Saturday, January 03, 2009

Where Your Money Goes

While prowling the internet this week, a new report made me stop purring and pay attention. The New York Attorney General's Charities Bureau, which supervises charitable organizations and maintains a registry of charities and fundraising professionals in the state, has just released "Pennies for Charity, Where Your Money Goes: Telemarketing by Professional Fund Raisers." The report lists all 553 campaigns conducted by professional fundraisers on behalf of specific charities in New York during 2007 (ranging from civic, social service and foreign aid groups to health, animal protection, and legal public interest organizations). It details the amount and percentage of contributions that ended up in the hands of the charity, with the rest going to the fundraiser to cover costs and fees. Two of the surprising conclusions: in nearly half the campaigns, the charity received less than 30 percent of the funds raised; in 51 cases, they actually lost money. In 2009, with both charities and contributors hard pressed for cash, you may want to check out this report before making decisions on how best to support your favorite charities and causes.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat