'Worst Charities' List Includes Westchester-Based Reserve Police Group

An investigative report names the "50 Worst Charities in America."

This Yonkers-based group was named one of the country's Worst Charities in 2013
This Yonkers-based group was named one of the country's Worst Charities in 2013
Be careful when you get a phone call from a charity soliciting donations. That nonprofit might be on a new list of the 50 Worst Charities in the country.

The list—with extensive research and details—comes from an investigation by the the Tampa Bay Times with the Center for Investigative Reporting.

One of the groups on the list is the Reserve Police Officers Association, also known as the Association for Deputy Sheriffs. It's based in Yonkers and clocks in at No. 33. 

According to the investigation, in the past 10 years the group has raised $8.7 million but given out just about $100,000 in cash grants and equipment for police departments. 

Most of the money—nine out of every 10 dollars—goes to the professional solicitors the group hires; some of what's left goes to legal fees, travel, a website and a conference that attracts about a dozen police departments, according to the investigative report. 

Brooke Webster, the group's president, told the Tampa Bay Times that because there are no paid employees, Reserve Police has no choice but to rely on professionals to raise money. Webster, who was formerly an auxiliary police officer, works full time as a sales manager for a hotel in Manhattan, the paper said.

"The amount we get from fundraisers stacks up pretty well to other nonprofits," Webster told the investigating reporters. "Reserve Police is difficult to sell to the public. People know what volunteer firefighters are, but not volunteer police."

The association paid Webster just $1,339 in 2011, according to the investigative report. 

Just FYI, here are the five that top the list of "Worst Charities in America." Note that their names are awful similar to some legitimate organizations and plan your giving accordingly.

  1. Kids Wish Network
  2. Cancer Fund of America
  3. Children's Wish Foundation International
  4. American Breast Cancer Foundation
  5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation

joe June 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM
So let me get this straight: I donate $20 bucks and the volunteer cops get $2?....There are better ways to be charitable.
Kris DiLorenzo June 19, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Here's a big DUH-- hire part-time employees! They're less expensive than "professionals," whatever that vague term means. I'm sure some retired police officers might like the chance to earn a little extra money. As for Reserve Police being "difficult to sell to the public"-- you need a publicist and/or a better blogger. IMO that's an EASY sell. Of course, the words "travel" and "conference" imply boondoggles; it also would be interesting to know who those "solicitors" are and what their personal relationships with the Reserve Police are.


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