The next time you get a call and decide to give to well-respected charities like The American Cancer Society or The American Diabetes Association, just keep in mind that your donation to fight cancer or support diabetes research could actually be going to the wallets of the telemarketers soliciting your donations. Bloomberg Markets' David Evans examines how charities--well-respected charities which promise to cure really bad things like cancer--cut contracts with telemarketers, in particular a company named InfoCision, to help lure in long-term donors. As Evans explains, charities will even allow and "encourage" telemarketers to lie about the amount that will eventually given to the charity, when in fact, barely any of it goes to where donors intend. Some of it never even sees the charity, as Evans writes:
Many of the biggest-name charities in the U.S. have signed similarly one-sided contracts with telemarketers during the past decade. The American Cancer Society, the largest health charity in the U.S., enlisted InfoCision from 1999 to 2011 to raise money.
In fiscal 2010, InfoCision gathered $5.3 million for the society. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers took part, but none of that money -- not one penny -- went to fund cancer research or help patients, according to the society’s filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the state of Maine.
Every bit of it went to InfoCision, the filings say. The society actually lost money on the program that year, according to its filings.
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