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 The Shriners and their Circus!

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EileenDover
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Joined: 09 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm telling you this as insider, and hope you will pass it along. I was recently hired by The Shriners. They will call you relentlessly asking for your donations for help for "sick children". If you donate, they will call you twice as much! The only reason I went there was because my grandfather was a dedicated Shriner. THEY ARE A SCAM!!! Less than 1/10 of the donations go to sick children, if any. The rest goes to a HUGE office in the most expensive part of Dallas Texas. Their calls appear to be coming from a local address, it is not!! They come from Dallas, Texas. If you want to give to the Shriners, which is a good organization, do it locally, through the Shriners directly, not if they call you. I will be happy to share info with anyone who has questions!
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Dorothy
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Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3114
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

While this isn't the type of thing we typically deal with here, the point you have raised is indeed a valid one, though it is not limited to one specific charity.

It is not uncommon for charities to hire professional fundraising individuals or companies to make calls and solicit donations on their behalf. While the charity may be non-profit, the fundraiser typically is not. The fundraiser is receiving a percentage of the donated funds as payment--that payment can be more than half of what is donated.

Because they personally profit from any money collected, corruption has been a real issue with some professional fundraisers. There have been several cases in which fundraising companies have violated the laws concerning telemarketing or have deliberately misled donors in order to convince them to donate.

Not all fundraising companies are corrupt. Many fundraisers have succeeded in finding donors that the nonprofit organization might never have reached. But it is important to understand that almost every time you make a donation through a professional fundraiser, only part of the money you donated is actually going to the charity.

This article below describes how the US Supreme Court ruled several years ago that it was legal for a professional fundraiser to keep 85% of the money raised, without disclosing that information to donors who didn't specifically ask.
http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/vietnow.html

In general, if you want to be sure that all of the money you donate goes to the charity, it is best to contact the local branch of the charity yourself and make the donation directly to them. You can also research a charity online to find out more about its particular practices. For many national nonprofits, you can also find out how much of your donation goes to to their programs, versus how much is applied to "administrative fees."

If you are considering making a donation based on a professional solicitation, you have every right to ask the fundraiser what percentage of your donation is actually going to the charity in question.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
you have every right to ask the fundraiser what percentage of your donation is actually going to the charity in question.


I could never get one to answer that. Sometimes I think even the people on the phone are clueless to this.

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EileenDover
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Joined: 09 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I just wanted to warn those of us who feel compelled to give to the "less fortunate" at this time of year. These people are not!I
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lakeside77
A chaff in the USA


Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 2461
Location: Out there in the cold, getting lonely, getting old


PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ask the caller for the organization's name and address. If the caller says s/he doesn't know it's a scam.

In the US you can check the validity of a charity's tax exempt status at the IRS website. You can also check if an organization's tax exempt status has been revoked.

They are also required by law to provide a copy of their IRS Form 990 (tax exempt organization's tax return) and their annual report. Both have entries for professional fund raisers' fees. However, you may to pay a fee for these documents.

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BearSeason
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
If you are considering making a donation based on a professional solicitation, you have every right to ask the fundraiser what percentage of your donation is actually going to the charity in question.


As a professional fundraiser myself, I second this one thousand percent. If the organization in question is on the up and up, then every person that fundraises for them (professional or volunteer) will know the answer to this and will not hesitate to tell you. If they do hesitate or give you an indirect answer, they're hiding something.


Quote:
I could never get one to answer that.


I know some of the unsavory companies train their fundraisers to tell people that one hundred percent of the funds raised goes to the programs and zero percent goes to fundraising. They say that because they are attempting to pass their fundraising campaign off as an educational campaign (getting the word out about the organization). It's worth also asking the person soliciting you what percentage of the money goes to fundraising costs. If they try to tell you zero, you can be certain they've been trained to lie.

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