the cookie jar and it doesn’t break, does it make a sound?

May 21, 2010

Dear Nonprofiteer,

The quick and dirty is this: a local AIDS charity has an ED who facilitates a hostile environment. She fires people and then back-fills their employee record with negative things. She makes her assistant accompany her on personal errands, such as to the fertility specialist. The entire executive team has turned over in less than two years, many of us leaving with no job lined up or taking a pay cut of $20-30,000 per year. She gives “presents” to herself and her favorite staff, mall gift cards, in excess of $500. She takes herself and co-workers out for dinner at a $100/head steak house because “we are working so we deserve it.”

In winter 2009, the Board conducted an investigation, wherein one Board member was in collusion with the ED and told her all of the items that were being investigated and in essence helped her to side-step the issues. The majority of the Board resigned, so as not to be tied up with her, with the expectation that her contract would be terminated in Feb 2010. However, the new Board president, her buddy who helped her through the investigation, has asked her to write up her own contract extension. The only reason we haven’t gone to the IRS is because the clients will pay the price.

The federal grant monies are allocated and spent correctly. She seems, however, to use the private donor funds much like they are her personal discretionary spending. The Board took away her use of the company credit card a year ago. One more issue is the fact that she has been promoted within the ranks to the ED position, and has had a personal bankruptcy that is not disclosed to anyone on the Board; she told me because I was the CFO (quit for ethical reasons) and the company was denied for a corporate credit line because of her personal credit history.

Her statement when she took the reins in Feb 2008 puts it best: “I am the CEO of my own company.” Unfortunately, it is my belief that she has fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and donors, a responsibility of which she seems oblivious.

Signed, Escaped From Alligators But Still Up to My Ass in Concerns

Dear Escaped:

The only exception to the rule that employees shouldn’t talk to the Board is when there’s evidence of mis-, mal- or nonfeasance on the part of the Executive Director. What you’ve described seems to include all three: interfering with personnel records, helping herself to unaccounted-for petty (and maybe more than petty) cash, and collusion with one Board member to evade the legitimate concerns of the rest. So even if you were still an employee, the Nonprofiteer would recommend that you draft a fact-intensive letter and send it to every member of the Board of Directors, outlining what you know to be true about the Executive Director’s mismanagement and suggesting that it may endanger the agency’s nonprofit status under state or Federal law.

Make sure the letter contains ONLY what you KNOW to be true; talking about other people’s misbehavior is defamatory if it’s false. Err on the side of leaving out anything you heard from someone else and didn’t witness yourself. Also err on the side of maintaining confidentiality from your days as CFO, which is to say, don’t announce the Executive Director’s personal bankruptcy. If you think it necessary, merely report on the agency’s inability to secure credit and suggest that the Board look into the source of this difficulty.

There’s no question that a nonprofit’s Executive Director–just like its Board members–owes a duty to the agency that precludes her using it as her personal piggy-bank, or even her personal source of doing good. People who find nonprofit governance restrictions too confining are welcome to take their chances in the for-profit marketplace; they’re not permitted to transfer the perks of sole proprietorship to the nonprofit arena.

As for “being the CEO of my own company,” that’s all very well; but any for-profit company with stockholders has a Board of Directors authorized–indeed, required–to keep the CEO under control. It may authorize expense accounts (even $100 steak dinners) but it’s also obliged to keep track of where the money is coming from and where it’s going.

For these purposes, there’s absolutely no difference between Federal funding and funding from private donors–it’s all accepted in trust (as it were) for the agency. Presumably some of that private-donor funding comes from members of the Board, and in your letter advising the Board of the Executive Director’s wicked wicked ways you may want to emphasize that. “I know your own generosity goes a long way toward supporting this agency, so you wouldn’t want to have your money wasted or spent on items that don’t benefit our clients.” You probably also want to emphasize that the agency’s reputation is being jeopardized by the behavior you describe, because eventually murder [i.e. financial shenanigans] will out.

