Junk Charity: New England Assocation of Chiefs of Police

Another junk charity showed up on my radar today. I'd love to know what list of suckers I'm on, and why, since I don't contribute to these lost causes. Today's call was from the New England Association of Chiefs of Police (NEACOP). Or rather, it was from their fundraiser, who receives 80% of contributions made, while beneficiaries receive only 3% of each contribution, according to their 2008 IRS Form 990.

In fact, the beneficiaries aren't even the individual, injured officers the telemarketer claimed...instead, the only beneficiaries in 2008 were the Special Olympics ($12,000) and The Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ($12,000). Both of these are outstanding charities, and I personally contribute to the Jimmy Fund. But if I want to give them $100, I'm going to write them a check for $100--I'm not going to write the New England Association of Chiefs of Police a check for the princely sum of...$3236.

I don't know what NEACOP really does. Their website is vague, and it conflicts with what the telemarketer explained. And as for what the telemarketer said, it was "We help injured police officers and stuff." Yes, that's a direct quote. In fact, that's all the guy could tell me, and he handed me off to his supervisor when I started asking more questions. The supervisor explained that "No less than 1% of your gift will go to the organization." Wow...doesn't that make me feel great!

I wish I'd been able to flash this information up on Guidestar while I was on the phone with the telemarketer, as it would have been interesting to nail them with the facts. I had to settle for explaining to the supervisor that they failed to tell me enough about who they were and what they do for me to begin considering making a gift. The guy sounded like he understood exactly what I was saying, thanked me for my time, and ended the call.

I've got nothing against the police. I have friends in law enforcement and have the highest respect for them and their willingness to place themselves in harm's way each day. But I do find it loathsome that these parasitic organizations call me asking for handouts, lying about where gifts go and how much ends up in their and their telemarketers' pockets.