Big, Annual Fundraisers But Where's the Money? - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

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>>

  • Whistleblower lawsuit filed against Adjutant General Jim Butterworth

    Whistleblower lawsuit filed against Adjutant General Jim Butterworth

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:20:13 GMT
    A former TV anchorwoman says she was hired by the Georgia National Guard's top commander to correct mistakes exposed by the FOX 5 I-team.
    A former TV anchorwoman says she was hired by the Georgia National Guard's top commander to correct mistakes exposed by the FOX 5 I-team.
  • Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:31:15 GMT
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
  • Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:11:30 GMT
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
  • 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.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:48:05 GMT
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
  • Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:44:05 GMT
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

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