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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Inefficient Charities and a Professional Fundraiser that Goes on the Record

This should come as no surprise to readers of this blog, but for many donors, they simply don't know that when a 'charity' calls for a donation, it is often a for-profit telemarketing firm calling and that firm typically keeps the bulk of that donation. This fact is why we tell donors it is best not to give over the phone (just hang up). And why WXYZ's Ross Jones' did two stories on the topic.

In the first segment, Ross Jones' explores some of the most inefficient charities that spend a lot of money on fundraising, such as Cancer Support Services and the Law Enforcement Education Program.

In the second segment, Ross Jones' interviews Associated Community Services, one of the largest telemarketers in the country that may have even called you looking for a donation on behalf of one of their charity clients.


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artfulJohn said...

It's not uncommon for donor acquisition to be costly. Many organisations contract the specialized service that acquires first time donors - face to face, direct mail, telephone fundraising. Those contractors need to be remunerated from what is typically a low value first time donation. Ergo a large part of that donation goes to the contractor. It's what happens next between the donor and the charity that matters. Do they enjoy a long term relationship? It is through a long term relationship between donor and charity that the value and the benefit to the intended beneficiaries accrue.

Lil Bunnie Foo Foo said...

Agreed, there are many types of organizational subtleties that can subtract from a Charity's overall score in Navigator. Much like a B.M.I. does not calculate health but predicts the likelihood that a figure correlates to the average state of health for that body weight mass index. So I am an athletic/thick/petite/curvy woman who's BMI says she's morbidly obese and I can't get any one to date me on Match Dot Com unless I lie about my weight. Or my height. Charities are not allowed to construe their data in such a work around - so the ultimate deciding factor of the ranking is off the record just because it is not measurable. Free Wheelchair Mission dot org

Unknown said...

Why don't we, as a government of the people, deny charitable status to any organization which doesn't spend at least 50% of its income on program services. It certainly appears that some "charities" exist not to serve their stated purpose, but to serve themsleves. I give 10% to my church every year and 10% to charities. Those dollars spent on questionable charities should be spent on organizations which truly serve their stated purpose.