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January 19, 2019

2

Where Does $100 to the Firefighters Charitable Foundation Go?

by Anne Paddock

The Firefighters Charitable Foundation of Farmingdale, New York sounds like an organization most people would support. We are immensely grateful to the firemen/firewomen who selflessly put their lives at risk to save us, our homes, and the environment, and also supportive of the individuals and families affected by fires. But helping those affected by fires through the Firefighters Charitable Foundation is not the best way to make your donation dollars go furthest because the people that benefit most from this non-profit 501 (c) (3) are the fundraisers who kept more than 85% of the funds raised, and the 4 employees of the organization (including the President, Frank Tepedino, and his wife, Lori Tepedino, the Secretary/Treasurer) who were compensated more than $300,000 in 2016.

In 2016, the Firefighters Charitable Foundation reported $7 million in revenue, almost all of which was raised by mail and phone by professional fundraisers (i.e. telemarketing firms). These firms include:

  • JAK Productions of Atlanta, Georgia:  This organization raised $1.7 million and kept $1.5 million (88% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation $200,000.
  • Associated Community Services of Southfield, Michigan:  This organization raised $1.4 million and kept $1.2 million (86% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation $200,000.
  • Statewide Appeal of Irving, Texas:  This organization raised $700,000 and kept $600,000 (86% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation $100,000.
  • Newport Creative of Duxbury, Massachusetts:  This organization raised nearly $650,000 and kept nearly $450,000 (69% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation $200,000.
  • Public Appeal – CA of Irving, Texas:  This organization raised nearly $500,000 and kept nearly $450,000 (90% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation about $50,000.
  • Midwest Publishing Inc of Phoenix, Arizona:  This organization raised nearly $475,000 and kept $415,000 (87% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation about $60,000.
  • With Community Services of Irving, Texas:  This organization raised $355,000 and kept $315,000 (89% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation about $40,000.
  • Courtesy Calls of Las Vegas, Nevada:  This organization raised about $315,000 and kept $280,000 (89% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation $35,000.
  • Charity Appeal of Carson City, Nevada:  This organization raised $180,000 and kept $160,000 (89% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation $20,000.
  • Firefighters Services LLC of Hamilton, Ohio:  This organization raised about $135,000 and kept $115,000 (85% of donations), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation $20,000.

The ten organizations listed above raised $6.5 million but retained $5.6 million (another $400,000 was paid to other fundraisers not listed who raised less than $500,000), netting the Firefighters Charitable Foundation about $900,000. How shameful is that?  If you get phone calls or mail solicitations asking for donations for the Firefighters Charitable Foundation, don’t make a donation unless you want $86 out of your $100 donation to go to the fundraiser.

The Firefighters Charitable Foundation reported $6.9 million in expenses in 2016, categorized as follows:

  • $6.0 million (86% of revenue):  Professional Fundraiser Fees
  • $325,000 (5% of revenue):  Compensation-related Expenses (including $25,000 into a retirement account)
  • $150,000 (2% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses/Advertising/Etc
  • $100,000 (1% of revenue):  Fees for Services (legal, accounting)
  • $325,000 (5% of revenue):  Grants (including $43,000 to individuals)

Using the above information, $100 in revenue was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 86:  Fees to Fundraisers

$ 14:  Remaining Revenue

-$  5:  Compensation-related Expenses

-$  2:  Office-related Expenses

-$  1:  Fees for Services

-$  8: Subtotal Compensation, Office, and Fees for Services

$  6:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 5:  Grants

$  1:  Revenue Remaining:  To Fund Balance

As illustrated above, about $5 out of every $100 in revenue collected went to grants. The organization had less than $200,000 at year-end which indicates they are running year-to-year, dependent up on fundraisers who have kept most of the donations made.

To review the IRS Form 990 (2016), click here.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 19 2019

    Unbelievable! Thank you for sharing this information 😮

  2. Jan 19 2019

    Thanks!

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