Monday, March 9, 2015

Charity Telemarketing Makes Strange Bedfellows

Attorney General reports about charity solicitation efforts by for-profit fundraisers never fail to disappoint. The latest of these is the 2014 Pennies for Charity report by the New York Attorney General. The report details a record level of telemarketing by for-profit fundraisers, totaling $302 million in 2013. On average, less then 50% of donations reached the intended charities (though this percentage increased from 37% to 48%, which is progress).

It is interesting to note that this report also brought together some unlikely kindred spirits. In the report's ranking of nonprofits based on the percent of funds received from professional solicitors I noticed this gem.

Where else are these groups all aligned? For the record, their gross fundraising receipts and percent reaching the nonprofit are:
  • Greenpeace, Inc: $ 363,782 (40.93%)
  • National Rifle Association of America: $ 12,002,317 (40.59%)
  • National Right to Life Committee Inc: $ 630,479 (40.52%)
  • Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Inc: $ 44,928 (40.06%)

As one moves further down the list, another unlikely pairing appears.

What brings the Tea Party Patriots and Planned Parenthood together? In this case, it's professional fundraising that yields a mere 31% to their organizations. In particular, the gross receipts and percent reaching the nonprofit are:
  • Tea Party Patriots, Inc: $ 1,650,488 (30.95%)
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc: $ 4,021,902 (30.62%)

Say what you want about professional telemarketing efforts, but you have to admit that the willingness to use telemarketers as part of nonprofit solicitation knows no political bounds.