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NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
DIVISION OF FIRE SAFETY
OFFICE OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL
SECURITY ALERT
PO Box 809, Trenton, NJ 08625-0809 (609) 633-6070
SECURITY ALERT 14-7
Warning of Unauthorized Solicitation during the Holidays
Issued December 2014
The Division of Fire Safety has recently been made aware of recent solicitations by a
California based organization, a self-described charity called the “Association for
Firefighters and Paramedics” ostensibly using the guise of support of local fire and
paramedic groups to solicit funds for “burn victims.” A check of this organization with the
Division of Consumer Affairs’ Charitable Campaign Unit reveals that it has not registered
with them as required by New Jersey State law.
The fundraising organization is consistently rated by charity watchdogs as one of
America’s worst and was once portrayed by California Attorney General
Edmund G. Brown as “betrayers of the public trust placed in them.” Brown was speaking
about a settlement reached with the organization in 2010 which was headquartered in
Orange County, CA at the time, documenting hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for
burn victims diverted to such things as expensive Caribbean cruises and trips to posh
resorts.
The Division of Fire Safety is enlisting the assistance of local and county emergency
response agencies to call the public’s attention and especially that of our seniors who
hold emergency services in high esteem and donate generously to them to avoid
solicitations by this outfit; who undermine the work of legitimate charities by their
practices.
The following excerpt was taken from a report done by the charity watchdog organization
SeriousGivers.org on the “Association for Firefighters and Paramedics” (AFP) two
years ago:
AFP’s stated mission is “to provide financial assistance and support to burn
victims and burn center programs . . . .” Its spending suggests a different focus:
AFP spent about $61 on fundraising for every $1 it spent on programs. AFP
raised about $1.3 million for the year. About 90% of that came through ten
outside fundraising organizations hired by AFP to conduct mail and/or telephone
campaigns. Those ten collected $1,165,476 in the name of AFP, and turned
over $128,425. That means 89 cents of every dollar raised stayed in the
fundraisers’ pockets.”
Organizations such as this also tend to fundraise in the name of police and veteran
charities, but have no legitimate connection and ultimately wind up keeping much of the
donation monies raised. Your assistance in exposing these organizations will help ensure
that citizens’ donations go to legitimate charitable organizations.
PLEASE POST IMMEDIATELY (U//FOUO)
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