Chop the Charitycats

As San Francisco socialite and clothes horse Joy Venturini Bianchi is highlighted to be an American version of her fellow former ‘charitycat’ Lady Meyer, it’s time that charities worldwide were better regulated

 

In Britain, in 2011, the “Chanel-clad” wife of the former British ambassador to Washington, Lady Meyer, faced criticism after The Telegraph revealed the majority of the income of the charity she was then running was spent on her very own pay. She subsequently ceased to be involved in that organisation in 2016 but now, in San Francisco, a similar scandal has come to light in the form of Helpers Community Inc. (formerly rather crudely known as ‘Helpers of the Mentally Retarded’) and its executive director, a wannabe lookalike of Iris Apfel named Joy Venturini Bianchi.

 

The so-called charity that “natty” Ms. Venturini Bianchi, a self-proclaimed “divorced philanthropist” runs, it was reported last Friday, must “repay the public tens of thousands of dollars after misleading city officials” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The same paper had previously highlighted that Helpers had paid 78-year old Venturini Bianchi a base salary of £159,149 ($193,828), roughly £82,109 ($100,000) more annually than directors of similarly sized San Francisco non-profits and that supporters had been “disgusted with the way they were using this cause to raise money”.

 

Ms. Venturini Bianchi stands accused of raising “millions of dollars but failed to adequately distribute [them]” and that she is also attacked for not doing “much to fulfill [her non-profit’s] promise to donors” is, if correct, truly shocking. Just as with Meyer in England, the board of Helpers was composed from “longtime friends” and as state senator Mark Leno pointed out: “It would appear that the board is in need of a serious governance makeover”.

 

It is time the era of the ‘charitycat’ came to its natural conclusion. In Britain, America and elsewhere, for far too long, wealthy and connected individuals with little-to-no experience have been able to benefit from tax breaks, benefits, salaries and bonuses naïvely given by the public simply by taking over “a cause”. These amateurs should now be banished and running charities should instead become the domain of professionals.

 

Chop the Charitycats – Joy Venturi Bianchi and Lady Meyer
Joy Venturini Bianchi with Iris Apfel

Chop the Charitycats – Joy Venturi Bianchi and Lady Meyer
Joy Venturini Bianchi with Sir Elton John

5 COMMENTS

  1. Lock her up!!!!!!!!!!! Lock her up!!!!!!!! Lock her up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those glasses alone are criminal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Bianchi is like so many women of her types in San Fran. She acts all hoity-toity but beneath it all she’s scrabbling around after the $$$. Her downfall is nearly complete and there’ll be little joy for Joy now.

  3. You might be interested in this quote from The Guardian over excessive salaries for CEOs of Charities:

    “It says here in this letter you sent that £4 from me could help save a life. So how about your CEO takes £40,000 less salary next year and saves 10,000 lives?” This was a message received from a monthly donor by one of the UK’s best-loved charities in August 2013,

  4. You’re a hack Steeples.

    I’ll talk about the first 50 years of Joy’s involvement with Helpers. I helped from 1996-2008, and never saw anyone work harder for her charity. Maybe since I moved away, at the end of her 50+ years of service, a 68 year-old woman who would soon battle cancer, might have started behaving like most of the “charitycats”.

    First, with any research, she has nothing in common with Lady anybody or any of the other charity cats who have m(b)illionaire husbands.

    A wealthy donor who came on board in 2005 told me that “Helpers'” charity was the only one that kept expenses below 20% while every other one he’d seen had expenses over 70%.

    Secondly you twit, everybody called them retarded back then.

    You in fact highlight the ugly irony that right around the time she dropped the
    “Retarded” part, she had to move out the 5 “kids” (all 50-70 years old), separating them for the first time in 30-40 years, to different state-run homes around the Bay Area because she couldn’t find anyone to help.

    But at least we don’t call them, or my sister, retarded. Modern charity.

    This hack is correct that many charities are scams, as that wealthy donor mentioned above pointed out. Maybe you’ve got a nose, but grow-up and do a little more than virtue signal and insult.

    I’m also not saying that the charges are baseless. Maybe my dear friend Joy yearned a little too much to be like those around her and fell from grace.

    Like everyone in world who sin, her whole 60+ years of service should be included in the story.

    And definitely not used for click bait so some hack can avoid his true calling of ad copy.

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