Educational Consumer Tips

Direct Mail and Telemarketing for Charities

Author: Better Business Bureau

Charities sometimes hire direct mail and telemarketing companies for fundraising purposes.   Before engaging such a company, it is important to understand all terms and conditions. This includes examining the cost of the company's services over the term of the agreement and how much of the funds raised will go to the charity, versus more fundraising expenses.  It is important to identify the ownership of the mailing lists, termination clause, and to have prior review of content of any appeal before distribution.   Charities should be aware of Standard 9 in BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability which states, "Spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts."

For more information, visit Or go to the NYS AG “Pennies for Charity” site at: