Michael Pinson, Founder of Pinson Foundation Details Philanthropic Involvement - Financial & Business Update

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Michael Pinson speaks out to help others in Need.

Pinson Foundation Medical Team in Haiti, Eight days after the January 2010 Earthquake

Pinson Foundation Medical Team in Haiti, Eight days after the January 2010 Earthquake

“It does not matter who you are or how much money you earn, a person has not reached the full circle of personal success unless they are giving back time and money to the local community to help others in need.” , J. Michael Pinson, Founder

Michael Pinson, founder and chairman of The Pinson Foundation, a small non-profit organization and president/founder of Pinson Communications, Inc., a private for-profit company, has clarified questions raised recently about the Foundation’s mission and his priorities for Foundation activities.

“From the time we established the Foundation in 2006, we sought to achieve three goals for charitable projects: increase community awareness, attract new volunteers and help raise monies through our business relationships and hosting fundraising events,” says Pinson. “We are proud of what we have accomplished and invite those interested to review the supporting documents on the Foundation’s web site, http://www.PinsonFoundation.org.

“People donate to causes they are familiar with,” Pinson adds. “It has been our pleasure to invite hundreds of local community leaders to my home and other venues to encourage them to learn more about a number of charitable organizations, increasing awareness and, hopefully, reaching all three goals for these worthy causes.

“It has come to the Foundation’s attention that an individual on the Internet has claimed to be a donor to the Foundation while making unfounded claims about our organization.

Foundation records show that this individual signed up to volunteer to help with one charity event more than two and one-half years ago. He received two $35 complementary tickets and attended the 2009 Pinson Foundation Mardi Gras Charity event that community leaders, elected officials and members of the board of trustees of The Spring of Tampa Bay attended. The Foundation has no record of him volunteering or making a financial contribution to our Foundation.”

Following are details about activities conducted by Pinson and the Foundation. Each of these facts is readily verified by financial documents the Pinson Foundation and/or Pinson Communications, Inc. have in their possession.”

Events for The Spring of Tampa Bay, 2006-2009: “Come for the Charity, Stay for the Party.” Primarily to generate community awareness, increase volunteers for the shelter and support fundraising, these events, with the active involvement of The Spring, resulted in net donations of $16,200 to the organization. By setting a low ticket price of $35, events attracted as many as 150 guests per event to Pinson’s home and introduced many new people to The Spring.

Haiti Medical Team and Emergency Relief: The first private donation of $5,000 was made Pinson Communications to the Foundation to help sponsor an 11-person emergency medical team that provided medical and surgical services to Haiti earthquake victims in January 2010. The Foundation directly paid for transportation, base camp operations, security, food, medical and other supplies and hired workers in Haiti. The Foundation also made cash donations and provided support to several orphanages, missionaries and tent city operations on the island. In March 2010, The Foundation also supported a Tampa-based missionary group to help ship more than 20,000 pounds of food and medical supplies to a school, orphanage, clinic and homeless project in Haiti. In May 2010, The Pinson Foundation Team invested donations to return to Haiti as they hired Haitian workers and provided transportation and volunteers to re-distribute medicine, food and supplies to missionaries and clinics. An estimated of $300,000 in medical supplies had been provided by other international relief organizations for the Foundation to receive for redistribution to support their operations in Haiti.

The Foundation has also provided financial support and promoted events conducted by other local organizations in support of their awareness and fundraising activities, including American Cancer Society, Plant High School Athletic Foundation, America’s Second Harvest Food Bank, Make a Wish Foundation, Suncoast Hospice/AIDS Walk St. Petersburg and Relay for Life Cancer Research Event.

The business records of Pinson Communications show that in cases such as the 13 Ugly Men White Party, Cattleman’s Ball and many other charity events, Pinson Communications, not the Pinson Foundation, directly paid for the tickets and directly made these donations. Absolutely, no Pinson Foundation funds were used to pay for these events. The Internet blogger also mislead the public by failing to mention that the Cattlemen's Ball and 13 Ugly Men White Party are charitable events to help support local causes.

