Tom Brady's name is tied to several charities. But, there is one charity that almost entirely funds Brady's other interests.
The Patriots quarterback began volunteering for Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization committed to helping intellectually and developmentally disabled people, in 2001. Since then, Best Buddies says Brady has helped the organization raise $46.5 million.
But it turns out there is a quid pro quo as Best Buddies has almost entirely funded Brady's own charities and philanthropic interests, according to a detailed report by the Boston Globe.
Since Brady began his own charity, Change the World, in 2005 with an initial donation of $490,000, Best Buddies has contributed $2.3 million toward Brady's personal interests, according to tax documents acquired and examined by the Boston Globe.
The Globe discovered Best Buddies has helped Change the World provide donations to the University of Michigan, Brady's alma mater; the Santa Monica Catholic Community, where Brady married supermodel Gisele Bundchen in 2009; Brady's high school alma mater of Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif.; and Brady's TB12 Foundation, among other Brady interests.
There was even a $50,000 donation to Ohio State University, Michigan's biggest rival, that was made in the name of Ed Razek, a former Victoria’s Secret executive who is credited with introducing Brady and Bundchen in 2006.
While the Globe notes there's nothing illegal about the transactions, it does call into question the altruistic efforts of Brady, who is valued at an estimated $180 million while Bundchen is worth about $360 million.
Daniel Borochoff, president of Charity Watch, a Chicago-based nonprofit that evaluates philanthropies and advocates for consumers, opined to the Boston Globe that Brady "really can’t take credit for being a great philanthropist when he is using other people’s money to help his own organizations."
"It’s certainly not pure altruism," Borochoff added. "It’s not all bad, because he is helping an important cause. But he could help Best Buddies to a much greater extent if he didn’t take their money."
Best Buddies, which was started in 1989 by Anthony Shriver, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, sent a press release to the Globe after it began its investigation. The release praised Brady and Shriver, who has become close friends with the MVP quarterback, and defended the relationship.
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Brady, who was not available to comment to the Globe, was said in the release that his affiliation with Best Buddies is one of his greatest honors.
"This organization has become a part of my life," Brady said in the release. "I love meeting the inspiring buddies at events, seeing their smiles, and hearing them talk about how Best Buddies has changed their lives for the better by helping them make friends at school and find meaningful jobs in their local communities. Best Buddies’ mission is a simple one, but the impact is incredibly powerful. I am so grateful to be a part of this global movement."