The simple answer is that everyone who calls you you is a professional fundraiser. Even if they don’t work for a third party professional fundraiser they are a professional fundraiser working for the charity. They are NOT part of the charity. They are employed by the charity. A professional telemarketing fundrasier is either a professional employed by the charity or employed by a company which is employed by the charity. Neither are members of the charity or a part of the charity. Employees of charities sometimes refer to the charity with proprietary terms such as 'we' and 'us' and 'our' but the fact is anyone being paid is not a member of the charity. They are no more a part of the charity than you are. It is just their profound ignorance of organisational structure and the non-profit sector which enables them to make such false claims. And there is an even more significant difference in that you probably don’t risk harming the charity by dishonestly & unethically representing it whereas they do - in this and many other ways. They are employed in a professional capacity.* If you want to maximize your contribution to the charity you need to be up to speed with the tricky self-serving games these people play. If they present a raffle you can immediately know that MOST of your money is going to pay for prizes and other costs such as all the other calls made during the campaign including the wasted cold calls and repeatedly calling people who aren't available, the reminder calls and letters and all the administration of the raffle which could include the wages of senior executives of charities who have very little to do with the raffle. And the mass of postage sent out including the mail sent because agreeing to have a pledge letter sent out is all some people can do to get rid of a persistent telemarketer. Our reports from within the industry give figures of 30% to 50% (if they are lucky) of posted pledges being returned paid. With a raffle you can be assured that around 60-70% of your money will be spent on all these costs and that applies even if it is a charity employee calling you. If they ask for donation only all the above applies except that the return will be slightly better ie minimum of 50%.
you want to deliver all your money to charity and not support the
professional fundraising industry with all its waste, inefficiency, gambling,
consumerism, unethical business practices and it's underlying cynicism DO NOT deal with ANYONE
who calls you over the phone asking for money. This is a one size
fits all rule.
You don't need to find out whether the person is
employed by a charity or another marketing company. It makes no
substantial difference. They are NOT the charity in either case. You
the problem by engaging in a donations-only campaign, they are no more
then the lesser
of several evils. Firstly you need to ask the person to take you off
the calling list permanently. Don’t be too confident that this will
be done but it's a start at least. A start for you and for all of us -
the community, the people - in
taking control of our support of genuine charitable work and taking it
out of the hands of the
profiteers - the thieves
in the temple.
Going forward: NEVER talk to or engage in any way with anyone who calls asking for money for charity.
idea that it is a
charity itself calling and not a marketing company is not the
blessing it will be purported as. The telemarketer will make a big deal
as if they are the real deal and that you can be relieved that you
aren't being approached by one of
those nasty telemarketing companies. But the fact is that it doesn’t
matter whether it's the charity itself or a third party doing a
raffle/lottery/art union. The same prescribed returns apply (whatever
they may be in your state - this information is usually not public
except in NSW). If a charity does a raffle through it's own employees
and it returns say 40% then that means that 60% does not go to
does it go? It goes to pay telemarketers and other staff, prizes,
mail-outs, printing costs and so on. It doesn't go to fund the
charity's charitable work. The only difference is that if a
third party is doing it, a portion - presumably a large portion - goes
to the business operators as profit. So with a charity there is no
delivered. Everything else is the same – ie the various costs
and the rules about how much surplus must be collected for the
charitable purpose. That would make a big difference surely? No
profit must mean a huge saving? Well from what we have seen that is
not always the case. We see charities in states other than NSW
returning 36% and 38%, less in some instances than they would be
permitted if operating in NSW. (We refer to the NSW percentages because
are the only ones enshrined in law - the only point of reference). Some
charities have a pretty
elaborate organisational structure with senior executives getting
salaries of which information is unavailable to the public. It is
conceivable that the money earned by entrepreneurs of professional
fundraising companies goes to charity executives when the work is done
This would account for the returns being less than what might be
expected. We say of this simply that the raffle consumers or supporters
ought to be fully informed about their investment. We repeat fully.
Some charities are now producing slick, glossy corporate style self-promotional
videos (assisted by advertising and public relations companies) which
are as self analytical as totalitarian propaganda, and
frankly quite embarrassing - even having the unintended style of parody. They are evidently new to this sort of thing.
Raffles run in-house are still a promotion of gambling. And still a
costly, inefficient and undemocratic form of fundraising.