A reporter used an internet blogger who mislead the public about the Foundation's support for Julie' Weintraub's Dancing with the Star's "Annual Charity Event'. "In 2009, after the bank and economic crash, Julie asked for our help to raise funds to help our local community charitable projects. When she was short event funds it was our pleasure to help out. We donated $2,500 towards her cause, received several tickets to attend with name recognition. These are all standard practices in the non-profit world. We are proud to have supported Ms. Weintraub's charity project to help those in need", said Michael Pinson.

From 2006 through 2010, the Pinson Foundation has donated $31,355 for charitable use, with an additional $16,108 in charitable cash reserves for the year ending 12/31/2010. This totals $47,463 of Foundation funds, after all fundraising events hosted by the Foundation, which were allocated for charitable projects. Excluding funds and in-kind services donated to the Pinson Foundation, Pinson Communications has separately provided $23,867 in cash to other charitable causes such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Moffitt Cancer Center and other such organizations. Thus, since 2006, the combined charitable efforts on the part of Pinson Communications, Inc. and Pinson Foundation totals $71,331 that has been directly allocated to help those in need.

Pinson notes that The Pinson Foundation is an entirely volunteer-driven organization, supported primarily through staff time and rent donated by Pinson Communications. Given this voluntary structure, expenses for events are primarily food, beverages, and other direct event costs for the events held at Pinson’s home.

“Our most recent Florida filings for the Pinson Foundation (2010, available on the web site of the Florida Division of Consumer Services), indicate that the Pinson Foundation spent only 19 percent of donations on administrative expenses, a percentage that would be even lower if we had charged more for tickets. Thus, 81 percent of our 2010 funds were used for charitable projects (program services expense),” says Pinson. Such operational performance for a non-profit is considered "AAA" by third party rating services.

“The Foundation officers and I care deeply about our ability to continue to support local charitable organizations and I want to discuss questions about our college grant initiative, my military service and the Foundation’s state registration,” he adds. “Such questions should never impede the Foundation’s ability to conduct good works, so I want to clarify them.”

College Fund Grants: In 2009, the Foundation had planned to host a fundraiser to help provide college grant monies to single working parents and disadvantaged students. However, due to the weak economy, the event and planned program were canceled. “We really wanted to reach this goal, but we just could not accomplish this goal in such a weak economy,” says Pinson. The Foundation looks forward to accomplishing this goal at a later date.

Florida Registration for the Foundation: The Foundation has been registered with the Florida Division of Corporations as a non-profit organization since 2006. In June 2011, Pinson learned that the Foundation was not properly registered with the State of Florida’s Division of Consumer Services. The Foundation subsequently registered with this second Florida department with no fines or penalties imposed. The Foundation is registered and fully compliant as a 501(c)3 with the IRS and State of Florida.

Military Service: Pinson realized his biography was poorly written on the web site of Pinson Communications, Inc. and subsequently revised it. The correct description of his involvement was that he was a U.S. Army Military Police Officer in the Gulf War. After the Cease Fire he was selected for a special assignment to a new operations team of military police officers managed by U.S. Customs, a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury that operated in the Middle East. In 1991 Pinson received a Letter of Commendation for "Outstanding Performance and service to his country" from the 89th Military Police Brigade, U.S. Army and the United States Department of the Treasury Customs Service for arresting suspects and seizing automatic weapons and ammunition from being smuggled from Iraq into the United States.

“Giving back to the community in whatever form is possible is a cornerstone of The Pinson Foundation as well as my business,” says Pinson. “We invite those who are interested to review our web site and Facebook pages for updates on upcoming activities and events.”

About The Pinson Foundation

Founded in 2006 by Michael Pinson, The Pinson Foundation (http://www.PinsonFoundation.org) is a totally volunteer-operated charitable organization designed to serve the charitable needs of the Tampa Bay area and other communities. Working through a large network of friends and business relationships, the Foundation generates awareness for charitable organizations, supports their fundraising activities and promotes volunteerism.

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