Is the telemarketer piece of the pie too big? Should the charities receive more?

in Integrated Multichannel Fundraising & Marketing

The New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo seems to think so.  His office released a report showing that nonprofit charities receive an average of just 39.5 cents out of every dollar donated in 2008 during telemarketer-assisted fundraising campaigns.

That means that about 60.5% went to the telemarketers.  In terms of dollars: $123.9 million out of the $205 million raised for 444 New York charities went to the telemarketers.

The nonprofits really aren’t upset by this.  In fact they – along with the telemarketers – say the report doesn’t address all the relevant facts.  One of which is that many nonprofits don’t have the resources (time, staff, expertise, etc.) to run their own telemarketing campaign.  Also, these campaigns are often used for acquisition and the nonprofits reap the true benefit through the on-going in-house renewal process.

The ROCNOW news article with more story details also states that the NY Attorney General now has a special search tool on its website.  The intent is to make it easier for potential donors to see how much of their donation will actually reach the charity.

And at the very end of the article you’ll find a short list of tips for donors and tips for charities working with telemarketers.

What do you think?  Should more of the money go to charities instead of the telemarketer?  Is the Attorney General’s office presenting a fair perspective of the issue?