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Nonprofit Community To Work With State Officials To Improve Fundraising Reporting By Attorneys General
NEW YORK, October 14, 2002 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) Nonprofit Federation voiced its concern that telephone fundraising reports generated by several state attorneys general not only fail to adequately inform the public, but can even be misleading. A Nonprofit Federation white paper released at the leadership conference of the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) stated that some attorneys general issue alarmist reports about nonprofit organizations' telephone fundraising efforts without explaining how they arrived at unflattering views of those organizations.
"These misleading reports are unfair to nonprofits and only serve to engender mistrust in the eyes of the general public," said Senny Boone, executive director, The DMA Nonprofit Federation. "They can lead to unintended consequences that will harm nonprofits for years to come," said Boone.
"In many cases the misleading reports are issued along with news releases that trumpet and even ridicule the amounts of net funds received by charities following telephone fundraising campaigns," said Boone. "It is no answer to say, as some states have, that 'the data are accurate.' The DMA Nonprofit Federation believes that these reports can increase the public’s awareness, but some now serve merely to agitate the public against nonprofits."
The DMA Nonprofit Federation also outlined new standards to ensure the reporting of telephone fundraising campaigns is not misleading.
"These standards should provide an adequate framework from which regulators can strive to provide fair and accurate reports to the public," said Robert Tigner, regulatory counsel, The DMA Nonprofit Federation. "Indeed, we believe that, by and large, state charity officials share this goal and agree that improvements are needed."
Through the efforts of the Nonprofit Federation, the issue of misleading reports was the subject of a lively panel discussion at the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) annual conference in Minneapolis, MN. The National Association of Attorneys General jointly sponsors the conference.
At the conclusion of the panel discussion, NASCO officials announced the formation of a joint NASCO-nonprofit community working group. The group will produce a set of "best practices" to govern fundraising reports produced by state charity offices. Tigner will serve on the group for the Nonprofit Federation.
Representing nearly 500 members, the DMANF is the largest national association of nonprofits that use direct mail, telephone and the Internet to communicate with members, donors, and the public at large.
The DMA is the leading and largest trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with almost 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.7 trillion in 2000, including $110 billion in catalog sales and $28 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web Site iswww.the-dma.org and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.
Media Contacts: Louis Mastria 212.790.1529 Lmastria@the-dma.org
Natalie Greaves 212.790.1507 Ngreaves@the-dma.org