American households, on average, donate almost $ 3,000 per year to charity. About a third is given in December, many in the last 5 days. But whether motivated by compassion or a tax deduction, roughly half of individual donations do not go to love, but the lawyers and telemarketers they hire.
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“There is fundraising contracts where 85 to 90 percent of the money goes to a professional fundraising company,” said Daniel Borochoff of Charity Watch.
To test that, Fox News investigated three years of audits that are generated by the California Registry of Charitable Trusts, an overview of the many national campaigns. In hundreds of cases, charities raised thousands, but got little back — and some actually lost money.
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For example, in 2013, the NAACP hired a telemarketer to raise money. The company raised $307,000 but spent $335,000, leaving the NAACP with a $ 28,000 loss. The NAACP declined to comment.
In 2014, the Covenant House for at-risk children raised $66,072 but the love got a bill for $209,000, a loss of more than $140,000. In a statement, the Covenant House said that it is a telemarketer, on a pilot basis… converts the current Covenant House donors to monthly donors,” but ended the program in 2016 to focus on “the web and online” giving “which is even more cost-efficient than telemarketing.”
In 2015, the Environmental Defense Fund ran seven fundraising campaigns. Two nothing and four lost money, will cost the nonprofit more than $ 60,000. In a statement, EDF said campaigns we referred were designed to “attract new supporters,” not to raise money.
These charities were not alone. In 2015, 24 percent of U.S. charities went home with less than 20 cents on the dollar and 21 percent lost money at all. The figures in the previous two years were almost identical.
“At charity Watch we think it should not cost more than $35 to raise a hundred dollars. That is our standard for fairness,” said Borochoff.
But that is a high bar. Over the past three years almost 80 percent of all charities left at least 65 percent of their donations. But it is not illegal. The U.S. Supreme court ruled that the states can’t regulate how much of each donation goes to a good cause, leaving consumers on their own.
Experts say to check the ratings systems of both Charity Watch or Charity Navigator before giving. Also, the Pennsylvania and California Attorneys Offices keep track of multiple years of the records of most national charities. Otherwise, analysts say, to consider following these recommendations.
1. Do not give to charities that you don’t know.
2. Do not be fooled by a well-known names.
3. Let you not be put under pressure.
4. Do not give cash or credit card numbers. The writing of a cheque.
5. Do not give over the phone.
6. Choose a charity you know and trust and give it directly.
William La Jeunesse joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in March 1998 and is currently a Los Angeles-based correspondent.