‘Mormon Stories’ podcaster John Dehlin makes $236K a year from his nonprofit. Is that too much?

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The viewers and donors for John Dehlin’s “Mormon Tales” and different podcasts have grown exponentially by means of the years, and so has his wage.

To nicely above $200,000.

And that has raised issues from some insiders and outsiders in regards to the funds and oversight of the nonprofit umbrella group, Open Tales Basis.

Tax disclosures present the muse’s revenues from podcast contributions, occasions and direct donations shot up virtually eightfold in a decade, from $58,580 in 2010 to $464,339 in 2019, the latest 12 months for which IRS paperwork can be found.

Yearly revenues jumped by 67% within the aftermath of Dehlin’s extensively publicized 2015 excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tax varieties present, from $198,136 in 2015 to $332,678 the next 12 months.

On the identical time, as the muse’s attain and output rose, Dehlin’s annual compensation ballooned by greater than 700%, in response to nonprofit tax studies, swelling from $27,429 in 2010 to $236,021 in 2019. That six-figure wage made up 60% of the group’s complete earnings from donors and podcast revenues.

[Read more about John Dehlin’s growing influence and the questions emerging from followers-turned-critics here.]

A number of workers who left the muse in 2018 have complained he “curated” its board membership to spice up his compensation and blur traces between donations and private bills amid what they assert was lax supervision.

“This proof means that Dehlin sees the Open Tales Basis as his and his alone,” a former affiliate producer, James Patterson, wrote in a 2021 criticism filed with the IRS, “with an unbiased board of administrators merely a roadblock to him reaching his private monetary objectives.”

In his whistleblower claims, Patterson additionally stated the muse maintained insufficient boundaries between donations to the podcast and Dehlin’s personal life-coaching enterprise, which the podcaster says he has since discontinued.

Dehlin, an avid fundraiser as a part of his podcasts, has strenuously denied the monetary allegations towards him and touts his group’s monetary transparency. And as he takes an more and more seen position within the nonprofit THRIVE and its in-person gatherings for former Latter-day Saints, Dehlin insists his efforts are about serving to others, not monetary achieve.

Burgeoning viewers numbers, donor help and income development for the podcasts, Dehlin instructed a THRIVE viewers in St. George, “are solely proxies for influence.

“In my thoughts, we’re serving to extra folks,” he stated. “We’re reaching extra folks.”

In response to Patterson’s criticism, Dehlin stated the Utah legal professional common’s workplace audited three years of the nonprofit’s financials — and its investigators, he stated, issued a letter saying it discovered no wrongdoing. Dehlin even famous in a number of podcasts he had feared bias from Lawyer Basic Sean Reyes when the audit was initiated, given a few of his critiques of Utah’s high prosecutor.

We had been audited by the theocracy,” he quipped about Reyes and state authorities in a December podcast. “We willingly gave three years [of] monetary info and actually the reply got here again, ‘We discover no wrongdoing.’”

Clint Martin, a fellow board member on the nonprofit THRIVE with Dehlin, stated he had additionally seen the audit letter and confirmed Dehlin’s description of it.

After months of inquiries by The Salt Lake Tribune and an open-records request, the Utah legal professional common stated it had no report of such an audit.

In response to comparable requests, the Utah Division of Commerce, which oversees nonprofits, would neither verify nor deny it had audited the Open Tales Basis. If it had, a spokesperson stated, any ensuing data wouldn’t be public — and so they added that it was not unusual for division investigators to hunt anonymity in these instances.

Natasha Helfer, a intercourse therapist and motivational speaker who works with Dehlin and is a former member of the Open Tales Basis board, stated Dehlin’s compensation has been primarily based on market evaluation and comparisons with different nonprofits.

“I’m comfy,” Helfer stated, “that the board has made choices which are honest in response to market worth.”

Dehlin stated the Open Tales board had “generously set my wage at a hard and fast degree” — one matching what he earned when he left his job as a Microsoft government 17 years in the past.

“I instructed my board I’d by no means want one other elevate, ever,” he stated. “That’s how I really feel now.”

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