One month ago, we gave the Southern Poverty Law Center the benefit of the doubt concerning their dubious telemarketing practices. Today, with the release of their 2014 IRS Form 990 tax report, we cannot cover for their outright telemarketing scam any longer.
Here is the SPLC’s IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2014.
For the fourth consecutive year, SPLC Founder Morris Dees, who bills himself as a “sound steward” of the donors’ money has deliberately scammed tens of thousands of well-meaning donors through his network of paid telemarketing rip-off artists.
To wit, for the past four years Mr. Dees has continued his relationship with Grassroots Campaigns of Boston, Mass, despite the horrific hemorrhaging of donor dollars. Grassroots has cost the SPLC hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars each year for their fundraising efforts:
How in the world can Mr. Dees continue to deal with a company that has blatantly siphoned $3,369,345 donor-dollars out of his coffers over the past four years? These horrendous figures more than wipe out every dollar raised by his other telemarketing cronies, not that that amounted to all that much.
Checking out Telefund, Inc. of Denver, we see that they raised $561,102 in the name of the SPLC in 2014, and only pocketed $422,292 in fees, leaving the SPLC $138,811, or a whopping 25% of the donation money.
Did anyone tell the donors that Telefund was pocketing three quarters of their donor-dollars?
But that’s all chump change compared to the experts at Harris Marketing group, who raised $213,694 in the name of the SPLC and “fighting hate,” and only pocketed $192,928, or a mere 90% of the money donated over the phone.
And yet, Morris Dees could not be happier with the results because Grassroots, Telefund and Harris all sold their information to him. For mere pennies on the dollar, Mr. Dees buys solid donor leads that he can feed into his own uber-efficient in-house fundraising machine at 100% profit down the road.
Best of all, it was the stupid donors who unwittingly paid to have their information sold to Mr. Dees. You really cannot beat that for “stewardship.”
Dees will lose money on the deal this year, but it’s nothing compared to the tens of millions he stands to gain from these donors over the coming decades.
But think about it. In 2014, Mo Dees paid $2,537,027 to third-party telemarketers to raise $1,979,272 in donor-dollars, meaning that the telemarketers kept every last dime they solicited over the phone in the name of the SPLC as well as an additional $557,755 out of the SPLC’s existing donor till
THIS is “sound stewardship?” At $100 dollars apiece “only” 25,370 of the 2014 donors got screwed out of their donations. A mere pittance. At $50 dollars a pop the number jumps to more than 50,000 suckers, and yet, Mo Dees calls this “sound stewardship?”
Justify it anyway you want, but at least 25,000 well-meaning donors got screwed out of their money, just as they have for the past four years.
It’s time that the media and the IRS investigates the criminal scamming of the Southern Poverty Law Center. This is nothing less than blatant fraud. Selling the suckers one thing and giving them something far less.