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Additionally, it is the first paper to specifically consider the effect of accounting sophistication on nonprofit reporting practices.
We design our tests to produce conservative estimates of telemarketing revenue and expense by using only the single largest reported telemarketing campaigns conducted each year for a nonprofit by each of its telemarketing solicitors.
With more than 76 percent of the more than 0 billion in annual contributions to nonprofits in the U. coming from individual donors (American Association of Fundraising Counsel [AAFRC] Trust for Philanthropy 2003), misreporting by nonprofits can potentially have a large effect on the distribution of donations among nonprofit organizations.
Additionally, a number of studies provide evidence that donors direct their charitable gifts to nonprofits that report higher program ratios and lower fundraising ratios.
Of the remaining 73 percent, a majority misclassify their reported costs in a category other than professional fundraising fees, and 9 percent engage in cost allocations, meaning that not all telemarketing costs are reported as fundraising expenses.
Using an even more conservative design that compared a single year ofcampaign revenue and expenses to the sum of three years of firm-wide contributions and fundraising expenses, 14 percent of this sample is misreporting revenues.
Our study provides empirical evidence of how frequently fundraising costs are misreported, and examines the methods used and the factors associated with these decisions.
This study directly tests the veracity of nonprofits reporting practices by comparing federally mandated nonprofit financial reports to disclosures of revenues and costs of telemarketing campaigns filed by telemarketing solicitors in certain states.
Using a conservative approach that understates the extent to which nonprofit organizations violate the reporting rules, our study indicates that 74 percent of the regulatory filings from nonprofit organizations fail to properly report telemarketing expenses.
This is particularly a concern for the larger organizations in our sample as they are more likely to generate contributions from multiple sources.