Phone solicitors with failing BBB grade target Island for charity
Professional telephone solicitors working for the New England chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (NEPVA) are calling Island residents, soliciting donations in amounts of $100, $200, and $300.
The telephone solicitor stresses the help the charity gives veterans and the tax deductible nature of the contribution.
A Times reporter received one of these calls. Pressed to identify who he was working for, the solicitor hemmed and hawed and continued to insist that he was working for the veterans. Pressed further, he put a man he identified as a supervisor on the line.
The supervisor said he worked for L and D Marketing of Worcester. He insisted that the company provided a good service for veterans and gave a good return on each dollar donated."We are very proud of the work we do," he said.
The NEPVA chapter is based in Walpole. The national chapter, Paralyzed Veterans of America, is based in Washington, DC.
According the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, the most recent records on charitable giving indicate that in 2009, the professional solicitor, All Pro Productions, collected $440,594 for the New England Paralyzed Veterans of America. Of that amount, the company gave $98,765, or 22.42 percent, to the charity.
There was no available information on L and D Marketing, and the company is not found on a list of registered solicitors.
The New England Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave NEPVA a failing grade. The BBB said NEPVA failed to meet one or more of the 20 standards for charity accountability.
The Office of the Attorney General recommends that before donating, donors review available reports to determine how much money ended up with a charity. "Likewise, potential donors should ask how much of the donation will actually go the charity and how much is going to the professional fundraiser," the office said. "Potential donors should ask for the exact name of the charity and for a precise description of what the charity does. Often, charities have similar names, and potential donors should clarify if there is any relationship between charities that have similar names."
For more information call 617-727-2200, ext. 2101, to find out if any charity and its fundraiser are registered to operate in the Commonwealth.