Once you’ve done that, you’ve done all you can. (You’d actually done all you could by quitting, but this is the one extra mile you can go without becoming an officious intermeddler.) The IRS has bigger fish to fry, though your state’s Secretary of State or Attorney General may not. But as you’ve noted, the important thing is to restore the agency to its duties to clients, and that’s better accomplished by sounding a clarion call to the Board than by ratting the group out to the cops.

Dear Nonprofiteer, How do we keep it all in the family?

November 5, 2009
Dear Nonprofiteer,

My wife and I started a small non-profit 3 years ago which has grown to have a budget of almost $200,000 per year.  When we started the organization she was made the Executive Director and the Chairman of the board and I was also a board member. She receives compensation in her full-time role as Executive Director and I volunteer my time (which is plenty). In addition to us, there are currently 3 other board members (Searching for 2 more).

This non-profit initially started as a for-profit enterprise to help women that struggle with addiction by providing transitional living services, case management, mentoring and so much more.  However, we quickly realized that if we were going to move into the treatment circles that these women belong to as well as be eligible for donations from individuals and companies, we would need to put aside our profit motivation and convert to a non-profit. After about a year of hard work we were able to make the transition.

However, it has been hard to find a number of good board members. The 3 that we have now (besides my wife and I) are great people and do sacrifice a number of hours each month for the ministry. However, I do not have any one board member that is willing to really spend a number of hours each week on the ministry.  Of course, one of the struggles we have is finding people that have a passion about recovery that do not have a lot of junk from their own past. Usually those that care the most about recovery, are in fact recovering addicts themselves.

SO…all this to say that we struggle with developing a strong board and then struggle with the idea of losing control of the Board and the organization that we have spent so much time developing.

My question is that with a recent grant award by a HUD funded city using CDBG funds, the fact of my wife being an Executive Director and a member of the board is being questioned as a conflict of interest.  Of course, if my wife resigns from the board due to conflict of interest, I will need to do so as well. In fact, we have been thinking about bringing me on board as a part time
COO of the organization to pick up the pieces where my wife is weak.  If I were to take on a day of work each week, I could handle policy development, accounting issues, maintenance and technology.

Do you have any links to official federal documentation that allows this type of scenario?

Signed,

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Dear Two Heads,

The Nonprofiteer can’t provide links to “official Federal documentation” approving your situation because there aren’t any such.  The Feds are right: if you and your wife sit on the Board that sets your wife’s salary, you are officially engaged in conflict of interest.  Especially with a tiny Board like yours (where the two of you constitute 40% of the voting power), the situation you’ve described holds far too much potential for abuse.

It appears that you still have the mindset with which you started this group as a for-profit: that you can reward yourselves for the work you do in any way that seems appropriate to you.  But as you’ve perceived, nonprofits belong not to their founders and not to their staffs but to their Boards, and those Boards are charged with making sure that, for instance, people aren’t allowed to determine their own rewards for the work they do.

(Best practice is not to put a couple on a Board of Directors together, let alone putting a couple on the Board where one [and potentially two] of them has a personal financial interest in the results of Board decisions.)

In short: you can run a family business and do as you please, or you can run a nonprofit and abide by its rules, which include Board oversight of staff appointments and salaries.  And if you’re running a nonprofit, the Executive Director should serve on the Board only ex officio (that is, as a non-voting member)–and her husband shouldn’t serve on the Board at all.

No doubt the work you’re doing is valuable and important and even in the public interest, but earning nonprofit status requires more than that.  You have to be willing to “los[e] control of . . . this organization that we have spent so much time developing.”  That’s the price for gaining access to tax-deductible donations.

You might investigate the new legal structures (currently being adopted or under consideration in many states) which permit a certain degree of profit while offering certain nonprofit-style benefits.  The Nonprofiteer knows little about these L3Cs (Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies), except that they’re designed to legitimize the profit motive in a public-interest context; but she’s sure that even in one of those, you won’t be allowed to dominate the staff and Board as you have heretofore.

