<!–Saxotech Paragraph Count: 7
For many donors, nothing tugs at the heartstrings – and loosens the purse strings – more than a picture of a child.
Before writing that check, it’s important to check out the charity first. Why? In some cases, nonprofits contract with profit-making fund-raisers that take $8, $9 or more from every $10 donation, leaving the charities with pennies.
The BBB has found numerous examples of high fundraising costs associated with nationally soliciting children’s charities, all recorded on the charities’ Form 990 reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Among them:
» Kids Wish Network of Holiday, Fla., a wish-granting charity for ill children. The charity reported that 10 fundraising companies raised about $16 million on behalf of the charity in 2010, the most recent year in which information is available. Of that, about $1.9 million went to the charity, or 12 cents of each $1 donation.
» Children’s Cancer Fund of America of Powell, Tenn., a charity that assists families of children with cancer. The charity reported that six fundraising companies brought in $8.4 million in 2010. About $1.6 million of that total – or 19 cents of each dollar – went to the charity.
» Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation of Schererville, Ind., a charity that addresses childhood autism issues. The charity reported that its three fundraisers raised about $2.6 million in contributions in 2010. Total to the charity: $164,000, or about 6 cents of each $1 donated.
» National Cancer Assistance Foundation of Sarasota, Fla., which operates Children’s Cancer Dream Network, Children’s Cancer Assistance Fund and Breast Cancer Assistance Fund. Two fundraising companies took in $1.8 million in donations on behalf of the charity in 2010. The total paid to the charity: $143,000 or 8 cents of each $1 in donations. Precision Performance Marketing, a St. Louis, Mo., business that does direct-mail fundraising for the charity, kept $792,000 of $817,000 it raised, leaving the charity with 3 cents of each dollar donated.