LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Is your charity donation helping the charity or the fundraiser working for the charity? It’s a close call with just over half of every dollar collected by professional fundraisers going to the charity that hired them.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today is releasing the findings of the 2014 Professional Fundraising Charitable Solicitation Report. That study shows that fifty-five cents of every dollar raised by professional fundraisers licensed in Michigan goes to charity. That’s a big jump from last year’s average of 38% of donated funds going to charities. The increase is being tied directly to one large internet fundraiser that operates efficiently.
“Michigan citizens deserve to know exactly where their money is going when they open up their hearts and wallets to charity,” said Schuette.
What Is A Professional Fundraiser?
According to Michigan law, a professional fundraiser is a person or organization that is compensated for generating contributions on behalf of a charity. This is different from a charity that has its own staff that handles development and other fundraising.
Professional fundraisers, by law, must reveal their results of the campaigns they are hired to conduct. This information is forwarded to the Attorney General. In 2014 telemarketers kept an average of 68 percent of the donations raised.
Protect Yourself Against Questionable Charities
The Attorney General’s office has these suggestions:
1. Be cautious when someone calls and asks for a donation. You can always hang up the phone and research the charity yourself. If you still want to donate you can give directly to the charity.
2. One warning sign to watch for is if you get aren’t getting answers to your specific questions about the charity or how your donation will be used.
3. Do not feel guilty if you don’t want to or are unable to make a donation. Do not be pressured into giving to a charity.
4. You can do an internet check on charities that are registered in Michigan. That list can be found here.
We’ll have more on charity fundraisers tonight on 6 News.