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13. November 2003  
What's the point?

Sometimes it feels good to donate money to a good cause, like Save The Children. But watch out! Read what Aftenposten's News in English writes today.
And also consider that the organizations themselves also take parts of the money you donate for their costs.

Fundraisers take 70 percent of donations

Professional fundraisers admit that up to 70 percent of money donated to a cause can end up in their account before the charity gets the rest. Nevertheless, the pros have no qualms about their cut, arguing that their work costs money and that they charities do better as well, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports.

Talk2me, which now owns successful fundraisers Viadial, makes no secrets about their earnings from charity work, and says humanitarian organizations are good clients.

"Fundraising is expensive and the costs are often difficult to communicate to donors," said Talk2me's managing director Arild Horsberg.

"Up to 70 percent of the donor's money stays with us. Ten percent is pure profit," Horsberg said, and argues that the system works because his company does a better job than the charitable organizations could do themselves.

The NRK's consumer affairs television program FBI investigated the issue, and found that fundraising costs charities a lot of money, also when they use professionals to help them recruit paying members.

Amnesty International Norway pays Sweden's The Fundraising Group NOK 800 (USD 112) for every member recruited and Save the Children pays even more. Lasse Imrik at Amnesty had mixed feelings about the arrangement.

"One should not get rich on the charity of others," Imrik said, but confessed that it was good for the organization. "It pays in the long run. Amnesty reckons that each new member contributes about NOK 7,000 over seven years."


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