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Nearly 20 CharityWatch 'F' Rated Charities Cited in FTC Complaint Resulting in $110 Million Judgment Against Their For-Profit Telemarketers

   Mar 05, 2021

CharityWatch has different tools in our toolbox than the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state charity regulators. As an independent charity watchdog organization, we are often able to warn donors about inefficient charities and predatory fundraising schemes many years before regulators are able to take the steps necessary to pursue legal claims against bad actors or shut them down for good. To illustrate, CharityWatch has been issuing "F" ratings to some of the charity clients cited in the Complaint in the matter of Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Associated Community Services, Inc., et al. since as long ago as 2007 (Kids Wish Network). It is important to note that the defendants in this legal action were not the charities themselves, but rather some of the charities’ for-profit telemarketers that solicited donations on their behalf. The Complaint and details regarding the subsequent settlement can be viewed on the FTC’s website.

The FTC worked in conjunction with 46 agencies from 38 states and the District of Columbia to investigate telemarketing companies that are estimated to have placed as many as 1.3 billion telemarketing calls to 67 million different phone numbers. The FTC’s press release citing the Complaint states that “the defendants conducted an invasive robocall onslaught and kept the lion’s share of the more than $110 million of consumers’ contributions – as much as 90 cents of every donated dollar.” In addition, according to the FTC, “the complaint charges the defendants with violating the TSR [Telemarketing Sales Rule] provision that prohibits the delivery of prerecorded messages to prior donors unless the call promptly provides the consumer with a means to opt out of future messages.”

CharityWatch encourages donors, such as those in California or Florida, to check the website of their state charity regulator for more information about how these telemarketing companies may have targeted donors in their respective state.

List of CharityWatch "F" Rated Charities Cited in the Complaint

Claiming to assist cancer patients:

Claiming to assist individuals with various health-related issues:

Claiming dedicated to assisting veterans, firefighters, and other first responders:

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