charity fraud

Our house gets calls at least once a week on behalf of several different charities, each with familiar-sounding names:

  • Breast Cancer Society
  • Cancer Fund of America
  • Children’s Cancer Fund Of America
  • Children’s Charitable Foundation
  • Detectives Benevolent Association
  • Disabled Veterans Services
  • Firefighters Assistance Fund
  • Foundation For American Veterans
  • Law Enforcement Alliance of America
  • National Children’s Leukemia Foundation
  • United States Navy Veterans Association

It turns out that the charities are very bad at what they do, handing out little money and paying a lot for fund raising to a telemarketing company called Associated Community Services. This means that only a small portion of the money donated goes to help anyone — ACS keeps the rest. For just the State of Washington, ACS raised $1,152,000, but was only able to pass $353,000 of that to its 14 client ‘charities’; the “Breast Cancer Society,” operating in several states, manages to devote just 3% of the money it raises to actual services, “Cancer Fund of America” manages 9%, and “Firefighters Assistance Fund” manages to spend just 5% of the money it raises on assistance. ACS has even harassed people while soliciting donations, it seems. While all of this is sounds like it should be illegal, it isn’t. The most that Attorneys General in Kentucky, Iowa, Conneticut, and Michigan have been able to do is make public warnings about the fundrasing.

Many sites have noted the suspicious nature of ACS or the charities, and amazingly representatives from ACS seem to be posting rebuttals and misinformation on some of them to try to obfuscate what they are doing. There’s a special circle of hell reserved for this company and its ilk.

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