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April 7, 1951

QUESTIONABLE PHILANTHROPY

JAMA. 1951;145(14):1070. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920320044015

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Abstract

A local newspaper in one of this country's largest cities recently warned the citizens that they may be throwing away as much as twenty-five million dollars each year because of questionable philanthropic activities. This deprives organizations and drives worthy of support of much money, and it causes many people to throw away money they could better use otherwise. No one can deny the excellence of the service offered by many fund-soliciting agencies, but their good work has been envied by some selfish groups more interested in personal gain than in philanthropy. It offers a good source of income for those who wish to turn fund solicitation into a racket.

Since World War II there has been a great in[ill]ase in this type of effort. A representative of the Association of Commerce in Chicago warned that one out of every three dollars given to charity goes to a "weak, duplicating or

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