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Millions Donated to Cop Charity Went to Telemarketer

   Mar 25, 2024

CharityWatch CEO and Executive Director, Laurie Styron, analyzed the tax filings of a Colorado police charity and provided her insights into its governance and fundraising practices to the Sentinel Colorado. Read the full article here

"'This isn't a case of a big, mean fundraising company exploiting a poor charity,' wrote Laurie Styron, executive director of the nationally-active nonprofit accountability group CharityWatch. 'It's a case of an irresponsible board of directors agreeing to contract terms that they know are a bad deal for donors, for the cause, and for the charity they are responsible for governing.'"

"'If a donor was told by the fundraiser at the point of solicitation, 'Hey, $74 of your $100 donation is going directly into my company's pockets before the charity gets anything,' the vast, vast majority of donors would refuse to give,' she wrote."

"'Being small is not a blank check to spend an unlimited amount of donations on overhead costs instead of the programs donors are intending to support.'"

"'If it is the case that the charity is paying exorbitant amounts of money to a for-profit fundraising company, then one possible reason to omit Schedule G is to make that fact less obvious,' she wrote."

"'It could be anything from an oversight, to a lack of competent staff, to an outside accountant who doesn't understand the reporting rules, to a deliberate effort to conceal unflattering information.'"

"'While many members of the donating public think that a charity that pays no salaries is better than one that doesn't, in my years of watchdog work, I have found the opposite to be true,' she wrote in an email. 'In some cases, people associated with a charity might be getting paid another way, such as having an affiliation with the for-profit fundraiser.'"


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