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Sunday, May 6th 2007

6:56 PM

Stop Unethical Fundraising

In the last couple of weeks our household began to get calls, often several times a day, from 412-622-7387, showing as "PUB INTEREST CM" in the Caller ID. They never left a message, and they obviously ignored our voice mail message telling solicitors not to call our number anymore (probably because these outfits use robocallers, but this does not absolve them from their responsibility not to call those who request not to be called).

I did some research, and found out many people have reported harassment from this number. The outfit's name is Public Interest Communications, Inc., with offices in Falls Church, VA, Pittsburgh, PA and Salt Lake City, UT. Their specialty is doing telemarketing for nonprofits. Their President is Kenneth Whittaker, 703-847-8300. Some folks on the Web suggest emailing him may get you off of their list.

You may be on the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry. This offers limited protection, since Congress put a number of loopholes in the law. It does not cover political solicitations at all. "Charities are not covered by the requirements of the national registry. However, if a third-party telemarketer is calling on behalf of a charity, a consumer may ask not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, that specific charity. If a third-party telemarketer calls again on behalf of that charity, the telemarketer may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000." (From information on the Do Not Call site - of course, you would have to take the telemarketer's call to know what charity had asked them to harass you.)

Companies like Public Interest Communications are in business for profit. Their concern is not the cause, but using any means to maximize how much they get out of the people they call in order to maximize their revenue. So it is not surprising that they use tactics that most charities would never use in contacting their supporters directly.

I think we should care not just what an organization's stated purpose is, but how it conducts itself. Subjecting supporters to harassment from businesses like Public Interest Communications seems to me to be a clearly unethical practice. Accordingly, we should refuse to support such charities.

Public Interest Communications publishes a partial list of clients on its Web site. I went through the list, noted the ones I support, and communicated to each of those groups that I would no longer support them, and why. I recommend others do the same. If charities understand that the public cares how they are treated, and pays attention to it, they may be more careful to be ethical in their fundraising.

Here is the partial list of clients of Public Interest Communications:

-Bill Samuel
10 Comment(s).

Posted by malshirukshani:

Really this is probably.because these outfits use robocallers.
-------------------

Malshi.


Have you seen this? I wish there were more companies like this out there that were interested in making a difference! http://www.aboveallopportunities.com/100.html
Monday, April 7th 2008 @ 11:22 AM

Posted by Deirdre Dunn:

These creatures are pond scum-they call 4-5 times a week trying to get more money out of my dead mentally handicapped cousin whom they fleeced for over $150K, and are upset that he is no longer giving or did not will them anything-since seeing this list I will give 0 to any organization on it-thanks for the list-these charities are now on my DO NOT GIVE LIST.
Thursday, December 4th 2008 @ 1:34 PM

Posted by Darth Pariah:

I used to be a member of Amnesty International and ACLU. I cancelled because of the phone calls...now this lot are annoying me with calls trying to get me to rejoin! What part of NO don't you understand?! Note: They also use the number 801.484.1107.
Monday, April 5th 2010 @ 8:07 PM

Posted by daphne:

I don't mind receiving the call from Defenders of Wildlife in this way. I've been a steady supporter for years, and now that President Obama has caved to allow gray wolves to be hunted -- even though there are other ways to go about controlling them -- I would accept phone calls at any time to give money for this cause. I think it's all relative as to what you find offensive.
Thursday, April 21st 2011 @ 10:11 PM

Posted by madu hutan riau murah:

I love your article

This comment has been moderated by the blog owner

Monday, May 11th 2015 @ 11:10 AM

Posted by Pulsa Murah:

from Defenders of Wildlife in this way. I've been a steady supporter for years, and now that President Obama has caved to allow gray wolves to be hunted -- even though there are other ways to go about controlling them

This comment has been moderated by the blog owner

Saturday, June 20th 2015 @ 4:49 PM

Posted by Wisata Banyuwangi:

I used to be a member of Amnesty International and ACLU. I cancelled because of the phone calls...now this lot are annoying me with calls trying to get me to rejoin! What part of NO don't you understand?! Note: They also use the number 801.484.1107.

This comment has been moderated by the blog owner

Monday, September 28th 2015 @ 4:55 PM

Posted by Penggemuk Badan:

Beautiful Blog. I Like It

This comment has been moderated by the blog owner

Friday, February 19th 2016 @ 10:52 AM

Posted by Chelsea:

Is it possible to report a telemarketer? Also, how do they find people's phone numbers, meaning people who are not part of the organizations?

This comment has been moderated by the blog owner

Wednesday, June 14th 2017 @ 1:20 PM

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