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Paula T. Dow,
Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director

 

 

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2011
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Neal Buccino, 973-504-6327
 


Division of Consumer Affairs Increases Transparency of Charities; Publishes Spending Information on New Jersey’s Top 10 Most Inquired-About Charities

NEWARK – During its most recent reported fiscal year, only 10 percent of the money spent by the Garden State Law Enforcement Officers Foundation, a New Jersey registered charity based in Tennent, funded charitable programs. The remaining 90 percent was spent on fundraising, management, and general costs, according to information the charity reported to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

By contrast, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, also registered to solicit in New Jersey, spent 95 percent of funds during its most recent reported fiscal year on charitable programs, and just 5 percent on management and general costs, according to information the charity reported.

How does your favorite charity use your donation dollars? In its ongoing effort to encourage consumers to investigate before you donate, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today released its second bimonthly list of New Jersey’s Top 10 Most Inquired-About Charities.

“In highlighting this information, we’re not expressing any judgments or endorsements for or against any specific charity,” Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, said. “But we are making the point, that not all charitable organizations spend your donation dollars in ways you may expect.”

Calcagni noted that potential donors are rarely aware that certain organizations spend the bulk of donated dollars on fundraising efforts and dedicate relatively little to charitable pursuits. “Consumers should not be kept in the dark when it comes to how their charitable donations are spent,“ said Calcagni. “By shedding light on how charities are spending the money they collect, we’re empowering consumers to make better-informed donation decisions.”

The report is drawn from consumers’ calls to the Division’s Charities Registration Hotline, 973-504-6215. The list announced today provides information on the 10 charities most often asked about by consumers who called the Hotline in March and April 2011. The number of inquiries is not an indicator that any given charity is “good” or “bad,” but may indicate the charity solicited donations or held a campaign drive during the recent months.

The Top 10 Most Inquired-About Charities list, updated today, can be found at http://NJConsumerAffairs.gov/charity/chardir.htm.

The list includes a pie chart for each charity, showing how much the organization reported spending on charitable programs, on fundraising, and on management fees as reported to the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs in each charity’s most recent registration renewal and financial reports.

Some highlights of the new Top 10 list:

  • Garden State Law Enforcement Officers Foundation, Tennent NJ. Of the $224,000 this New Jersey registered charity spent during its most recent reported fiscal year, 10 percent funded charitable programs, according to the charity’s report. Another 10 percent was spent on management and general costs, and 80 percent was spent on fundraising.

  • NJ Police Officers Foundation, Lyndhurst, NJ. Of the total $798,000 this New Jersey registered charity spent during its most recent reported fiscal year, 19 percent went to charitable programs, according to the charity’s report. Another 2 percent was spent on management and general costs, and 79 percent was spent on fundraising.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, Schererville, IN. Of the total $1 million this New Jersey registered charity spent during its most recent reported fiscal year, 36 percent was spent on charitable programs, according to the charity’s report. Another 11 percent was spent on management and general costs, and 53 percent was spent on fundraising.

  • North Shore Animal League America, Port Washington, NY. Of the total $31 million this New Jersey registered charity spent during its most recent reported fiscal year, 77 percent was spent on charitable programs, according to the charity’s report. Another 4 percent was spent on management and general costs, and 19 percent was spent on fundraising.

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN. Of the total $563 million this New Jersey registered charity spent during its most recent reported fiscal year, 95 percent was spent on charitable programs, according to the charity’s report. The remaining 5 percent was spent on management and general costs. No money was spent on fundraising.

The State Division of Consumer Affairs encourages New Jersey consumers to learn about a charity before making a donation. For example:

  • Find out whether the charity is registered in New Jersey, or is exempt from having to register. (Certain religious and educational organizations, and charities whose annual income includes less than $10,000 in public contributions and fundraising, are exempt from having to register with the State).

  • Find out how much the charity spent during recent fiscal years on program costs, management costs, and fundraising.

  • Learn about the charity’s stated mission.

  • Consumers may obtain information about a charity in several ways. They can ask the charity itself (reputable charities encourage you to do so); visit the charity’s website; or visit the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs’ Charities Registration page at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov ; or call the Division’s Charities Hotline at 973-504-6215 during regular business hours.
St. Jude
GardenState

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