I'm one of those telemarketers you guys are talking about. We're instructed to say /a MINIMUM/ of 15% of donations go to the organization, but the truth is the real amount actually depends on how much of a contribution we can get in a day from those we call. I make minimum wage per hour, and get "swept" if I'm not bringing in $40 an hour (sent home for the rest of the shift, because probability states people just aren't feeling like donating that day) . If /I/ make the minimum, that's already 25% of one generous person's donation going to my "extravagant salary". Other people spend the whole time being unable to bring in anything, another 25% goes to cover their wage, too. Then we have others dealing with paperwork and dealing with the envelopes, calling people who have pledged but never returned their donation, the printing of the envelope and cost of postage... can you see how all of this adds up? The more successful we are at getting hourly donations, the more that actually goes to the charity, but we can't guarantee we're always going to do well.
In a perfect world people would all have enough money and free time to collect donations for free, but the organization would be getting way less if my paper hat wearing *** wasn't getting their ears yelled at for a few measly dollars an hour in order to make you aware they even exist.
Scam. Telemarketers using computerized "folksy" recorded voices prompted by a human who is not allowed to speak. Ask a question and the computer says repeatedly -- "the police are sure doing a great job out there!." Eventually got a live person by repeating "supervisor", "supervisor".... She finally admitted that her company keeps 85% of the money they raise w/ only 15% going to Cal PAL.. and I'm sure only a tiny fraction of that goes to help kids. Do NOT give. Complain to California Attorney General's office. Indict 'em. Don't support 'em.