SAG-AFTRA Owes Unclaimed Residuals To Dozens Of Charities

SAG-AFTRA is holding unclaimed SAG residuals for more than 50 charities and nonprofits, including the SAG Foundation, the AFTRA Foundation and the Actors Fund — all of which have offices in the union’s headquarters in Hollywood. The union also is holding unclaimed residuals for Women in Film and for the charitable foundations set up by the late Johnny Carson and the late-great trumpet player Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.

The union allows performers to will their residuals to their favorite charities, but in many cases, those donations wind up in the union’s massive unclaimed residuals fund, which is holding tens of millions of dollars for more than 100,000 performers, their beneficiaries and their loan-out companies.

The union says that in most cases its just a matter of timing that lands so many charitable donations in its unclaimed residuals stockpile and that the money will get to its intended destinations eventually.

“On an annual basis, SAG-AFTRA distributes hundreds of thousands of residuals dollars to charities without delay,” said SAG-AFTRA spokesperson Pamela Greenwalt. “It is not uncommon for charitable organizations to appear on the unclaimed residuals list periodically due to the timing of document receipt. For example, paperwork for deceased performers that indicates funds should be donated to a charity may be received prior to the other required beneficiary documentation that is required for a release. In these cases, funds targeted for donation for that performer would be held in trust pending verification of the other documents. This typically is just a timing issue as funds are released once the supplemental paperwork is received. In total, this represents a minuscule proportion of monies distributed to charities.”

She said there’s less than $500 in funds held for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, less than $900 held for SAG-AFTRA Foundation and about $200 currently held in trust for the Actors Fund, “compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds distributed to these charities over the last several years.”

Greenwalt wouldn’t say how much the other 50-plus charities are owed or how long those moneys have been sitting in the unclaimed residuals stash collecting interest for the union.

The union’s website notes: “If the union is holding unclaimed residuals, it is because we can’t locate you. We may not have current or updated information in our database or we may not know you are the rightful beneficiary/heir.”

Here is a list of dozens of charities and institutions that have unclaimd residuals due from SAG-AFTRA:

Actors Fund
AFTRA Foundation
American Ballet Theatre
American Cancer Society
American Friends Service Committee
American Red Cross
Atlanta’s East Lake Foundation
B’nai B’rith
Brandeis University
California Scottish Rite Foundation
Calvary Fund
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Big Brothers and Sisters
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Christian Relief Services
COAR Peace Mission
Columbia University
Communities Foundation of Texas
Community Foundation of the Verdugos
Cornell University
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Foundation for the Junior Blind
Harvard University
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Little Brothers/Friends of the Elderly in Chicago
Metropolitan Opera Guild
National Wildlife Federation
Nature Conservancy
New York Botanical Garden
New York Public Library
New York University
Notre Dame University
Project Angel Food
SAG Foundation
San Francisco Performing Arts Center
Shriners Hospital for Children
Salvation Army
United Jewish Appeal of New York
Western Illinois University
Women’s American ORT
Zionist Organization of America

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