Why is Kanye West's Charity Dead?

Move over, Madonna: Yet another pop megalomaniac's educational charity has met a premature end, as the Kanye West Foundation is no more. But why that is, and where its millions of dollars in corporate donations have gone, remains a mystery.

Word first came in an e-mail from its former executive director, Joseph Collins, which circulated last month:

"I am reaching out to let you know that the Kanye West Foundation has officially closed it doors after a successful 4+ years of programming and events. It has been an incredible experience working with Kanye and the board to realize his mother's vision and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the Foundation."

Founded by West's English professor mother, Donda West, the private foundation's mission was meant "to help combat the severe dropout problem in schools" via the issuing of grants. But things began to fall apart after her death in 2007 from plastic surgery complications.

Tax records indicate the charity was pulling in an average of $492,000 per year. This wasn't coming from Kanye's pockets himself, mind you, but rather from his various corporate partners — companies like Madison Square Garden and Goldenvoice, producers of last week's Kanye-headlining Coachella festival.

Yet the amount of grant monies issued by the foundation in 2009 amounted to a grand total of $563, or roughly enough for a laptop battery. So where did the rest of the money go? So far, no one is saying. [NYT, photo via Getty]