Telemarketing charity rip offs!

I'm not sure about you, but we get a lot of phone solicitations for charitable donations. I decided one day after talking to a solicitor to find out more about the foundation they were representing. I had asked for their website and about where the money went that they collected. The representative told me that the majority of the donations went to the beneficiaries that needed it, only 10% went to overhead to solicit and collect the funds. 

The charity organization was called American Veterans Support Foundation. However, it was not easy to find any information about the charity. Their website was only a single page and even contained some hidden text at the bottom with key words so that search engines might find them easier, it seemed shady. They did have a link on their page to the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation. They were easy to find information on, but none of it was good. It looks like the two may be affiliated.

I found a site called "Charity Navigator" and another called "Charity Watchdog". I searched for the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation on Charity Navigator and found the charity there. I could not find the American Veterans Support Foundation on the site though. What I found was disturbing!

According to the site, their performance in 2012:
11.5% of the funds they raised went to what they called program expenses.
88.5% went to pay themselves for collecting the money.

According to the site definition, Program Expenses are basically where you would expect the money you gave to go, to the people and the programs for those people that need it. The reason for collecting the money!

In 2012 they collected over $4.8 m dollars. Of that $4.2 m went to fund raising expenses and $77 k went to Administrative expenses. Only $559 k went to the cause? WOW!

They were obviously NOT a charity that anyone should be giving money to. Their performance is just horrid. I expect that any charity would have some expenses, but more than 85% of the money collected? That's eye opening.

I took a good look at the CharityNavigator.org site. They have a top 10 list of things to look for in a charity. They call this "Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors" and its worth a read! They also have many other Tips and Resources for you to review to make you a better informed donor. I encourage you to take a look.

After this experience we are much more selective in giving and do not give over the phone to telemarketers at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment.