Charities typically get less than half and often less than a fifth of the cash and goods donated to them through commercial fund raisers.
California´s attorney general says the average commercial fund raising campaign kept more than 60% of contributions for profit and operating expenses, sending less than 40% to the charity in 2001. Charities also received less than 40% of the proceeds from used cars donated through commercial fund raisers. And for-profit thrift stores sent an average of less than 21% of their total revenue to charitable organizations.
Of the $282 million collected by commercial fund raisers, $141 million went to charities, or less than four dimes of every dollar collected.