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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Legal Charities that aren't very charitable

    I was approached by the Fraternal Order of Police to make a contribution to their widows and orphans fund. It sounded like a good cause, so I listened to what the man on the phone had to say. After listening for a while, I had 2 questions for the man:

    Q. Are you a police officer?
    A. No.

    Q. What percentage of donations go to the widows and orphans?
    A. A minimum of 18%

    This means that there's 82% gross profit made on all contributions.

    The bottom line is that you have to ask the charity how much of your donation they intend to keep. In many cases, the solicitor that called you is getting a large chunk of what you hoped would benefit a good cause.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Planet Gong

    Re: Legal Charities that aren't very charitable

    charitynavigator.org , and from the BBB, give.org
    Also, charities are required to register in their home states; check the relevant dot gov site (usually on the comptroller of treasury pages).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Somewhere in the great state of New York

    Re: Legal Charities that aren't very charitable

    Also, be careful of any of those tables outside of stores in your neighborhood selling toys in the name of Toys for Tots or D.A.R.E. or for Amber Alert. They only give less than 5% of their profits to the charities. You are much better off making donations at their actual websites! These companies are run by DS Max and are a huge, but legal scam.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: Legal Charities that aren't very charitable

    "legal" scams are growing everywhere. Not only for charitable organizations but also big "legitimate" companies are making a lot of money using "legal tricks". My sad experience was in the online travel industry. Other examples are:
    A "restocking fee". Some sellers are charging a "restocking fee" if you return an item you bought. In principle it should be used to prevent people to use (e.g.) a laptop for a couple of weeks and then return it. But those guys are selling defective products and when you return it they try to keep that money.
    Another example is the "mail in rebate" sometimes they never send you check and is very difficult to talk to someone and get that money.
    In summary, they make a lot of money cheating people in a "legal" way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Re: Legal Charities that aren't very charitable

    I'd like to interject some understanding here so people don't get too crazy about hired solicitors. First, I do agree that the practice of using a paid solicitor is not very desirable. Everyone that gives wants to see 100% of their money go to the cause they are interested in. But understand, too, why charities do this. Let me just tell it like it is: Charities have to struggle to get any donations at all.

    I am often amazed by the constant accusations of fraud here, and I am equally amazed by the never-ending stream of nigerians and others sending "please give me money" emails. The fact is, raising charity funds is very very hard, and if any of these people are making any actual real money, I would be amazed. That's because more than 90% of the people contacted by a charity (and that is a very generous figure) will NOT donate anything to the cause, no matter how legitimate it is.

    The real truth, and I'm actually sorry to have to say this, is that in America the vast majority of people are more willing to "donate" to their local McDonalds or other profit making enterprise than they are to donate to any organization that actually seeks to help others. That's just the sad state of life in America today. People think nothing of contributing to the coffers of a business enterprise when, if they thought about it for just a moment, they would realize that the company they are helping is not only not interested in helping someone else, they are not even interested in helping YOU. Yet we feel more comfortable about these kinds of expenditures... it's inexplicable. But I digress.

    The reason charities rely on paid solicitors is because they can't afford to raise the finds themselves. Finding the 10% of people who actually will donate to your cause requires the kinds of resources that charities cannot afford - call centers and staff who do nothing but sit around and make phone calls. The fact is, if the charity did it themselves they'd probably spend even MORE on the effort than they would by farming it out to a solicitor. I agree that it is VERY regrettable, but it is a result of the climate of giving in America today.

    Here is a thought: the next time you get faced with a paid solicitor, and you want to give, make your donation directly to the charity. That way you bypass the solicitor's coffers. Just a thought.

  6. #6

    Re: Legal Charities that aren't very charitable

    well as a noob to the board i just want to go ahead and totally agree with everyone on this thread. i used to actually be a paid solicitor in west virginia and it was crazy how much money my company kept. i worked for a company called civic development group which called "on behalf" of many orginizations and the crazy thing is...is that its entirely legal we had ftc guidelines and everything. i also worked for another "orginization" called the " california orginization of police and sherriffs". whats crazy with this one is "%100" went the orginization because " i was a member of the orginization" when in fact i lived in west virginia and never met a single police officer in the 8 months i worked there.....civic development group sold the company and rights or w/e to the "c.o.p.s." and then they used crazy marketing skills and "made us all members of the orginization" so when people like joispoi would ask "how much percent actually went to the orginization i could legally say %100 WHICH IS INSANE if you ask me....i made like 12$ an hour there and then became part time manager and coached people on how to get donations but im not gonna lie it was probably the most fun job ive ever had

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