My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth, Everett, WA, USA
I am extremely concerned about this charity and an affiliate "Caring for our Children Foundation". I looked at both of their audits, Caring for our Children Foundation paid over $566,000 for telemarketers, which the Federal Trade Commission shows as a Defendant and Operation Lookout paid over $1,200,000 to telemarketers for fundraising. Charity Watch gives them both an F rating. Both are under Mike & Melody Gibson. Caring for our Children Foundation gave a $4800 grant to Operation Lookout, the only money they have as a "grant" and both are under water. The Federal Trade Commission says they "funnel" their money to their affiliates and give little or no money to charities. Why haven't these charities been investigated. Again, Mike Gibson President of Operation Lookout, total donations: $1,304,954, total Expenses: $1,341,541. Melody Gibson is Executive Director of Operation Lookout & Tresurer of Caring for our Children Foundation
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Caring For Our Children Foundation is not an affiliate of OPERATION LOOKOUT National Center For Missing Youth, but it is an outgrowth of its need for net funds to apply directly to child search. CFOC was founded in 2001 at a time when it seemed wise to raise more funds for missing children by giving grants from NET PROCEEDS benefitting more families. Over time, CFOC expanded to include other nonprofit grant recipients. There was a year when CFOC was able to give OPERATION LOOKOUT $50,000 free and clear, but things have changed with the global economic crisis. Operation Lookout was founded in 1984 and has discovered that the business model of raising funds over the phone is not only costly, but the net proceeds for case management is rather low. Call Centers have benefitted missing children with mass distribution of their pictures to increase exposure into geographies otherwise not possible. While the organization raises considerable money through the generosity of individuals giving $10.00, $20.00 and $50.00, those funds not only pay for the cost to raise funds and the call center's calling personnel, but it also pays for a programmatic element that Charity Navigator has not acknowledged to be the cost of 'program'. The IRS and the independent CPA providing the 990 and audit list these costs as program costs making the annual split of dollars donated overall to be closer to 60%/40%. An appeal to pin up a posters of missing children--an outreach effort to expose the faces of the children on a local level, is an extension of citizen compassion for suffering parents. It saddens us to hear how misunderstood this valuable service is, but it has been exciting to rise above the economic crisis and continue serving parents with missing children for the past 29 years.