Big news that Bristol Palin got $262,500 from the Candie’s Foundation in 2009 to spread the gospel of teen pregnancy prevention. The story got even more traction when Think Progress dug deep into the non-profit’s 2009 tax form and discovered another $165,000 spent on television ads — but just two donations: $25,000 to Mt. Sinai’s Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
But the foundation isn’t really about giving grants, according to Neil Cole, CEO of Iconix Brand Group, which owns Candie’s and several other brands. “Our goal is to educate teenagers,” he said, and the primary way they do that is print, television, radio and web public service announcements featuring celebrities.
While the decade-old nonprofit has worked with other big names, Palin is far and away its star attraction. “She has done more work for the foundation than any other person we’ve worked with,” Cole told us. “Bristol is the gift that keeps on giving.” Palin earned less ($70,000) from the foundation in 2010, nothing so far this year. “Celebrities are compensated for most public service they do,” he said. “It’s the way of the world.”