What will St. Jude do with the money they’re sitting on?

In July 2021, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced to fanfare that it had just finished raising $2 billion in donations, a single-fiscal-year record for the nation’s largest health care charity. “Solving pediatric cancer is a global problem — a multi-trillion, multi-year problem,” Rick Shadyac, chief executive of St. Jude’s fundraising arm, told the Associated Press at the time. “The way we look at it is: If not St. Jude, then who?”

Financial disclosures newly released by St. Jude, however, show $886 million of the hospital’s record $2 billion-plus in revenues last fiscal year went unspent. Those surplus dollars instead flowed to the hospital’s reserve fund, which helped it grow to $7.6 billion by the end of June 2021. That’s enough money to run St. Jude’s 77-bed hospital in Memphis at last year’s levels for the next five years without a single additional donation…

“Donors all want to get the biggest bang for their buck,” said Ge Bai, a professor of accounting and health policy at Johns Hopkins University. “It’s time for St. Jude to respect donors’ preferences and stop hoarding. Effectively and sufficiently spending money on the core mission is the only way to deserve donors’ trust and sustain their generosity.”

In a statement, St. Jude said the large reserve was a prudent cushion against swings in the stock market as well as the economic uncertainties created by global crises like the war in Ukraine…

Folks, you have that money becaause it was handed over to help sick children. Not the paranoia of accountants.

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