The following is a reminder to know more about the charities to which we contribute. Many charities have contracts with fundraisers who get the biggest share of the donations. The following report on CNN is just a cautionary tale.
Recently, on CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 spoke about the abuse of certain fundraising activities. He announced that the New York State Attorney Generals Office’s had taken action against some of these fundraising vendors.
Cooper reported that the Attorney Generals office’s secured a precedent setting $24.6 million settlement as a result of its Charities Bureau. Investigation into direct mail fundraising abuses, at what has become one at the country’s largest veterans, charities, the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF).
The investigation found that two for profit direct mail vendors – Quadriga Art and Convergence Direct Marketing – used cleverly designed, but misleading mailers to raise tens of millions of dollars in donations from generous Americans, nearly all of which went to the fundraisers and their agents.
This left the charity nearly $14 million dollars in debt.
Ten million dollars of the settlement will go will go to help support and improve lives of disabled American veterans, and the debt that the DVNF owes to Quadriga Art will be forgiven. In addition, Quadriga Art will adopt significant reforms to improve transparency, setting a higher ethical bar for the direct mail charitable solicitation industry.
Disclaimer: This is not to be construed as an endorsement of our current NYS Attorney General. That decision is up to you in November.