This year's Pennies for Charity report found that of the $302 million donated to charities in 2013 using paid telemarketers registered in New York state, a whopping 52% of it went to pay those fundraisers, rather than to direct work on the causes being promoted.
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) March 4, 2015
The report is issued every year by the office of NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to evaluate how efficient charities are at spending the money they raise directly on the cause they support, and how much gets lost to fundraisers, fees and operational costs.
In this case, there was an improvement over 2012, when 63% of funds raised paid for the cost of the fundraising itself.
It should be noted that one of the best was also one of the highest grossing: the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was the top grosser, with over $50 million dollars raised, and 99.67% of that went directly to the charity.
On the other end of the spectrum, take the United States Olympic Committee, for example: they raised $355,768.76 but according to data, only 2.32% went directly to the charity's work.
Silicon Valley of Non-Profits
The report surveyed 573 campaigns conducted in 2013 using telemarketers registered to solicit donations in New York. Of those, 435 retained less than 50% of the funds collected. And in 101 of those campaigns the charities actually lost money, spending more than they raised.
— Randy Furco (@RandyFurco) March 4, 2015
2013 was also a record breaking year for fundraising in the state, where the total amount of money raised for charity was 20% more than in 2012 and the highest total amount on record. Nationwide, charitable giving has doubled — in real terms — since 1990.
The giving industry is huge in New York, with the report calling it the "Silicon Valley of Non-Profits." The state has the largest total number of workers and the second-highest percentage of its workforce operating in some sort of non-profit organization.