Childhood leukemia Foundation – a review of a shady charity that uses auto dialers and other shady practices to get donations

Childhood Leukemia Foundation charity scam

The Childhood Leukemia foundation, auto dialers and a very bad pass through rating on CharityNavigator.org!


For the past two weeks or so I have received repeated phone calls from this number 317-788-2600 and it says Childhood Leuk in my caller ID. None of these calls leaves a message about anything. They are all made by an auto dialer and you pick up the phone to say something there’s no one there.

I did a little research and it turns out that Childhood Leuk and the 1(317)788-2600 phone number belonged to a charity called the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. This sounds like a big nationally known charity, but according to CharityNavigator.org it is not. It is a very small charity with assets of under $2 million that has a very poor one star rating based on what percentage of monies raised goes to those that it is intended for.  It actually had the lowest rating of any charity out there!

Apparently, by looking at the information on CharityNavigator it looks like the Childhood Leukemia Foundation does a lot of expensive advertising and fundraising and they literally pays out half or more of what they take in to cover this. Their CEO or the person basically running this small charity takes a fairly hefty salary for such a small charity. Their salary is $140,000 a year and is around 6% of the total revenue for the charity.

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The Salvation Army, by comparison is 1,000 times its size and the CEO equivalent there only takes a very minimal salary of between $25,000 and $50,000 per year. So obviously, just by looking at the information on CharityNavigator.org it is pretty blatant that this charity is not really much of a charity and it’s more of a six-figure salary creator for the person running it rather than getting the monies raised to those that need it the most and those that it isn’t initially intended for.

Add to this their use of auto dialers which I think are illegal in most states if not all for fundraising and telemarketing purposes, and they’re quite a little annoying operation. Basically what it shows me is that any Tom, Dick or Harry can go out and create a charity with a mock up of some other national charity’s name to give it instant credibility and then use this to create for themselves a plush, easy six-figure income under the auspices of helping others.

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Nothing sickens me more than those that intend to profit largely off of charities and the like in a negative way. Now there are many great charities out there that do give a lot of money to help those in need. Obviously the best charity out there percentagewise for giving monies raised to those that need it the most is the Salvation Army at over 80%. The childhood leukemia foundation is on the far other side where the majority of the monies raised go to pay expenses, fundraising and advertising, salaries and more. Little if any goes to help those in need.

Be careful and vigilant at the same time with these charities. Be sure and use a reliable website resource like CharityNavigator.org (and of course ReportYourComplaint.com) to sift out the good from the bad. There are many good charities out there, but as the FBI once said on their website, there are many more bad ones. So to make sure the money that you donated with the intention of helping others gets there be sure and check out any charity to which you wish to donate to beforehand.

And as to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, I would definitely avoid that one because all you’re doing is enriching the person that runs it.


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29 Responses to Childhood leukemia Foundation – a review of a shady charity that uses auto dialers and other shady practices to get donations

  1. Barbara Reid-Haramis on August 31, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    NOTE — This comment is written by an employee or executive of Childhood Leukemia Foundation. — NOTE

    Dear ReportYourComplaint.com, my name is Barbara Reid-Haramis and I am the Founder and Executive director for Childhood Leukemia Foundation (CLF). I am writing in response to the comments made about our organization on your website. This distorted and unfair review was posted on ReportYourComplaint.com (8/18/10) from a disgruntled individual.

    The individual correctly cited that Childhood Leukemia Foundation had a one star rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator, however, only has a “rating” formula that reflects how the charity raises funds and not how effectively the charity is in fulfilling its mission. Charity Navigator clearly understands and states that this is a large flaw in their rating system.

    Since our inception in 1992, Childhood Leukemia Foundation has helped over 200,000 young cancer patients and their families throughout the United States. We work with approximately 160 hospitals, across the U.S., to offer FREE progams that educate, empower and lift the spirits of children suffering with ALL types of cancer.

