When it comes to fundraisers, some are Santas and others are Grinches. Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna today unveiled the 2010 Commercial Fundraiser Activity Report that helps people avoid greedy fundraising organizations when making charitable donations.
Reed and McKenna also joined AARP State Director Doug Shadel today in a telephone Town Hall with 10,888 seniors across the state. [PODCAST.] And they joined AARP’s volunteer Fraud Fighters in kicking off a statewide calling blitz that will ultimately educate 5,000 Washington residents about wise charitable giving.
The 2010 report shows that 107 paid fundraisers more than $1.4 billion in contributions in Washington and elsewhere. Nearly 8 percent of the paid fundraisers returned more than 80 percent to charity. Top honors went to Green Point Call Center Services, Inc., which returned 98 percent to charity.
But about a quarter returned less than 20 percent charity. Dialogue Direct was way at the bottom of the list, with -122 percent, meaning it actually costs charities more than they receive. Incidentally, the Attorney General's Office reached a settlement this year with Dialogue Direct, which solicits donations for Children International.
“Solicitors who seek to deceive consumers or skirt around state charity regulations should know that the Attorney General’s Office will use its enforcement powers to stop them,” McKenna said. “But donors themselves wield one of the most powerful weapons: education. By checking out charities and fundraisers, every one of us can help assure our money is used how we intended.”
To check out a charity, go to www.sos.wa.gov/charities or call toll-free 1-800-332-4483.
For more information, see today's news release on charitable giving.