This afternoon I was doing some shopping in Park Slope when I came across the Chocolate Room where I found an assortment of chocolate chess pieces. “100% of sales goes to support Chess-in-the-Schools” read a nearby flyer.
“What a wonderful way to raise money for a wonderful cause!” I thought to myself.
Naturally, chess does not produce much in the way of profits, and so organizations like Chess-in-the-Schools are dependent upon government funding and the support of chess loving chocolate fanatics like me to continue to exist… I suppose that’s why so many people were shocked to learn that Marley Kaplan, the organization’s executive director, earns more than a quarter million dollars a year. You can read the unfortunate financial details here. Generally speaking, I am all for high salaries for top executive talent and think that anyone who feels otherwise should just go occupy wall street about it. However, politics aside, Chess-in-the-Schools is not exactly JPMorgan. They are a lot more like NPR, I suppose. Accordingly, the gross waste of capital gained through charitable intentions and tax payer dollars is unsettling to say the least.
Having said all of the that, the Post is hardly an unbiased news source, and I would very much like to hear Marley’s side of the story, which I’m sure gives a more nuanced explanation of the finances roughly sketched out in the article. (Marley, if you’re reading this, shoot me an email and let’s set up an interview.)
In any case, the chocolate is delicious.
And for those of you interested, the last time I checked they were hiring.