Michael J. Baker, CFRE
Association of Fundraising Professionals – New Jersey Chapter
Toms River, New Jersey 08756 – 4147
People Encouraged to Give Generously to Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
Educated Giving Will Ensure Contributions Are Used Effectively
(Toms River, NJ) The Association of Fundraising Professionals – New Jersey Chapter (AFP-NJ) today strongly encouraged everyone who is able to give to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, but to also take steps to ensure their contributions will be used ethically and effectively.
AFP has posted guidance and advice to charities and fundraisers about disaster-relief fundraising on its website (www.afpnet.org)
“An immediate response to the devastation in New Jersey and New York is necessary, and AFP-NJ urges everyone to give to the relief efforts,” said Chapter President Michael J. Baker, CFRE. “However, taking just a few precautions can ensure your money goes to legitimate organizations and truly helps the people impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”
Baker recommends that people take their time when deciding to make a gift and not respond to high-pressure requests. “If you’re contacted by phone, check to see if the organization has a website and make sure you’re comfortable with them,” he said. “Relief efforts need money immediately, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wait half an hour while you review an organization and then make a gift.”
Baker suggested the following tips and guidelines for donors when making a contribution:
• Don’t be fooled by charities with worthy-sounding names, or names that might sound similar to other organizations. Some questionable charities create names that are intended to sound like other well-known charities and mislead potential donors.
• If an organization is slow to respond to requests for a website or more information, or doesn’t respond at all, consider giving to another organization.
• Don’t be fooled by technical-sounding terms like “tax i.d. number” or other jargon. Lots of different types of organizations have “tax i.d. numbers,” but it doesn’t make them charities. Organizations pushing these sorts of jargon should be avoided.
• Ask a telemarketer if he or she is working for a percentage of the funds raised, is paid a set salary or fee or is a volunteer. If the telemarketer is taking a percentage of funds raised, hang up the phone. Percentage-based compensation is considered unethical.
• While the strength of the charitable sector is its diversity of organizations, both large and small, relief efforts require significant resources. Contributions may be more effective in the short-term when given to larger and well-known organizations with experience in disaster relief.
• If you want to research legitimate charities go to www.guidestar.org or to www.state.nj.us/
Baker also pointed to documents such as AFP’s Code of Ethics and The Donor Bill of Rights that highlight what is and isn’t acceptable conduct for charities and fundraisers. By reviewing these documents at www.afpnet.org/
The Association of Fundraising Professionals, which represents more than 30,000 members in over 220 chapters throughout the world, advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. The core activities through which AFP fulfills this mission include education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing and advocacy.
The New Jersey Chapter of AFP, one of the largest chapters, is an individual member association that advances philanthropy through education, training and advocacy across the state. We provide programs and services on research, experience and the highest code of ethical principles and standards of professional practice.
To learn more go to www.afpnet.org and click join now to become a member of the AFP-NJ Chapter. Visit us on Twitter @AFPNJChapter;
About The Association of Fundraising Professionals
The Association of Fundraising Professionals is the leading professional organization for executives of not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations. The New Jersey Chapter’s approximate 500 members work to promote the advancement, growth and ethics of philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more, visit the AFP-NJ Web site at http://www.afp-