Big, Annual Fundraisers But Where's the Money? - FOX 13 News

FOX 5 I-Team

Big, Annual Fundraisers But Where's the Money?

Posted: Updated:

For a few years now, big name sponsors like Coca-Cola and Georgia Pacific, as well as stars like Dionne Warwick, have donated time and money to a big, splashy, annual fundraising event. But, when you get past the lights and cameras, you're left to ask: Where is that money going?

Singer Dionne Warwick headlined this year's Diamond Awards -- the an annual fundraising event for "The Not Alone Foundation" - an Atlanta group that claims to raise money for people with kidney disease.

The event boasted this spring's event was "presented by...Coca-Cola..." The foundation's CEO Mark Dodd explains one of the things his group does.

"We're the only foundation, or well one of the very few, that raises money to help individuals get on the kidney transplant list."

Leading up to this year's fourth annual event, "The Not Alone Foundation" advertised itself as a "partner of Georgia Transplant Foundation," a well-respected, fundraising organization in the transplant community. Only, Georgia Transplant Foundation says it's not affiliated and ordered Dodd to remove any references on its Web site and "never again claim to be affiliated with GTF."

The I-Team decided to check out how much money "The Not Alone Foundation" takes in and how much goes out. We started with Guidestar. It's a clearinghouse for everything you might want to know about charities registered with the IRS. But "The Not Alone Foundation" is not listed here. But, Mr. Dodd says, not to worry, they're working on it.

"It's a lot of paperwork," he assured us.

"The Not Alone Foundation" is also not registered as a charity with the state of Georgia. In an email, Mr. Dodd writes that "he started the process." But, a spokesman with the secretary of state's office says their office can't find evidence of him ever applying.

The I-Team asked Mr. Dodd if we could see names of people the foundation has helped. He said yes but wanted to clarify a few things.

"Let me help you, the first three years, and this is where I get very offended from people like you. First, we said we are grassroots. That means we didn't get started from a grant. We didn't get started with seed money. We didn't start with a loan. We started with a vision."

He promised to open up the group's books to us, but this is all we got - an email that says for the last two years "The Not Alone Foundation" raised "roughly 30k-35k" each year. But he won't tell us who has been helped "out of respect for their privacy."

The I-Team asked The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta - experts who've been in business since the 1950s connecting charities with donors - how normal or unusual this is that a charity is not registered as a charity with the secretary of state's office or the IRS.

"That would definitely be a concern. You'd really have to figure out what was the rationale behind that," said Alicia Philipp president of The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.

We talked to both sponsors, Coca-Cola and Georgia Pacific, about what we uncovered. They both said they're surprised to hear that "The Not Alone Foundation" is not a registered charity.

"I mean in terms of, when you say raised money, not for the program. That, it, it was not our, it was not our goal, we knew we could not give our grants out first to three, three to four, two to three years. It was program. It was pragmatic," added Mark Dodd.

The foundation's CEO says he also has chronic kidney disease and can't work, but he does not take a salary from running the organization.

There are many great charities out there. And if you want to donate to one, there are so many ways to check them out. First, Guidestar has lots of information from hardworking charities about what money comes in, what goes out.

And locally, The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta has what it calls a "Checklist for Giving." It's a checklist for you to use with questions to ask a charity if you are thinking about donating money.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Legal ethics expert: Crisis of Public Confidence

    Legal ethics expert: Crisis of Public Confidence

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:43:53 GMT
    The Georgia State Professor of Law and Ethics says Georgia citizens are facing a crisis of public confidence due to the unfolding drama at the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
    The Georgia State Professor of Law and Ethics says Georgia citizens are facing a crisis of public confidence due to the unfolding drama at the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
  • Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-23 11:48:23 GMT
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
  • FOX 5 I-Team Investigates

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:09:54 GMT
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • 'National Dance Day' takes stage nationwide

    'National Dance Day' takes stage nationwide

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:33:07 GMT
    Nigel Lythgoe Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Judge of the hit FOX TV show “So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)” which reignited America’s passion for dance and has become a pop culture phenomenon, announces that the 5th annual National Dance Day will take place on Saturday, July 26.
    Nigel Lythgoe Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Judge of the hit FOX TV show “So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)” which reignited America’s passion for dance and has become a pop culture phenomenon, announces that the 5th annual National Dance Day will take place on Saturday, July 26.
  • Former "X Factor" Favorite Opens Studio, Trains Future Superstars

    Former "X Factor" Favorite Opens Studio, Trains Future Superstars

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:05 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:05:59 GMT
    Any fan of FOX's "The X Factor" will remember Tara Simon, a Top 24 finalist on Season 2. She didn't go all the way on the show, but her career
     Any fan of FOX's "The X Factor" will remember Tara Simon, a Top 24 finalist on Season 2. She didn't go all the way on the show, but her career as a singer -- and singing coach -- couldn't be going better.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices