Deceptive fundraising makes me cranky!!
I write fundraising copy, and I enjoy being paid for my efforts.
But… when I write a letter for a non-profit I do expect that the letter will supply many more times the dollars to spend on the cause than they paid me for the letter. I think that most other fundraising copywriters have that same goal. Many of us charge lower fees when writing for a non-profit because it is our way to contribute to the cause.
There are, of course, other costs involved – costs such as printing, postage, and maybe even the purchase of a list. But even with those costs added in, the bulk of money coming in should benefit the cause.
That’s why I got so cranky today when I went to Charity Navigator and investigated a cause that I almost supported.
It started a couple of weeks ago when I got a phone call from the American Veterans Relief Foundation. Since I had not heard of it before, I asked a lot of questions about what they do and how they benefit veterans. The man said they helped with mortgage payments and medical bills and sent packages to patients in VA hospitals.
I told him to go ahead and send me the materials – whereupon he gave me a stern lecture about mailing costs and how important it was that they not waste any of the money going to our Veterans. If he sent the package, I must be sure to send money. It was one of those “guilt trip” lectures.
Yesterday the package came, so I went on line and Googled the organization.
I learned that of every $100 they collect, 58 cents goes to aid veterans. During one 4 year period, they raised 3.6 Million dollars, and paid out just $21,000 in grants and assistance to veterans. Three million went directly to the fund raisers, while the balance went for other “administrative costs.”
Looks to me like instead of sending these turkeys $500 you could just go find a veteran and give him $2.90.
I cannot imagine being a telemarketer and telling people blatant lies. What a terrible way to make a living.
Anyway, I’m glad that we have websites such as Charity Navigator where we can go check up on a charity before forking out our hard-earned money. There are plenty of non-profits that spend money wisely, so no shortage of ways to contribute to causes that matter to you.
Posted: December 24th, 2008 under truth in advertising, Uncategorized.
Tags: American Veterans Relief Foundation, charity, charity navigator, donation, fundraisers, fundraising, non-profit, veterans aid