Professional Telemarketers Make the Money, Not the Not For Profits– Give Directly

We all get them– telemarketers calling to solicit funds for the Police Benevolent Association, the PTA, or the American Heart Association. Did you know that a vast majority of the the professional telemarketers are the ones making the money, not the Non-Profit, and it’s totally legal.

When I first started practicing law (as a law student in Massachusetts) I worked for the Attorney General’s Office, Public Charities Division. At the time (long ago), they were investigating telemarketers for Police Benevolent Associations. Whether in New York or elsewhere, the telemarketer is making the money, not the Not For Profit.

In today’s day and age, where there are so many fine charitable organizations in desperate need of your hard earned dollars, why would you give through the telemarketer who often takes more than 65% of the money the raise? The internet, credit cards, and direct giving make charitable donations so much easier. Why give to the telemarketer?

Why not– of the 553 fund raising campaigns in 2007 (442 charities using telemarketers), a total of $178.7 million, with 60.5 percent ($108.2 million) going to the telemarketers! That’s why not.

If you don’t believe me– see this recent article in the NYTimes reporting that, on average, just 39 cents of every dollar raised by commercial telemarketing companies for charities in New York State actually go to charity. I applaud the attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, for his report finding that such funds are used to pay fees and expenses associated with professional fund-raising, not for the operation of the charity.

I don’t mean to get on a soap box, but GIVE DIRECTLY TO THE CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE (here’s mine).