What happens when members of a fundraising firm start charities? Today’s Better Business Bureau press release questions the relationship between a Michigan charity and the fundraising firm it uses to raise money.
Good Charity Inc. is based in Michigan but is licensed to do business in 24 states. Good Charity’s founder, Brian J. Maiorana, formerly worked for Insight Teleservices, also of Michigan, a company that makes money soliciting donations for charities. That firm has an F rating with the BBB.
A contract between Good Charity and Insight calls for Insight to retain 85 percent of the funds it raises for the charity. In 2011, Good Charity reported that it received just $180,000 from the $1.4 million Insight raised on its behalf that year. The charity made grants of $75,000, or about five cents for each dollar in donations.
Good Charity is an umbrella organization for 10 related organizations with names suggestive of the kinds of causes or people they assist. The names include:
- Terminally Ill Children’s Fund
- United States Paralyzed Veterans Fund
- Children’s Leukemia of America Fund
- National Breast Cancer Awareness Fund
- Disabled Veteran Wheelchair Games
- Michigan Disabled and Paralyzed Veterans Fund
- Disaster Relief and Aid Fund
- Disabled and Paralyzed Veterans Fund
- America’s Missing Children Fund
- The Autistic Society Fund
The BBB has the following tips for donors:
- If you are solicited by a telemarketer, ask the names of both the fundraiser making the call and the charity he or she is representing. Ask how much of your contribution goes to the charity and how much is retained by the fundraiser.
- If you are solicited by mail, understand that a portion of your contribution may go to a for-profit company hired to run the campaign. Call the fundraiser or charity and ask how much of your money the charity will receive.
- Contact the charity to find out how it uses donations from the public. Will it provide direct aid to families, buy medical supplies or be used for education or research?
- Check the charity’s BBB Charity Review at www.bbb.org.