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Solicitors take larger share

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Professional solicitors seeking donations on behalf of North Carolina nonprofits are keeping more of the money raised than they pass on to the charities they serve, a new report says.

The annual N.C. Charitable Solicitations report, released by the state Secretary of State’s Office, says telemarketers and other solicitors hired by nonprofits kept almost 52 cents of every dollar donated in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006.

The 48 cents passed on to charities is down more than 7 cents over last year, the study says, and the share retained by paid solicitors ranged from zero to 100 percent this year, the report says.

“I think that this lower percentage going to charities should serve as a wake-up call to the very generous giving public of North Carolina, our media who tell the stories of charities helping people in need, and to the charities themselves,” Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said at a news conference.

Paralyzed Veterans of America, for example, received none of the $285,468 raised by Americalist, while the American Lung Association received more than 98 percent of the $79,231.50 raised on its behalf by Infocision Management Corporation, the report says.

The Secretary of State’s Office noted that some efforts by paid solicitors are designed to educate the public rather than raise money and therefore show expenses but no revenue.

And in some cases the reporting period may have ended before all donations were received.

Overall, the charities covered in the report grossed a total of $194.1 million through paid solicitors in 2006, compared with $205.6 million the year prior.

Of the 2006 total, nonprofits netted $93.4 million, the report says.

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