Know Where Your Charitable Donation is Really Going
Consumers have contacted us about the purported validity of phone calls they receive asking for donations to various organizations that promise to send 100% of the proceeds to support various causes.
"Always use caution," says Sandra Bullock, NCCC President. "I recently received a phone call where the telemarketer stated that 100% of the proceeds of my donation would go to families of fallen law enforcement officers. He wanted me to donate immediately on the phone, and even offered me a 'police sticker' for my car, but I requested the information be mailed to me. I'm glad that I did."
After doing her research, Bullock discovered that only 9% of her donation would go to help the charity in need. The other 91% of the donation would go to the company doing the solicitations. Translation: If she donated $100, the charity would receive $9 and the telemarketing company would receive $91.
"I was floored!"continues Bullock. "The man on the phone flat out lied to me in order to increase the size of my donation and their revenue. I have many police officers as friends and I would be insulted to donate to that charity through that company."
Instead, Bullock says, she will donate directly to the family in need or directly to the charity.
"If you want to donate to the public servants who make our lives safer, do so directly," she continues. "Search out the causes and mail your check directly to them. After this phone call, I sought out that charity and voiced my concerns. I even wrote a check that very minute and sent it directly to the charity."
If you wish to help public servants in your area, consider getting together with a few neighbors and start a pot luck. Take the food to the station (get permission first!!!) and offer it up to everyone. You won't be showing favoritism to any one particular person, you'll be doing a good deed and you'll increase community relations.
The same advice goes to any charity. Always know to whom your money is going and always consider donating directly to the charity to give them the most value for your donation. NCCC, for instance, does not use telemarketers for the solicitation of donations. The funds go directly into organization development—not salaries—and are used to increase the value of the organization to everyone.
Information about charities can be found by doing a simple web search. GuideStar, for example, provides information on various charities and nonprofit organizations. You may even donate to the charity via the GuideStar website. If you donate through GuideStar, 95.25% of your donation goes directly to the charity and the charity pays nothing for the service!