American Association of State Troopers

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THE WORST CHARITIES, RANKED BY MONEY BLOWN ON SOLICITING COSTS

The article goes on to say:

American Association of State Troopers is a fraternal organization of active and retired state troopers and highway patrol officers who join to qualify for low-cost life insurance benefits.

Dues from the 6,000 members account for just $180,000 of the more than $3 million raised in 2011. The public gave the rest after being solicited by the group’s professional fundraisers, who kept more than 80 percent of donations. Donations are not tax deductible.

The nonprofit spent nearly $500,000 cash last year, most of it on members’ life insurance premiums. That means the police officers represented by the charity get only about 16 percent of the money raised. Over the past eight years, the average percentage of funds spent on direct aid to members has been much lower — only about 9 percent.

Since 2004, the organization has raised about $45 million and spent less than $4 million on member benefits.

American Association of State Troopers has been disciplined five times by regulators in three states for misrepresentations by its solicitors. Since 1994, it has paid more than $300,000 to settle these claims.

The association’s longtime director, Ken Howes, retired last year. His successor, director of operations Joan M. Breeding, said, “We’d all love to get more (money from fundraising), but there’s no way we’d even be able to make that amount of calls. Printing and postage alone would take you under.”