    I welcome an opportunity to speak with the person that wrote this disparaging complaint about the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. Please call me directly at (732) 920-8860 or contact me at my email address which is breid@clf4kids.org. Thank you for your consideration in this matter and I look forward to hearing from them.

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  2. Walter Smith on September 1, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    I got a similar phone call from the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. I looked them up at CharityNavigator.org and they have 1 star out of 4. Instead I donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (leukemia-lymphoma.org). They have 3 stars out of 4 and are a much larger and better organized charity where far more of the money I donate goes to the cancer patients and their families. Check out the Leukemia & Lymphoma society as it is a better charity.

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  3. Rachel Thomas on September 1, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    The Childhood Leukemia Foundation certainly sounds like a scam. You are right. According to CharityNavigator barely any money goes to those in need it is supposed to be helping. Where does CharityNavigator get its info from? I just want to be sure this is right.

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  4. Chad W. on September 2, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    I just looked it up on CharityNavigator and you’re right. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a far better charity and will better use my money to help cancer patients in need. I like that and will add them to my list of charities I will donate to later this year. Thanks for the great advice. The Childhood Leukemia Foundation does look a little sketchy to say the least.

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  5. Mark S. on September 3, 2010 at 6:15 AM

    I looked them up and found the Childhood Leukemia Foundation on Watchingpolitics.com (the actual page is http://watchingpolitics.com/?p=2903) rated as the single worst charity under diseases and such:

    ……………………………..Diseases, Disorders, and Disciplines
    Highest Rated
    Jeffrey Modell Foundation
    New York, NY

    Lowest Rated
    Childhood Leukemia Foundation
    Brick, NJ

    (Per the website watchingpolitics.com)

    Mark S.

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  6. Rebecca on September 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Barbara Reid – you know you are running a scam! I checked into the above information and it all checks out. Why can’t you supply information to the Better Business Bureau? Is it because it would make your charity look bad? Your comments on CharityNavigator are way off base. It clearly shows the transparency and percentage of flow through in all charities except for some religious ones like the Salvation Army. That is how you rank a charity. On such small flow throughs you should not be taking a $140,000 per year salary. The clear purpose of your charity to anyone with half a brain is self enrichment. That is very wrong. I don’t see how you can sleep comfortably at night doing that.

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  7. Nathanial B. on September 9, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    I stick to the main, established charities: Red Cross, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Salvation Army and Goodwill. You can’t go wrong with these charities and most of what you donate goes to help those in need. I also donate my cars instead of trading them in and volunteer my time with the local Humane society. If only more people would volunteer and help out…

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  8. Tammy from Dallas Texas on September 23, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Childhood Leukemia Foundation is a crock. It exists to give its owner a $100k+ job and is actually one of the lowest rated charities in the world! Do not give your money to them. Very little if any will end up going to help anyone!

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  9. Idit Lenums on September 26, 2010 at 11:13 PM

    Childhood Lekemia Foundation is a scam 100%. They have the lowest flow through of any charity out there.

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  10. Bert P. on September 28, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    I reported the Childhood Leukemia Foundation to the New Jersey attorney general as a fraudulant charity. They said they openly investigate charities with large discrepencies between monies raised and monies given to those it intends or claims to help. When I showed the lady at the attorney generals office the numbers from CharityNavigator.org and the salary the owner was taking she was appalled. She could not believe that a charity with such a low payout existed in New Jersey.

    To stop this scam of self enrichment for the owner of Childhood Leukemia Foundation just do what I did and report them to the New Jersey attorney general’s office (department of consumer matters – charities). If everyone does this, the New Jersey attorney general will be forced to close them down and issue a permanent injunction against them forbiding them to operate as a charity.

    You can also report them to the IRS so they can review/investigate the worthiness of the charity and pull away or remove their tax exempt status. That would certainly put a big dent in their profit raising activities (I have to call it profit raising because so little ever goes to the intended recipients that the majority goes to pad the owner’s pockets).

    Scam charities like the Childhood Leukemia Foundation sicken me. Please report them if you feel the same way that I do about scam charities like this. If enough people do this they will be investigated and closed down.

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