The Criminal State of Commercial Fundraising

I was incredibly shocked during my research of commercial fundraisers to learn what a very large percentage of donated funds go to the for profit commercial fundraising agencies hired by legitimate nonprofits registered in California.

The fact is that many nonprofits receive single digit percentages from the millions of dollars raised each year by commercial for-profit agencies. Where does the rest of the money go? Overhead I presume, or salaries of people doing the fundraising work I would hypothesize.

When perusing the Commercial Fundraisers Report issued by the California Attorney General's office for 2007, I was stunned, amazed and appalled by the report on one, very high-profile and famous charity that hired a Texas-based commercial fundraiser that generated $13,281,869 (that's right) in total donations. That was amazing! But what was very sad, depressing and worthy of an expose on a major talk-show was the fact that the charity paid $3,964,674 to the commercial fundraiser. That seems okay, right? Wrong...when I say they paid the commercial fundraiser, the commercial fundraiser showed the charity paid them, not the other way around.

In fact, in two fundraising projects, this commercial fundraiser raised $13,281,869 in donations at a cost of $17,246,543 according to the report. That meant that the charity had to shell out donated funds to the commercial fundraiser that was supposed to be creating donations, not taking them away.

This sad and regrettably example is not unique. I do not wish to name names, for I am at all times a gentleman, but you can certainly review the report yourself and see the many other examples of paltry returns or negative returns produced by commercial for-profit fundraising businesses. Click here to see the entire report for yourself and see if you can find the company I'm not mentioning. Are you sad, shocked and appalled like I was?

At KindleCause, we guarantee our returns and we do not charge any fees unless there is a successful campaign. Our fees are based upon the success, not failure of a project. We are very sensitive to overhead and assure our clients that our overhead and costs are very fair, slim and lean.

Don't fall victim to the many purported rain-makers who promise the moon and stars and deliver far less, we will work fantastically hard to make your projects shine every time.

Christopher Spencer, Founder