KOLD INVESTIGATES: Little collected from big donations for police support group

Published: Dec. 23, 2019 at 5:04 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police supports thousands of law enforcement officers, their families and the community as as whole.

From graduation celebrations for new officers to holiday shopping sprees for children, the Arizona FOP works to “cultivate a spirit of fraternalism and mutual cooperation.”

One way the group raises money is by hiring other companies to call people and ask for the donations.

KOLD Investigates took a deep dive into the group’s tax filings. We discovered only 14 percent of the money donated by phone reaches the Arizona FOP. That is according to the group’s 990 forms from 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Two call centers brought in more than $2.2 million in donations and the Arizona FOP collected only $310,000.

Requests for interviews with Arizona FOP were denied, but the group provided the following statement.

“For nearly a decade, the 9,000-member Arizona Fraternal Order of Police has used telephone solicitation to help us raise funds which we in turn use to help police officers and law enforcement families in need and the organization’s community efforts statewide – including programs like our “Shop With a Cop” holiday gift event in Tucson.

“The Arizona FOP does not call potential donors directly. Rather, we contract with third-party firms who specialize in this type of fundraising. On occasion, these calls result in a small number of complaints brought to our attention. We do our best to ensure that these callers are never contacted again.”

If people suspect that the fundraising calls they receive are not genuine, we strongly recommend they do not give money.

Anyone who wants to give money to the Arizona FOP directly can do so by sending a check to the state lodge: Arizona FOP, 2510 E. 11th Street, Douglas, AZ 85607."

Our national investigative team recently reported on the practice of “cashing in on charity."

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.