Charity's Fundraising Expenditures Questioned

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Critics of Hale House, a New York shelter for babies of drug-addicted and HIV-positive women, are questioning the amount of money the organization has spent on direct mail fundraising efforts, according to published reports.

Yesterday's edition of The New York Times reported that charity watchdog groups said fundraising expenditures should not exceed $35 for every $100 raised, but Hale House spent $43 per $100 raised to pay direct mail fundraising firm Newport Creative Communications, Duxbury, MA.

Of the $8.3 million raised by Hale House last year, $2 million was paid to Newport for direct mail efforts, according to the Times. However, yesterday's edition of the Daily News reported that Newport received $2.6 million of $5.3 million spent by Hale House last year.

This is the latest disclosure stemming from an ongoing investigation of Hale House's practices by the Daily News.

Other alleged Hale House infractions reported by the Daily News include personal loans taken from the organization by officers and renting out apartments in two buildings acquired from the city for $3.

Even so, it is unclear whether Hale House's direct mail spending is out of line.

"This is a classic case of journalists reporting in areas which they do not understand," said Jesse DeVore, director of public relations at Hale House. "We have a responsibility to protect our children, to honor our donors and explain -- to those who care -- the intricacies of direct mail fundraising."

He defended Hale House's direct mail expenditures as necessary.


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