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The Nonprofit QuarterlyPennies (on the dollar) for charity
Nov 17, 2009; Newsday | Like his colleague AGs in many states, Andrew Cuomo has just released New York State’s annual review of telemarketers’ fundraising costs and benefits. His “Pennies for Charity” report calculated that telemarketers raised $208 million on behalf of 444 charities in the Empire State, but the telemarketers pocketed $124 million or more than 60 percent for themselves. The charities got less than 40 percent of the dollars raised in their names. Among the key findings, in almost half of the telemarketing fundraising campaigns, charities got less than 30 percent of the dollars. In only 7 percent of the campaigns did the nonprofits get 65 percent or more of the fundraising. Of course the telemarketers had their defenders. On Long Island, a leukemia research organization defended its take of $300,000 out of a $1.3 million telemarketing campaign as a good thing. The nonprofit sector has gone down this road before. Defending the for-profit telemarketers who don’t tell donors how much of their contributions will actually reach the charity is bad for the donor and bad for the nonprofit sector.—Rick Cohen

The Nonprofit QuarterlyLatest Wrinkle in Online Fundraising: “Chase to give $15 million to Facebook charity campaign”
Nov 17, 2009; | Now that “unfriend” has just been named word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, if you had your doubts you can now be assured, Facebook has taken over the universe. Maybe not the whole universe, but they have made a splash recently in the philanthropy world. Chase announced Monday a partnership with Facebook to power the finance company’s inaugural “Community Giving” campaign, which will allocate a total of $5 million to small, local nonprofits voted on by Facebook members. The winner gets $1 million in a grand-prize announcement slated for February 1; five runners-up get $100,000 apiece, and then the entire top 100 receives $25,000 apiece. The early word is that over 12,000 Facebook members signed on in the first day.—Aaron Lester

The Nonprofit QuarterlyMandates, Cuts and Massive Deficits in Ontario: “Despite cuts, children’s services continue”
Nov 17, 2009; The Daily Observer | From Ontario comes this terrifying story of the almost $70 million in deficits being run by family and children’s services agencies. What makes this story achingly familiar is the fact that while the public mandates of the anchor agencies regarding the services they were to provide remained the same, their funding was cut significantly, resulting in absolutely massive deficits. NPQ ran a similar story about an agency providing services to special needs children in Hawaii in its Spring 2008 issue (subscribe here to read it). This, of course, is a desperately unsustainable situation.—Ruth McCambridge



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