Sit down and think about what you really want.  If this is your baby, organize it so it can stay that way–even if that means reversing your conversion to nonprofit status.  Gaining access to foundation grants is not reason enough to surrender control of something you love.

Hospitals get more in tax breaks than they give in charity care

April 17, 2009

according to Crain’s.

The Nonprofiteer is always eager to trash the big corporate nonprofits, the hospitals and universities, while racing to the defense of the scrappy little social service, arts, environmental and advocacy groups.  But she wonders what this same analysis would produce if the smaller agencies were under the microscope.  Though probably social service agencies give away most of their services (if only through being desperately underpaid for providing them), surely most arts organizations get more in tax breaks than they give away in tickets.  And groups whose focus is policy or advocacy are not in the business of doing services, much less giving them away.

Anyone in the health care industry is a tempting target these days, and for good reason: we have a system that enriches very few at the expense of many.  And at least the best-known and most selective of American private universities seem content to sit on a lot of capital while asking teenagers and their families to fork over huge amounts more.

But let’s make sure we’re measuring nonprofits by what society and the tax code actually expect them to do, which is to contribute to the public interest by advancing knowledge and producing beauty as well as by offering services.  Research hospitals produce cures for diseases; we get our money’s worth from the tax breaks they receive even if they never give out a dime of care.

Providing patients with the health-care they need is a social responsibility.  Hospitals surely have a special role in making sure this is done, but it’s not their responsibility exclusively and their social worth (meaning, the tax freedom they deserve) shouldn’t be measured exclusively on that dimension.

Dear Nonprofiteer, Isn’t Oprah omnipotent?

March 13, 2009

Dear Nonprofiteer,

I’m wondering if you saw the Chicago Tribune story last week about the billboards erected by the organization SmileTrain to “solicit” Oprah Winfrey and what your reaction is. Since I am writing, it’s clear that I think there is a problem here. It’s clearly a clever campaign in that, although it failed to win a donation from Oprah, it has attracted the attention of passers-by and of the media. But at the same time, isn’t it bad fundraising practice and bordering on unethical?

Signed, Taken Aback

Dear Taken,

I’m not sure I see an ethical problem, exactly: if a billboard were addressed to a regular person (“Hey, Kelly Kleiman you stingy bitch, why don’t you give more money to SmileTrain?”), that might be an invasion of privacy; but Oprah is pretty much a public figure, and there’s no particular reason she shouldn’t be importuned by billboards as well as discussed in the tabloids.

What’s wrong with the approach is that it suggests a single wealthy individual is responsible for satisfying the fundraising needs of this agency.  If fundraising consultants in Chicago had a nickel for every time a client said, “Why don’t we ask Oprah?” they’d be able to support all their favorite charities forever.  But of course Oprah–and Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, and Michael Jordan, and Robert Redford, and every other celebrity–has charitable priorities of her own, and any agency that doesn’t happen to fit into them is not going to attract the celebrity’s support simply by virtue of waving a big flag.

Fundraising takes place in concentric circles: your biggest supporters are the people who are closest to you, your Board of Directors and others directly touched by the services you provide.  If someone on the SmileTrain Board of Directors knew Oprah personally and could ask for her support, that’s different; but to pick her name out of the newspaper, just because it’s in the newspaper, as someone who should support the group is just pure laziness masquerading as fundraising planning.

And yes, there may be an argument to be made that laziness in fundraising planning is tantamount to an ethical violation; but do we really need to go there?  The point is: SmileTrain should solicit support based on its mission from people with whom it has or can create some connection.  Buying a billboard to announce that it has no connection with a celebrity, but still feels entitled to her assistance, just makes the agency look desperate.

I’d be interested in hearing you articulate the ethical concerns to which you refer, and in hearing SmileTrain articulate its rationale for the billboard.  Of course, if the first rule of public relations is, “Say what you like about me as long as you spell my name right,” then the agency has already accomplished its purpose, and its rationale–to get its name mentioned–is clear.