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Re: Charities, Is What You See, What You Get?
Chapman, Spira & Carson - Disscusion

From: Claifornia Attorney General Lungren
Date: 5/4/99
Time: 8:52:40 AM
Remote User:


So the charity is legitmate. That is they are not going to pocket all of your money and take the next plane to the islands. But, how much of what you are giving actually winds up in the hands of those in need? California Attorney General Lungren quantified it at least as it relates to his state. I think you will find the information "food for thought" Robert A. Spira Chapman Spira and Carson LLC

Tuesday, December 23, 1997 TIS THE SEASON Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa - no matter what you celebrate, the holidays are time for giving. According to California Attorney General Lungren, you may not be giving as much as you think to charity. Earlier this month, Lungren released his office's annual report on charitable giving in the State of California.

A small percentage of charities use paid fundraisers to solicit contributions. "This latest report shows that less than 37 cents of every dollar raised by commercial fundraisers in California actually went to a charitable purposes," Lungren said. He pointed out that they "may not only have their name tarnished but may lose the public's confidence and support" as well.

In 1996 there were 525 commercial fundraising campaigns in California. Of that total:

28% gave more than half of the funds raised to the charity for which the money was raised;

11% gave between 31-50% to the charity;

20% gave between 21-30% to the charity;

12% gave between 16-20% to the charity;

29% gave less than 15% to the charity. "I don't want to discourage people from giving to charity," said Lungren. "Rather, this should serve as a reminder to give intelligently only after taking the time to become informed and ensuring that your money is going to serve a charitable purpose."


Ask the solicitor if he or she works for a commercial fundraiser and is being paid to solicit;

Ask for the name of the commercial fundraiser and for proof of state registration;

Ask what percentage of the donation will actually go to charity;

Ask for written information about the charity's programs and expenses to be sent to you in order to make an educated decision on whether or not to give;

Contact the National Charities Information Bureau or the BBB Philanthropic Advisory Board to find out more about the charity and how it spends donations.

Do not give out your credit card number to a telephone solicitor;

Do not be pressured into donating;

If you are suspicious about a donation, contact your local consumer protection office or Attorney General's office;

If you believe you were fraudulently solicited for a donation, contact NCL's National Fraud Information Center at 1-800-876-7060 or use on of our online forms to report the incident.


Last changed: March 17, 2000