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Olympics group airs finances, donor list

Fishes top givers this quarter with over $1m

AP File

The local Olympic bid committee spent $2 million in the first quarter of this year, while raising $2.8 million plus another million dollars through in-kind contributions, according to a wide-ranging disclosure of the committee’s finances.

The documents, released Friday, mark the first time Boston 2024 has listed both the names of its donors and the dollar ranges of their contributions, and come after the group was criticized for not being forthcoming enough about the bid preparations.

The top donors in the quarter were John and Cyndy Fish, with a gift of between $1 million and $2.5 million. John Fish, chairman of Suffolk Construction, is the former chairman of the committee who led the successful effort to have Boston named as the US bid city for the 2024 Summer Games. He remains involved as a vice chair of the organization.


Boston 2024 also listed salary and consultant expenses not previously released, including a deal projected to be worth $1.3 million a year with Interpublic Group, the parent company of communications agency Weber Shandwick, among others.

“Today’s disclosures represent a significant level of transparency beyond what is required of other charities,” Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said in a statement. She had urged the group to release the information. “AG Healey believes 2024 must continue to be transparent and comply with all campaign finance disclosure laws relating to any work on the ballot initiative.”

Boston 2024, which is entirely funded through private donations, has called for a 2016 referendum on the Olympic bid.

“As we move forward, we remain committed to an open, objective and inclusive process,” Boston 2024 chairman Steve Pagliuca, a Bain Capital executive and co-owner of the Boston Celtics, wrote in a letter included with the financial disclosure. “The quarterly progress report reflects that commitment.”

A spokesman for the Olympic opposition group, No Boston Olympics, declined to comment Friday on Boston 2024’s disclosures.


Large donors who gave to the bid committee in the first three months of the year include EMC Corp. and the law firm Mintz Levin, each with a donation ranging from $500,000 to $999,999.

The list of major donors is filled with prominent figures from Boston’s high finance and real estate circles, many with ties to Pagliuca.

Those who gave between $100,000 and $499,999 include Jim Pallotta, an investor who owns a stake in the Boston Celtics; Josh Bekenstein, a managing director at Bain Capital; Paul Edgerley, another Bain Capital managing director; his wife, Sandy Edgerly, a former Bain & Co. executive; and Peter Palandjian, chairman and chief executive of Intercontinental Real Estate Corp.

Donors who gave between $50,000 and $99,999 include Tom Alperin, the president of National Development, and the Druker Company, owned by Boston developer Ron Druker.

The documents show that large-dollar donors have been the lifeblood of the committee. The average value of the 24 individual gifts received in the first quarter is $45,935, according to the report. The 12 corporate gifts average $140,878; three foundation gifts average $358,333. The bid committee reported 10 donors who gave less than $1,000 each.

Interpublic Group said in a statement that it has “assembled a team of more than 30 practitioners from Weber Shandwick and Octagon [a sports marketing firm] who are providing a wide range of services to Boston 2024, from athlete relations and content production to communications support and event management.”


Hill Holliday, another Interpublic company, has contributed in-kind to the bid and is expected to complete a marketing deal with Boston 2024 in the second quarter, according to Interpublic.

“These fees reflect the scope of this work, as well as our agencies’ experience over two decades in shaping communications strategy, advising corporate sponsors and representing athletes across many Olympic games,” Interpublic stated.

The bid committee in April signed contracts with international consultants Teneo Sports, an Olympic bid expert, and JTA, a sports communication agency, the committee reported.

For those contracts, Boston 2024 provided a range for the projected fees because the consultants insisted on nondisclosure agreements, according to the committee. The annual value of the Teneo contract is between $1 million and $1.25 million; the projected annual value of the JTA contract is between $250,000 and $500,000.

Boston 2024 reported 20 paid employees as of March 31, double the number the committee reported in early March. Most of the added employees, working on “community engagement” activities, are making $42,000 a year or less.

Chief executive Rich Davey remains the highest paid Boston 2024 employee at $300,000 per year.

Pagliuca, the chairman, is unpaid.

The committee is racing to produce a new venue plan by the end of the month, and has spent significant money on experts working on that plan.

The committee paid Elkus Manfredi Architects $200,082 in the first quarter; the Boston firm has been integral in the planning of the bid since its inception. Elkus Manfredi is also listed as a donor to Boston 2024, with a gift worth between $50,000 and $99,999. The committee paid $124,147 to architectural firm CBT and $40,248 to engineering company VHB, also members of the bid design team.


The committee paid $48,828 to WilsonOwensOwens Architects, a consultant on the venue plan, and $36,430 to Populous, a stadium design specialist.

The committee reported spending $1.1 million on consulting fees in the first quarter.

Budget breakdown: Boston 2024 expenses for Q1 2015
In all, the Olympics movement spent $2,023,700 during the first quarter of 2015.
Expenditure Area Q1 2015 Spending
Venue Selection & Verification $791,525
Marketing & Communications $259,217
Administration $238,273
Community Outreach $222,540
Global Stakeholder Engagement $161,474
Government Relations $156,645
Fundraising $102,805
Bid Presentations $63,636
Transportation Planning $26,640
Olympic Movement $945
SOURCE: Boston 2024

With contributions from Michael Levenson of the Globe staff.
Mark Arsenault can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark.