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Charities raise less, keep more

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RALEIGH, N.C. – While charities in North Carolina raised less money through professional solicitors this year than last, they are keeping more of what comes in, says a new report from the state Secretary of State’s Office.

The 488 charities listed as using professional solicitors to help raise money in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, reported gross receipts of $239 million for the year, down from $265 million in fiscal 2007.

Charities kept 59.78 percent of the money raised in 2008, up 9 percentage points from 2007.

Professional solicitors retained the remaining 40.22 percent they raised for nonprofits in 2008.

That means $9 million more for charities in fiscal 2008 than in 2007, the report says.

“It may be that charitable organizations are learning to negotiate contracts with fundraisers that give them better guaranteed percentages,” N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall says in a statement. “I think we all recognize that the public does want to see good numbers in order to keep supporting specific organizations.”

The share netted by charities ranged from zero to 100 percent, the report says, with a wide variation in between.

But Marshall noted some activities conducted by paid solicitors are designed to educate the public about a charity and not intended to raise money.

State law requires paid solicitors to register with Secretary of State’s Office and provide detailed accounts of how much money is raised and how much is passed on to the charities they work for.

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