A number of posts have discussed autism charities. Most do fine work, but some are not on the level. The Tampa Bay Times reports:
Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation is one of the worst charities in America when it comes to spending large amounts of cash on for-profit solicitation companies.
But that fact has been obscured in documents filed with state regulators.
The Times and CIR took a closer look at the charity after readers suggested we investigate.
IRS tax documents show that from 2009 to 2011, the charity raised $7.6 million through its solicitors. More than 90 percent of that was paid directly to for-profit solicitation companies hired by the charity.
Its history of using high-cost fundraisers for most of its income would be enough to make Autism Spectrum one of the nation's worst charities. The Times/CIR rankings are based on the amount of money charities spend on fundraisers. But because state reports filed by one of the charity's solicitors understated Autism Spectrum's fundraising cost, it did not make the list.
The charity was founded in 2007 and is run by Michael Slutsky. The organization's mission is to educate the public about autism and provide financial assistance and educational material to help detect and treat the disease.
It provides scholarships for autistic children to attend camp, sends holiday gift cards and gives 'Early Detection Kits' to agencies that work with young children, according to its website.
But of the $7.6 million raised by solicitors, less than 3 percent has been spent on direct cash aid, tax records show.