Livestrong Donations Fell 34% After Lance Armstrong’s Confession

Livestrong suffered a 34 percent slump in donations in 2013 after Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who founded the cancer charity, confessed to doping throughout his career.

Livestrong in November 2012 cut ties with Armstrong, a cancer survivor who had served as the charity’s chairman, after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency detailed his performance-enhancing drug use. In January 2013, Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey that he had cheated in all of his Tour de France wins from 1999-2005.

In the year that followed, donations to Livestrong dropped to $15 million from $22.7 million, according to an Internal Revenue Service filing that was posted on the Austin, Texas-based charity’s website. Donations, which had fallen 8.1 percent from 2011 to 2012, were 63 percent lower in 2013 than in 2009, when they totaled $41 million.

Livestrong generated $23.3 million in revenue in 2013, a 38 percent decline from 2012. The loss of royalties and licensing fees -- from companies such as Nike Inc., Luxottica Group SpA’s Oakley Inc., exercise equipment maker Johnson Health Tech Co. and Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City -- accounted for 20 percent of the decline.

“In light of revelations and disclosures in January 2013, many of these long-term contracts were terminated, modified or not renewed,” the filing said.

A dip in corporate donations was responsible for 9 percent of the revenue decline; 3.8 percent was caused by shrinking individual contributions; and another 3.8 percent was due to slower merchandise sales, mostly of the yellow “Livestrong” wristbands.

Expenditures declined 18 percent to $31.4 million from $38.2 million.

Livestrong said in August that it will donate $50 million over 10 years to the University of Texas in Austin to establish the Livestrong Cancer Institutes at the Dell Medical School.