Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New York Issues Fundraising Annual Report and Launches Online Charity Database

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced this week both the release of his office's now well-known annual Pennies for Charity report on charity fundraising by professional telemarketers and an online database that potential donors can use to learn how much of what they give to charities through such fundraisers actually goes to the charity.  The report involves 444 charities that raised $204.8 million through telemarketing campaigns conducted in New York and other states in 2008.  The reports key findings are:

  • In over 80 percent, or 475 of the 584 campaigns, the charities kept less than 50 percent of the funds raised.
  • In nearly half, or 285 of the 584 campaigns, the charities received less than 30 percent of the funds raised.
  • In 42 of the 584 campaigns reflected in the report, charities actually lost money.
  • In only 42 of the 584 campaigns did the charity retain at least 65 percent of the money raised, the amount deemed acceptable under the Better Business Bureau's standards for charitable organizations.
  • In total, 60.5 percent, or $123.9 million, of the funds raised by telemarketers in 2008 was paid to the fundraisers for fees and/or used to cover the costs of conducting the campaigns. By comparison, charities retained 39.5 percent, or $80.9 million, of the total funds raised in the campaigns.

One of the most interesting aspects of the database is to see what search terms generate the largest number of charities listed.  For example, perhaps not surprisingly searches for "police" or "veteran" yield long lists, but so also do "child" or "cancer."  The database includes information not only for 2008 but also for 2005 through 2007.

LHM

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2009/11/new-york-issues-fundraising-annual-report-and-launches-online-charity-database.html

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Comments

Several leading charity "watchdog" agencies, including Guidestar, Charity Navigator, GiveWell, and Planthropy Acion recently announced that they consider fund raising ratios a poor measure of assessing charity effectiveness. Download the press release at http://www.philanthropyaction.com/documents/Worst_Way_to_Pick_A_Charity_Dec_1_2009.pdf

Posted by: Allen Bromberger | Dec 19, 2009 8:59:24 AM

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