Friday, January 18, 2008

Charitable Contributions

I regularly get phone calls soliciting money for two police organizations which is not prevented by the no-call list (they are exempt). Though I'd given money in the past, I became rather frustrated with the repeated phone calls, suspicious that the phone calls were from Ohio not KY, and the increasing rudeness of the callers when I would not give more than once per year.

That is when I heard on the radio that in Kentucky, you can look on a website to see who is actually soliciting these funds (in this case it was an organization that does nothing but solicit funds for charity or other organizations) and the percentage that the charity or organization actually receives.

Organizations soliciting funds in our state must register for this website. You will see on the table that each organization must list who is calling and what percent actually goes to the organization. (Some organizations get as little as 1%! Some actually lost money!) Armed with this data, the next time they called, I had the following conversation:

Caller: I'm soliciting funds for the police who use it in saving children blah blah blah blah.....
Me: Are you actually part of this organization?
Caller: No ma'am.
Me: What organization are you with?
Caller: Community Safety.
Me: So you are not a policeman?
Caller: No
Me: What percentage of my donation actually goes to this program?
Caller: The Chiefs of Police are guaranteed to receive $80,000 for.........
Me: I asked you what percentage?
Caller: About 17% of it goes...
Me: Sorry, I only donate to organizations where the majority of it actually reaches the organization. Please remove me from your list.

If you look on the table, Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police got only $67,372.80 in donation, whereas the company that manned the phone for them got $327,050.60 for making phone calls. And that's just one organization they represent.

Another more amusing way to handle such calls is to say that you'd like to research the charity first. Ask for the name of the caller and their home phone number, telling them you'll call them during their dinner and let them know how much you'll give.

I share this info with my teens so that they can learn to handle these types of calls when they are older. Here I am at....well, not a teen....just learning how to handle them with confidence.


pita-woman said...

It took me several years to teach my husband to either hang up the phone or hand it over to me, because he's a sucker for those solicitations. I on the other hand have no problem telling phone solicitors, either trying to sell something or seeking donations, a big fat NO!!
Of course these calls have completely stopped since we got rid of the home phone and just use cell phones now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Junosmom for the info…

I use to get hit by the “Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police”. I’ve only given twice till I check on them. I found them to be a rip-off according to what they keep and what they actually give to the police fund. It was 17% to the cause and a whopping 83% to the company gathering the funds over the phone.

Just the other day I was hit by the “Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police” fund. I went to their website and couldn’t find anything on how much goes to the fund. So, I did the search on yahoo and found yours.
Once again, another rip-off (the way I see it) charity fund. I went to the website of Kentucky Gov. and found the info you were talking about. Thanks for the website; it shows the finances of the charities in Kentucky. Anyway, I see that the “Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police” gave 20% last year to the police and now when down to 17% going to the police fund. That’s a whopping 83% to the pockets of the company (again) gathering the funds over the phone.
I use to work in the Fed Gov. and was one of the CFC fund coordinators for my branch. Most funds did very well keeping only 10% for admin cost and 90% going to the cause they were collecting for. As you can see, it’s totally opposite of what the “Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police” offers.
If anyone wants to give to the police, I would go to the police station and see if that know of a better way of giving to the police.

PS: I wonder if the “Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police” is connected in anyway to the “Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police”. LOL


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