In the wake of tragedies large and small, they prey on the giving heart of Americans
They all have a tall tale of testimonials and heartbreaking images of children or helpless animals, they beg for assistance.
One hit wonders seeking to cash in are pale in comparison to the pillars of theives who cash in on the “tragedy of the day”, raking in billions on Facebook automated notifications, causes ranging from floods and fires, to missing children.
The bonafide crook is a charity business that is legal but benefits the board members more than the community it claims to serve. Usually they are regional and or national because the bigger they are the more people trust and give without research.
Mostly they are the products of large corporate scammers who smell an opportunity to cash in, using the name of a victim who may or may not even be real. They count on local press coverage and prominent backing.
These ‘charities’ usually rake in a few billion dollars and they don’t disappear because they are bonafide crooks. LEGAL scam artist in control of media coverage and employ Lawyers on the board of directors.
Professional long term operations.
Are you concerned you’ve already been scammed or just want to make sure you won’t be in the future?
Here are some of the worst offenders:
1. Kids Wish Network
2. Cancer Fund of America
3. Children’s Wish Foundation International
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation
5. Goodwill Foundation
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation
7. International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
8. National Veterans Service Fund
9. UNITED WAY
10. Children’s Cancer Fund of America
11. Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
12. Youth Development Fund
13. Committee For Missing Children
14. Association for Firefighters and Paramedics
15. Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)
16. National Caregiving Foundation
17. Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth
18. Cars for kids
19. Vietnow National Headquarters
20. Record Label in a box
21. National Cancer Coalition
22. Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation
23. American Foundation For Disabled Children
24. The Veterans Fund
25. Heart Support of America
26. Veterans Assistance Foundation
27. Children’s Charity Fund
28. Wishing Well Foundation USA
29. Wounded Warriors of America
30. Salvation Army
31. American Association of the Deaf & Blind
32. Cars for Cancer Cures
33. Optimal Medical Foundation
34. Children’s Leukemia Research Association
35. United Breast Cancer Foundation
36. Shiloh International Ministries
37. Circle of Friends For American Veterans
38. Find the Children
40. Survivors and Victims Empowered
41. Caring for Our Children Foundation
42. Cancer Associations and Coalitions
43. American Foundation for Children With AIDS
45. Our American Veterans
46. Roger Wyburn- Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation for Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease
47. Hope Cancer Fund
48. Goodwill Franchise
Charities are broken up into five main categories: children, cancer, police/law enforcement, veterans, fire and other. These fifty charities account for more than $10 Billion in donations. Of that, $7 billion went not to victims, but to the people who collected the money, CEO Executive Board Members.
Related Article: 5 Ways You Can Donate to Charity Without Spending a Dim
The percentages spent by these “charities” on direct aid to victims range from 25% to a high of only 30%. Most of the organizations spent between 0.10% and 25% of what they collected in direct cash aid. This is a far cry from what well-meaning contributors intended for their contributions.
Charity watchdog organizations are scam artist who redirect donors to their high paying clients. Large corporate charities pay out more than 35% percent of donations to fundraising costs. Legally meeting criteria but deceiving the public masses.
They still spent only 30% – 35% on direct cash aid to the people in need, because it’s the minimum that is required.
The worst of the worst paid more than 50% of what they collected to solicitors. Thirty-three of the fifty paid between 40% and 60% to media.. Overhead costs consumed large chunks of what was remaining. Only the very small amount left, may get to the people who actually need it!
Con artists don’t refer to what they do as a hustle. A hustle is like the 70’s disco dance. It’s made up of series of regular steps timed to the beat of the music that can be improvised as needed.
Charity hustles works on a large scale when all the people at the top already are considered prominent and wealthy. This is how they hustle the minds of contributors. THE ASSUMPTION THAT THEY HAVE MONEY already, and therefore have no need to get yours, other than the charitable cause.
This is how they stay one step ahead of unsuspecting donors.
One very common hustle is the name game. For example, a very well known and respected group is the Make a Wish Foundation. This organization claims to spends the vast majority of it’s donations on children. Large corporations count on the simplicity of their assumed charitable purpose to gather contributions.
Org for cancer, org for kids, org for pets, all preying on the automated worth cause factor. Relying heavily on emotional triggers.
The IRS is Not the Answer
When a solicitor for one of these groups calls a prospective donor the pitch will include the truthful statement that they are a nonprofit organization. Nonprofit however does not mean they are a charity.
It only means they are making claims to the government that they do not seek tI make a profit on their activities.
A profit according to Investopedia.com is revenue that exceeds expenses. The IRS has pretty broad rules for being a nonprofit organization. A charity is only one type of nonprofit. Trade groups like those that represent the fast food or soft drink producers operate as nonprofits. Political organizations including both the Democratic and Republican parties are nonprofits. Lots of different special interest groups are nonprofits, including some private businesses that pay their executives quite well.
How to Tell if it’s a corporate charity legal scam.
The tell is a poker term. It means an opposing player does something to indicate he or she is bluffing. There are all sorts of questions that you could go through to determine if the solicitor on the other end of the phone is from an honest to goodness charity or not.
Quick and easy questions that make a scam artist sqerm.
How much do your board members get paid. ANY amount over 50,000.00
fair market rate is a BIG RED FLAG
Can I talk to the intented recipients or past recipients?
Most won’t or they will chose a pregroomed speaker. This is one or a small group who allowed to speak to donors or media.
The most sure-fire solution is to ask for the name of the organization and a means to contact them so you can make your donation at another time.
When you do this, depending on the experience of the solicitor, you will either hear a lot of fast talking or angry response.
A legitimate organization will provide the information without hesitation but reps are paid as commission and may seem desparate for you to donate while you are on the phone.
The people calling aren’t the crooks. Solicitors, the people calling are just workers trying to make a living. They are paid commission only.
Annoying as it may be, It Is Not a Crime to make a call and ask for donations. Charities do need money to give the help they provide.
If, the charity organization is crooked, the real crooks get a salary and bonuses.
Legitimate charities with nothing to hide, will tell you how you can make your contribution later but may still urge you to donate because people generally don’t follow up.
Check Them Out
Before you make a contribution to any organization it is wise to know who they are and what they do.
Take the time to research.
Did you know?
There are a number of websites where you can check the status of a nonprofit. They hustle charity organization for money to validate them. Legitimacy is not a factor.
GuideStar.org, Charity watch, charity navigators, and other “so called” better business consumer agencies are the big contenders for gouging Charity organizations with inaccurate reports.
When contacted to correct the inaccuracy they demand the charity organization to sign up and pay.
These “so called” charity watchdogs, report inaccuracy for free, but require charity organizations to upgrade their account to paid accounts… in order for them to report accurate reports on the organization. Refusal to pay results in misleading blogs insenuating illigitimacy towards the charity.
For a little extra the charity can pay these “watchdogs” for a fabricated detailed report and favorable blog media coverage for public relations purposes.
Bottom line Internet Verification is unreliable and misleading. If a solicitation is extremely professional but vague, be suspicious.