24 June 2013

The Poor Fundraising Practices of America's Worst Charities

Financial digging by the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting revels a list of the American charities that spend the most money on paid solicitors and get little in return. The list calls the group the worst charities in America for the wasteful spending.

At the top of the list is the Kids Wish network who paid solicitors $109.8 million over the past decade to raise a total of $127.8 million. All that spending for $18 million. Less than $0.03 of the money it raises is spent on actually helping children.

According to the TBT and CIR, 6,000 charities pay for-profit companies to raise money. The bottom fifty that make the list payed nearly $1 billion to the money raising industry over the past decade.

The five worst charities in America, as ranked by money lost on soliciting costs, are:
  1. Kids Wish Network
  2. Cancer Fund of America
  3. Children's Wish Foundation International
  4. American Breast Cancer Foundation
  5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation
One of the charities listed, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, too issue with the rank list. It rebutted the way it is characterized and defended its use of for-profit solicitors in a long statement.

"The article correctly points out that these services can be very inefficient in terms of the percentage of funds raised that actually reach the nonprofit organizations," writes AFCA.

"However, the article leads one to believe that AFCA relied exclusively on professional fundraising services. It gave no insight to the fact that AFCA worked diligently to free itself of this inefficient source of revenue."

The Tampa Bay Times article explaining the investigative work says that the charities that make the list were plagued by other problems. 39 were disciplined by state regulators, one was shut down by a state and reopened under an new name and seven are not allowed to operate in one state.

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