While LA Pride Lost $395,000 Last Year, a Tax Return Shows a Profit the Year Before

A copy of Christopher Street West’s 2015 federal tax filing shows the organization ended the year with $298,781 in the bank, which likely explains its ability to survive after losing $395,000 last year.

The tax return shows the non-profit organization earned $1.752 million in revenue from the annual L.A. Pride Festival, which includes admission charges, beverage and food sales and booth rentals.

While the Internal Revenue Service 990 tax form doesn’t offer much detail, it appears that another $577,400 in revenue can be attributed to parade and festival sponsorships, bringing the overall total to $2.229 million.

An additional $475,212 in revenue is attributed to the value of services provided by government entities such as the City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

A copy of CSW’s financials made available to WEHOville last August showed the organization booked total revenue from the Pride festival and parade of $2.069 million with expenses of $2.464 million.

The tax return, made available to WEHOville, has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

The 2015 tax return covers revenue and expenses for the entire year, which the 2016 financials obtained by WEHOville cover only that year’s Pride events. That makes it impossible to compare overall expenses directly.

However, given that the Pride event is the source of almost all of CSW’s revenue it is possible to make a comparison in several revenue categories.

A comparison of the 2015 990 form and the 2016 expense report shows CSW’s revenue from admissions to last year’s festival, for which it raised ticket prices, was $915,710. That compares with ticket revenue of $1.192 million in 2015.

Beverage sales generated $350,000 in revenue in 2015 and $250,000 in 2016. However parade entry fee revenue increased to $93,615 from $68,275 in 2015.

Last year’s Pride event was controversial because of the CSW board’s decision to refocus the annual festival on young people and a reduce space and programming for lesbians and transgender people. CSW also was criticized for increasing ticket prices for the event. An indication that the organization’s controversies aren’t over is the resignation of four of its 16 board members, who complained of efforts to restrict what they can say about the organization and the board’s unwillingness to listen to them.

  1. One of our nieces (two lesbians, different trees of the family) came out this year. Both 25. Their parents are ‘okay’ but neither is welcoming the partner into their home. So it’s not that okay, both came out after they fell in love. I digress.
    They are coming out for Pride.
    This is so irritating.
    I go to send our niece a link on Pride, the dates. Book early.
    The LA Pride website is an embarrassment. And the dates for the 2017 is not posted.
    Swift action must be taken, by the council or the L/G Advisory Board, the Council.
    Someone needs to decide what kind of Pride we are to have. Not a costly music festival. Hire 3 deejays and have 3 dance floors. bring back County/Western. Keep entry costs down.
    It should be a well run county fair. maybe some blue ribbon competitions. For cannabis.
    Okay, but lets get back to the basics of Pride. Let’s try and find a unifying way of making Pride better. For everyone.

  2. BUT the low turn out due to Orlando Massacre. Not standing up for the problems, it’s just unfair not to take the worst US mass shooting out of the equation

  3. Many young people think that the fight is over. They didn’t face the same type of discrimination, nor did they witness friends dying of AIDS. Homosexuals can now legally marry in this country. So many battles won. So much progress in the last 20 or 30 years.

    I think some people perceive the gay civil rights movement as being over and done with. Many live in their little bubbles, facing little discrimination, able to live their lives happily.

    Instead of fighting that perception, I think CSW needs to focus on some new causes. Perhaps:

    – Bullying
    – Trans rights and discrimination
    – Oppressed LGBT countries throughout the world.
    – STD rate increases, and the importance of getting tested and treated.

    … other ideas?

    It feels like an organization without a clear focus or cause to fight for. And that’s why it just feels like a big party, at this point.

    The world has changed (somewhat for the better). CSW needs to change with it.

  4. NIR – Not sure it’s corruption (hopefully) as it is bad management or the assumption that as a non profit organization they can keep loosing money. I never understood economics so for a company or organization to actually “LOOSE” cash, I’m not sure how that works.

  5. IF we continue with this event it should be financially responsible. Perhaps we’re emphasizing the wrong things? When it began, it was just the PARADE, a public demonstration of individuals and organizations dedicated to the EQUALITY of Gays and Lesbians to everyone else in every way. It transformed into a PARTY celebrating successes, emergence and enduring the AIDS epidemic. Now what is it? A PARTY – while it should be a PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION for EQUALITY – instead of an excuse to sell alcohol while nearby bars/clubs benefit more then the public. It’s evident the CSW is out of control and needs to re-target & re-define their purpose and goals.

    1. Don Azars, Thanks for your feedback, i went to the meeting before the pride, when they rty to “fix” it…trust me it’s very few non profit organization the are true for people, it’s a business just like any other business. most of the CEO’s make thousands of dollars a year, they drive the best cars and the sad part we are lucky if 20 cent from each dollar we give go to the cause. this why, you still see so much challenges all over the world and yes even here in WEHO. Gay pride is a business. simple.
      again, thanks for your feedback.
      cheers. nir

  6. Let them go, we are better people then this.
    why are we even thinking about it, we got DTLA pride, this is what’s next.
    Say GOOD BYE to the corruption and let’s move on.
    our pride???
    we are only good for the money.

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